Hospitalhof | Politik und Gesellschaft

Vortrag und Podiumsdiskussion

Southern Urbanism and co-production in Urban Spaces

ACHTUNG: Neuer Titel und Referent

DO 07.11.19, 17:30 – 19:30 Uhr
Hospitalhof Stuttgart, Büchsenstr. 33 70174 Stuttgart


The paper should be read as part of the authors’ ongoing collaborative research project with fellow anthropologist Thomas Asher of the Colombia University on Southern Urbanism. This “new urbanism” concept also prompts a rethinking of how knowledge, data, and interventions flow between cities in the North and South.

This sharing of ideas should not skew only towards movement in one direction, but as an equal exchange between both the global north and global south. We ought to recognize the processes and interventions that exist within communities, not merely as discoveries by researchers within well-resourced universities and research centers, but as innovations by actors embedded within local urban fabrics.

I argue that the idea of co-production is much more about re-balancing power asymmetries that move the now essentialist policy prescription of public participation. Responding to power requires action that moves beyond the bureaucratic policy processes. It starts by recognizing the life experiences and innovations of the city.
This approach confronts elements of hidden power and engages with material experience, power, and epistemology. The outcome of co-production in the context of Africa urban life is form urbanism that moves beyond the colonial and colonized subject who confronts and is confronted by an urban built environment that has contextualized social functions.

KOOPERATION: Städtebau-Institut, IZKT der Universität Stuttgart, TRIALOG e.V., Evang. Bildungszentrum Hospitalhof.

Der Vortrag ist in englischer Sprache.

Er eröffnet die Jahrestagung »Whose knowledge counts? The meaning of co-productive processes for urban development and urban research« von TRIALOG e.V., einem Zusammenschluss von Fachleuten aus Wissenschaft, Lehre, Beratung und Praxis im Bereich des Planens und Bauens im globalen Kontext.

REFERENT: Dr. Steve Ouma Akoth is a Kenyan scholar, advisor and activist in the field of human rights and social anthropology with over 15 years working in diverse international, regional and national fora. He is a former ACLS scholar. He grew up in Korogocho slums of Eastern Nairobi and was educated at Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya and The University of the Western Cape South Africa where he obtained his PH.D. He was the Executive Director of Pamoja Trust ( for eight years and currently a faculty members at the Kenyatta University where he teaches Human Development. His areas of ongoing research touch on culture and the constitution, Multiple Justice Systems, and minoritarian urban modernity. His current research project is in collaboration with Thomas Asher, a Colombia University based Scholar. The project focus on Mobility in Southern Urbanism. This work we explore how our cities and neighborhoods are fashioned in ways that do not readily accommodate this constant movement, not least because we do not know adequately how to read this churn of people and goods. To understand this, they pose the following questions: Why is our sociological imagination so impoverished? What might we gain if we were to become fluent in reading mobility and how might this reshape both our understanding of urban life and how we design for those informal spaces that increasingly make up our cities?

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