Migration, Displacement and Citizenship in an Urban World

More than ever, the city is the locus of human mobility. The majority of the world’s migrants and forcibly displaced live in urban areas. Migration continues to be a fundamental process to the development and growth of cities.  The role of cities in shaping mobility and that of migrants in shaping cities have been increasingly recognized in policy, academic, and media circles.  Understanding this relationship and its implications for political and policy action requires us to gather new evidence from cities the world over and to possibly challenge past assumptions and theoretical concepts.

Key questions that emerge in this context are: What is the role of urban governance in addressing the challenges and in harnessing the opportunities that come with migration? How do cities negotiate contested views surrounding the topic of migration? How do new forms of mobility and technological advances affect membership and belonging? How do shifting narratives on migration and displacement shape political and media discourse?  

This virtual conference was organized by the Cities and Human Mobility Research Collaborative, a consortium that aims to advance research on cities, mobility, and citizenship. The conference brings together leading scholars from across disciplines with the purpose of sharing recent research on the cities and migration.

Day 1 - November 29, 2021

PANEL 1 - Mobility and Urban Governance

Migration within and across international borders is a story that plays out in the world’s cities. Urban governance and local processes, formal and informal, through which migration is regulated are increasingly shaping human mobility prospects. Municipal authorities, non-state actors, and civil society, therefore, play active roles in the development of urban migration policies as they relate to broader local economic development, regularization of informal labor, and provision of education, health, housing, and urban services. This panel will focus on the role of urban governance in mobility processes.

MUKTA NAIK
CENTRE FOR POLICY RESEARCH
JANINA STÜRNER-SIOVITZ
CENTRE FOR AREA STUDIES
FRIEDRICH ALEXANDER UNIVERSITY ERLANGEN
NUREMBERG
RANDALL HANSEN
MUNK SCHOOL OF GLOBAL AFFAIRS AND PUBLIC POLICY
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
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PANEL 2 - Cities, Migration and Contentious Politics

This panel explored the role of current urban mobilizations and of cities as sites of contentious politics (anti-migrant, populist protest as well as migrant-refugee solidarity mobilizations). The interplay of such politics with other social manifestations such as anti-austerity protests creates a complex environment that shapes human mobility and urban narratives.

LOREN LANDAU
DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
DIANA ZACCA THOMAZ
ZOLBERG INSTITUTE ON MIGRATION AND MOBILITY
THE NEW SCHOOL
AYSE ÇAGLAR
INSTITUT FÜR KULTUR- UND SOZIALANTHROPOLOGIE
UNIVERSITÄT WIEN
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Day 2 — November 30, 2021

panel3 - Refugees and Cities

PANEL 3 - Refugees and Cities

The majority of refugees live in cities. This panel will explore the role of cities and urban neighborhoods in becoming immigrant- and refugee-friendly spaces that take full advantage of the benefits brought by refugees while finding ways to manage the inevitable challenges of immigrant integration.

NICHOLAS MAPLE
REFUGEE LAW INITIATIVE
SCHOOL OF ADVANCED STUDY
UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
HERVÉ NICOLLE
SAMUEL HALL
AHMET IÇDUYGU
MIGRATION RESEARCH CENTER AT KOC
KOÇ UNIVERSITY
ISTANBUL, TURKEY
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PANEL 4 - Digital Citizenship in the Post-Pandemic Urban Realm

Emerging technologies are fundamentally reshaping the institution of citizenship and the role of cities. This panel will feature research that seeks to understand the challenges that emerging technologies pose to the institution of citizenship. It will discuss the impacts of emerging technologies on citizens, on the role of institutions, corporations, and states in shaping civic life through the development and deployment of emerging technologies and bring citizens and institutions together in a call for exploring new forms of ‘digital constitutionalism’ taking place in cities.

NAOMI HANAKATA
DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE
SCHOOL OF DESIGN AND ENVIRONMENT
NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE
FEDERICO TOMASELLO
CA'FOSCARI UNIVERSITY OF VENICE
FILIPPO BIGNAMI
UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES AND ARTS OF SOUTHERN SWITZERLAND
IGOR CALZADA
WALES INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH AND DATA;
CARDIFF UNIVERSITY;
UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
LIAV ORGAD
ROBERT SCHUMAN CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES
EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE
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PANEL 5 - Cities and Environmental Mobility

Environmental mobility has gained increased interest in academic, policy, and media circles. Speculative discourses of an imminent climate migration crisis have elevated environmental mobility into a global issue, underline the need for multi-level governance, international cooperation, the development of norms and processes, and the recognition of migration as an important adaptation strategy. The focus of most discussions has been centered on the implications of future potential large-scale movements from South to North countries. However, less attention has been given to cities and the implications of environmental mobility for them. This panel will focus on the role of cities within the climate migration nexus. It will explore the challenges and opportunities that arise from the reality of cities being destination areas but equally areas where displacement due to environmental vulnerability occurs.

SARAH ROSENGAERTNER
ZOLBERG INSTITUTE ON MIGRATION AND MOBILITY
THE NEW SCHOOL
KAREN JACOBSEN
FEINSTEIN INTERNATIONAL CENTER
THE FLETCHER SCHOOL
TUFTS UNIVERSITY
MARINA LAZETIC
FEINSTEIN INTERNATIONAL CENTER
THE FLETCHER SCHOOL
TUFTS UNIVERSITY
T. ALEXANDER ALEINIKOFF
ZOLBERG INSTITUTE ON MIGRATION AND MOBILITY
THE NEW SCHOOL
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Day 3 — December 1, 2021

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PANEL 6 - New Narratives on Cities and Mobility

This panel will focus on the production of new human mobility narratives in cities. It will discuss how migration and displacement processes are narrated through migrant self-representation, popular discourse, humanitarian organizations, artists, and activists.

GIANLUCA GATTA
ARCHIVIO DELLE MEMORIE MIGRANTI
GIULIA SBAFFI
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY
VALERIA G. CASTELLI
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY
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PANEL 7 - Cities and Migration in Global Networks

Cities are the destination areas for the majority of migrants and those forcibly displaced. Their role in creating pathways to integration for migrants has been recognized across various academic and policy fields. In recent years we have witnessed an increasing engagement of global city networks around the topic of migration. Such networks advocate for the important place that cities hold for harnessing opportunities and addressing the challenges associated with human mobility. Through these networks, cities exchange ideas, policy expertise and learn from each other’s experiences. This panel will discuss global city networks and their importance in (re)shaping and reframing the migration debate focusing on the role of “infrastructures of reception”, the kinds of programs, policies, and knowledge needed to strengthen the response to cities to increasing migratory flows.

MICHAEL A. COHEN
MILANO SCHOOL OF POLICY, MANAGEMENT AND ENVIRONMENT
THE NEW SCHOOL
FÁTIMA FERNÁNDEZ FERNÁNDEZ
UNITED CITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
BARCELONA, SPAIN
COLLEEN THOUEZ
ZOLBERG INSTITUTE ON MIGRATION AND MOBILITY
THE NEW SCHOOL
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