Between 16th and 19th July 2018, the Global Urban Studies (GUS) cluster hosted the 4th Summer Institute in Urban Studies (SIUS) at the National University of Singapore. The SIUS brings together early career scholars from around the world for deliberation of professional development and discussion of cutting-edge issues in the transdisciplinary field of urban studies. SIUS 2018 was the fourth time the Institute had been run, and the first time outside of Manchester. The Manchester Urban Institute (MUI) and GUS co-organized SIUS 2018, with further support from Yale-NUS Liberal Arts College and the Future Cities Lab. Sponsorship was kindly provided by the University of Manchester, the Urban Studies Foundation and Singapore Ministry of Education AcRF Tier 1 Research grant (FY2017-FRC2-014).
Hosting of the 2018 summer institute in Singapore – somewhere that does not even have a “summer” season! – was itself significant in the context of calls in urban studies over the past decade for (what Ananya Roy famously termed) “new geographies of theory”. It was therefore appropriate that the opening plenary session “Urban Studies from Elsewhere” foregrounded the situated-ness of urban knowledge production (presented by Shenjing He and James D. Sidaway). There were three other paired plenary sessions across the four days of the Institute, including “Gender – Urban Theory and Urban Politics” (with Linda Peake and Daniel P.S. Goh), “Urban Infrastructures” (with Jane M. Jacobs and Charlotte Lemanski), and “Sustainable Futures” (with Cecelia Wong and Anant Maringanti). Click here to access the audio recordings of the presentations.
As in previous Institutes in Manchester, the SIUS 2018 programme also included a variety of panel discussion sessions involving the visiting plenary speakers, Singapore-based urbanists and other visitors. A full list can be found on the GUS blog. In addition, Twitter updates from the event can be found with #SIUS2018.
Two elements of the programme also explicitly enabled participants to engage with urban (re)development in Singapore beyond campus. On Tuesday 17th July, Tony Tan (from Singapore Heritage Society) led a tour of the URA Gallery and the surrounding streets of Chinatown. And on the evening of Wednesday 18th July, the Institute dinner was held in Prima Tower, giving participants a revolving view of the restless landscape of Singapore. Many thanks to all of the participants, speakers, panellists, organizers, and sponsors for contributing to the success of SIUS 2018!