In our rapidly changing and contested global environment, cities are becoming increasingly important: they house a majority of the world’s inhabitants and act as catalysts of social, political, economic, cultural, and ecological change. Urban Studies at the University of Basel offers a new platform for understanding these planetary transformations. Our mission is to extend urban studies by confronting emerging social struggles and spatial conflicts with the refractions of empire and with alternative practices of world-making. Our work starts from the premise that the world’s urban and environmental challenges call not only for new ways of doing but for new ways of thinking. Imagining alternative futures means rethinking the present—its historical making, its political unfolding, and the ways in which it is made sensible.
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