CFP – Projects, Platforms, and the Emergence of Modular Urban Development

RGS Cardiff

I am co-organising a paper session at the RGS-IBG annual meeting with James Evans on ‘Projects, Platforms, and the Emergence of Modular Urban Development’. See below for a description of the session and instructions for submitting an abstract.

Session Title

‘Projects, Platforms, and the Emergence of Modular Urban Development’

Session Convenors

Andy Karvonen (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden)

James Evans (University of Manchester)


There are increasing expectations that cities can catalyse sustainable urban transformations through experimentation and innovation. Funding agencies and local governments are encouraging urban actors to develop, trial and demonstrate digital, financial, ecological and social ‘solutions’ that are discrete, modular, and replicable. Such products can then be upscaled to the city as a whole or easily transferred and replicated in other locales. This entails a new mode of urbanism that is modular and universal rather than situated and particular, suggesting a new landscape of cities that is inherently piecemeal, patchy, and variegated. In this session, we invite theoretical and empirical papers that explore the emerging modularisation of cities, the influence of projects and platforms in the pursuit of sustainable urban development, and the anticipated and real effects of this agenda.

Topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Different approaches to modularisation (e.g. social, economic, political, ideological, material)
  • Different techniques of modularisation (e.g. best practice, technical solutions, spatial bounding)
  • Comparisons between the rhetoric and practice of modularisation
  • Replication, upscaling and the lexicon of modularisation
  • The practical and ideological tensions between modularisation and sustainability
  • Enabling strategies for modularisation
  • The relationship between market approaches and modularisation
  • The history and present of closed system urban imaginaries (e.g. the capsular city)

Instructions for Authors

Please send proposals (title, 250-word abstract, and author details) to and by 31 January 2018.