Methodologies for just urban futures: using geospatial tools to address police violence

Dr Asha Best and Dr Lyndon Estes

Funding period: 1 August 2021 – 1 May 2022
Type of funding: Seminar Series

Host institution: Clark University, Graduate School of Geography (USA)
Dates: August 2021 (Worcester, Massachusetts) and March 2022 (AAG Conference, New York City)
Lead organisers: Dr Asha Best (lead organiser, Clark University) and Dr Lyndon Estes (Clark University)
Contact: Dr Asha Best

Abstract: This seminar series brings together early-career researchers, public scholars, and community-based practitioners to advance new methods through which urban studies might address the problem of state violence. In particular, the series is aimed at operationalizing the tools of geospatial analysis and data visualization in order to analyze and work against contemporary practices of urban policing. Centering approaches that undo and complicate assumptions about policing, we ask: how do we retool geospatial technologies to support visualizations that go beyond mapping the “where” of police violence? How can we use geospatial tools to help us “see” the broader patterns of resource and surveillance distribution that comprise state violence? Guided by these conceptual questions, this seminar series considers which methods are necessary not only for understanding the structures and practices that make state violence viable, but for envisioning just urban futures.


The Urban Studies Foundation is delighted to fund this proposal as a USF Ronan Paddison Seminar Series Award (2021), to honour and celebrate the rich lifetime contribution of Professor Ronan Paddison (1945-2019) to the field of urban studies.