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Panel 73. Building Caring Cities and Infrastructures

Convener: Brenda Parker, University of Illinois Chicago

This session will explore ethics, practices, and infrastructures of care in cities from theoretical and empirical perspectives and from diverse geographies. Urbanists have long critiqued exclusions and intersectional oppressions in cities and Geographers have noted that our institutions and cities are often fundamentally uncaring. However, feminists have argued that cities can be re-imagined as sites of care and collectivity. In this spirit, we will examine the ways that cities can and are being transformed by ethics and practices of care. Even in moments of political and economic upheaval, care practices are visible in the everyday activities of household and neighborhoods that sustain human life and communities through mutual aid. We note that ethics of care are fundamentally forward- looking: they are invoked (implicitly or explicitly) by activists, scholars and people who envision futures based in connection, commoning, and care, rather than competition and capitalism. We will examine how valuing and distributing care across genders, communities, and institutions might transform the physical, social, and natural spaces of cities. Theoretical debates about ethics, possibilities and limits of care are also welcome.

In addition, we will assess the state of material and social infrastructures of care in cities across the Global South and Global North. These infrastructures can include but are not limited housing, transportation, income supports, and assistance for caregivers. We invite papers that ferret out the mechanisms, practices, and patterns through which institutions and infrastructures remain uncaring and underdeveloped. We also welcome papers that focus on actions, activists, and alliances that embody ethics and principles of care, and promising practices and policies.

Centro de Estudios de Conflicto y Cohesión Social.

Diagonal Paraguay 257,
Torre 26, Oficina 1504
Santiago – RM

Los Navegantes 1963
Providencia – RM