70+ researchers, 7 months, 1 book: Dialogues of sustainable urbanisation



Today marks the release of a collection of diverse works from researchers across the globe who all have something important to say about the way in which our world is changing and how we can strive towards a more sustainable future.

‘Dialogues of sustainable urbanisation: Social Science Research and Transitions to Urban Contexts’
emerged from an International Social Science Council (ISSC) World Social Science Fellows’ seminar. This meeting brought together a diverse group of early career researchers, who gathered in Taiwan in November 2014 to discuss transitions to urban contexts from a social science perspective. The seminar involved weeklong discussions about sustainable urbanisation and the contribution of social science research to sustainable urban futures. However, a week was not long enough to hear the diverse perspectives within the room, let alone incorporate the plethora of viewpoints beyond it. The transitions to urban contexts taking place, and those that are anticipated in our futures, are characterised in terms of their plurality, diversity, fluidity, and change. This book of blogs embraces such uncertainty by welcoming dialogues on the urbanisation processes taking place across the world and what to do about the places we build, and the impacts of human activity on the environment, health and climate.

ISSC World Social Science Fellow Dr Jenna Condie, who curated and co-edited the book said

“in this project, we have embraced an emerging trend for alternative publishing formats to enable as many voices as possible to be heard, and to engage and connect with those interested in urban issues, ideas, and developments across the world. We’ve made this book happen in a short space of time, the book of blogs was curated and edited in seven months, which really captures our initial aim to keep up with urbanization, which is fast and so are we”.

Dr Anna Mary Cooper (University of Salford), who co-edited the book of blogs said

“the strength of this book and the interest in this area is highlighted by the overwhelming response received in relation to the call for contributors. This book includes the work of over 70 researchers from all over the world. It has led to an eclectic mix of articles that cover aspects of sustainable urbanisation globally and in relation to a huge variety of topics. There is something for everyone in this book”.

The book is organised into eleven sections, representing some of the most pressing questions for urban research today: definitions of sustainability, urban governance, engaged citizens, urban divides, movement and mobilities, China, making places, environment, low carbon futures, alternative economies, and digital futures.  With this book of blogs, the editors aim to facilitate new dialogues and collaborations, and to give urban social researchers a way to share their research with a wider audience.

The editors expressed their thanks to all the researchers who contributed to the book, the International Social Science Council for their continued support, the foreword writers, and Kandy Woodfield, editor of the New Social Media, New Social Science book of blogs for her guidance and advice.

The book is open access and available free to download. View the book on Google Drive. We recommend using the Cloud Pub Reader when opening the link.

A pdf version is available here, and a print option will be published soon.

Please help us spread the word about this collection of works from across the world. Join the conversation here #ISSCBookofBlogs.