Welcome to the international research conference on conflict and protest movements research. This confererence is organised by the Spaces in Conflict and Crisis research group in partnership with Aula Ciutat and the Observatoire de Conflits from the Quebec University in Montreal (Canada) and will be hosted by the Instituto Interuniversitario de Desarrollo Local at the University of Valencia (Spain).

Conflicts around planning issues represent an important element in urban politics. Their relevance as a vehicle of political mobilization is growing alongside their impact in terms of public opinion. This congress responds to a social claim in a context of increasing criticism on metropolitan governance and planning practices in many cities: the need for more discussion and reflection on the causes, dynamics and outcomes of locational, spatial, urban or territorial conflicts. 

This conference aims at bringing together different perspectives on conflicts around urban planned developments, with a focus on the role planning practices may play both in defining/framing and in possibly solving/reframing conflicts. In particular, it will focus on crucial aspects of urban geography: the multi-scalarity of urban phenomena and policies; new approaches in conflict and protest movement research; the spatial dimension of social mobilization; the growing claim for deliberative democracy mechanisms or the limits to existent institutional structures and practices for decision-making.

In the following sections you can find more information about the conference:


Contact person:

Luis del Romero
Department of Geography
University of Valencia


Spaces in Conflict Research Group -IIDL
University of Valencia


Final program: Conflicts in the City Congress. Reflections on urban unrest


Wednesday 2nd April

9:00-9:30h Registration

9:30-9:45h Welcome address: Antonio Ariño, Vice-chancellor of the University of Valencia;  Joan Noguera, IIDL Director and Josep Sorribes and Luis del Romero, SiCC.

9:45-10:30h Enrico Gualini, TU Berlin: Reflections on protest and planning

10:30-10:45 Coffee Break

10:45-12:00 Keynote 1: Michael Janoschka, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid: Theoretical and methodological challenges for the research of contentious urban politics

12:00-14:00 Keynote 1 Papers: Conflict research theories and methodologies

12:00-12:15 Samuel Mössner, Freiburg University:  Bringing the political inside of democracy: protest movements cannot save the world alone

12:15-12:30 Sebastián Ibarra González, University of Amsterdam: The re-politicization of the city: the neoliberal urbanization as a mechanism of politicization and depoliticization of collective action. A comparative analysis of the cases of Chile and Spain.

12:30-12:45 Frank Othengrafen,  Leibniz Universität Hannover: The scope of predictable surprises in spatial planning: public protests as the consequence of wicked and polyrational planning issues.

12:45-13:00 Ismael Yrigoy, Universitat de les Illes Balears: Capital overaccumulation, devaluation and social conflicts: the roots of urban dynamics through marxist theory.

13:00-13:15 Helena Cruz and Liliana Solé, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona: Territorial conflicts in Catalonia: an overview of its evolution (2003-2013).

13:15-13:30 Nicolas Phelps, Amparo Tarazona and Sonia Roitman, University College London:

The suburban question: grassroots politics and place making in Spanish suburbs.

13:30-14:00 debate

14:00-16:00 Lunch

16:00-17:15 Keynote 2: Luis del Romero, University of Valencia: Urban unrest and new social movements: lessons from Spain

17:15-17:45 Coffee Break

17:45-19:45  Keynote 2 papers: Strategies, actors and new social movements

17:45-18:00 Miray Bas Yildirim and  Simge Ozdal Oktay, Gebze Institute of Technology:   Reading the concept of self organization through Gezi Park

18:00-18:15 Margarida Queirós, Anna Ludovici, Pedro Quintela, Ana Rita Roque and Nuno Vitoriano, Universidade de Lisboa: Urban social movements and new protest strategies: searching for alternative spaces?                                           

18:15-18:30 Anna Subirats, European University Institute of Florence: Urban Social Movements in the new scenario of urban transformation

18:30-18:45 Nicholas Framont, Paris-Sorbonne University: Urban mobilizations feed of social criticism: the justification of the agents involved against urban renewal in the 20th arrondissement of Paris in the 90s

18:45-19:00 José Mansilla López, Universitat de Barcelona: Destapiem nosaltres. The Social Assembly of Poblenou and the social reproduction in a

neoliberal city

19:00-19:15 Cristina Braschi, Université Catholique de Louvaine : Cultural centres as mediators of local conflicts

19:15-19:45 Debate

19:45 Valencia old town excursion: a city of conflicts

Thursday 3rd April

9:00-10:15 Keynote 3:  Catherine Trudelle, University of Quebec in Montreal (Canada) and Mathieu Pelletier, INRS, Montreal: Spatio-temporal and multi-scalar analysis of urban conflicts: the case of Montreal

10:15-10:45 Coffee Break

10: 45-12:45 Keynote 3 papers: Contesting urban planning and projects

10:45-11:00  Claire Duvernet: Hafencity University Hamburg: Conflicts on big infrastructure projects and planning cultures: Reflections from French-German comparative perspective.

11:00-11:15 Laura Lara and Luis del Romero: University of Valencia: The dark side of a trendy suburb: gentrification, dispossession and festivalization in Russafa (Valencia)

11:15-11:30 Juan Miguel Rafet Soriano, UNED; Ignasi Cervera Arbona, Universitat Miguel Hernández; María Josep Ripoll Berenguer, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and José Vicente Sánchez Cabrera, University of Valencia: Four decades of territorial conflicts and citizen mobilizations in Marina Alta (Alicante)

11:30-11:45 Claire Colomb and Johannes Novy, University College London: Tourists, out! Neighbourhood conflicts and the ‘politicization from below’ of urban tourism in Barcelona and Berlin

11:45-12:00 Alessandra Olivi, University of Seville: Resisting Urban Redevelopment in Valparaiso, Chile.

12:00-12:15 Sonia Sales Berenguer and Víctor Pons Cuevas, University of Valencia: The urban conflict as an answer to the Hospital de la Fe management: from Campanar to Mailla (Valencia)

12:15-12:45 Debate

12:45- 13:30 Walter Nicholls, University of Amsterdam: Urban social movements in Europe

13:30-15:30 Lunch

15:30-16:30 Protest through art and media

Revista Bostezo

Desayuno con viandantes

16:30-17:00 Coffee Break

17:00-19:00 Round table: The “Salvem” movements and the geography of conflicts in Valencia (Spanish)

Josep Sorribes, University of Valencia

Antonio Ariño, Vice-rector of Culture, University of Valencia

David Estal, Architect

19:00-19:30 Final remarks

21:00 Social dinner

Friday 4th April

9:30-14:00 (In front of el Hotel Inglés): A City of conflicts II: Excursion to the Metropolitan Area of Valencia: waterfront, Horta and  Albufera natural park
Growing and shrinking regions (1900-2010) in Spain from a population map (free access PDF):

In this study Zuniga, Pueyo and Calvo (2012)  developed a complex map comprising seven provincial maps and a main municipal map, all of which are proportional symbol maps that represent two real variables: population change (represented by color hue and lightness) and total population by size. Read more

An interesting article about the shrinking city of Detroit:

Detroit: así se hundió el Titanic del capitalismo estadounidense

Publicado por 
Detroit 3
El ocaso de toda una gran ciudad en pleno corazón del imperio estadounidense. Un antiguo símbolo de su poderío industrial y del “sueño americano” donde hoy, sin embargo, se venden viviendas por el precio simbólico de un dólar, ya que nadie quiere habitar el inhóspito silencio de unos barrios abandonados que no tienen electricidad, ni agua, ni policía, ni escuelas... Read more

New book: La ciudad: economía, espacio, sociedad y medio ambiente

After almost two years of hard work we have been finally published a new reference book for students and academics interested in urban issues. La ciudad: economía, espacio, sociedad y medio ambiente has a inter-disciplinary approach to the study of the city as a science itself. Economists, geographers, sociologists and urban planners participated in the project, which was directed by Prof. Josep Sorribes. Prof.Luis del Romero participated in this work with three chapters dedicated to social cohesion, right to the city and urban conflicts and urban ecology. You can find more details about the book here.

AECR Congress in Bilbao

Dr. Luis del Romero and Dr. Antonio Valera participated in the AECR (spanish Association of Regional Science) congress held in Bilbao the 21st and 22nd november. Antonio Valera presented the contribution "Land-use changes in abandoned spaces" and Luis del Romero "Unmapping rural areas: the case of Teruel province, Spain". Both presentations are part of the research project "Unmapped spaces: the challenges of spatial planning in abandoned spaces in Teruel province, Spain", financed by CEDDAR institute