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Registration deadline is prolonged till the 15th of November! Thank you for your contributions!

La date limite des inscriptions est prolongée jusqu’au 15 Novembre Merci pour vos contributions !

¡La fecha límite de Inscripción se prolonga hasta el 15 de Noviembre! Gracias por su colaboración.


registration and hotel info




15th N-AERUS Conference

Brussels 27th to 29th November 2014



Exploring and assessing ways to co-produce knowledge

for tangible transformations in the cities of the South


15th N-AERUS Conference, Brussels 27th to 29th November 2014 Jointly organized by N-AERUS, the Faculty of Architecture of the Université Libre of Brussels and the Université Saint-Louis of Brussels (Belgum)


The Registration to the 15th N-ARUS Conference held in Brussels from the 27th until the 29th of November 2014 is now open!
French and Spanish below
How to register
Download the registration form (.doc), follow the instructions on the document and return the registration form to the email address:
 Naerus2014@ulb.ac.be by the 15th of November 2014.


The Conference fee is mandatory for all attendees including speakers, Poster presenters or attending a Round Table.
The fee is the same for every attendance – 20 euros
Payment options

  • Online payment (please bring the proof of payment at the moment of arrival to the conference)

Bank Account:
Lacambre Patrimoine
IBAN: BE04 3100 0807 4631
Note: For the N-AERUS Conference

  • Cash onsite at the moment of arrival to the conference


The organization of the conference cannot secure the reservation of your accommodation. Still, you are more welcomed to ask for advice.
Here you can find a selection of hotels (.doc) that will guide you to choose the best location in relation to the Venue of the conference.
Terms and conditions:

  • Telephone registrations cannot be accepted.
  • All registration forms must be completely filled out.
  • Cancellations are accepted until November 1st, 2014. Unfortunately, no refunds are possible after this date.

International attendees

Congress attracts a considerable number of attendees and guest speakers from around the world. International attendees should confirm whether a visa is required for entry to Belgium.
L'enregistrement à la 15eme Conférence N-AERUS, qui se tiendra à Bruxelles du 27 au 29 Novembre 2014 est désormais ouvert !
Comment s'enregistrer

Téléchargez le formulaire d'enregistrement (.doc), et suivez les instructions indiquées dans celui-ci. Vous avez jusqu'au 15 Octobre 2014 pour le renvoyer à l'adresse suivante  Naerus2014@ulb.ac.be.


Frais de participation

Les frais de participation sont obligatoires pour tous les participants, qu'ils soient simples participants, conférenciers, discutants...
Les frais de participations sont identiques pour tous et s'élèvent à 20 euros
Modes de payement

  • Payement en ligne (Merci d'apporter la preuve de payement lors de l'enregistrement au séminaire)

Compte bancaire:
Lacambre Patrimoine
IBAN: BE04 3100 0807 4631
Veuillez indiquer: For the N-AERUS Conference

  • Payement en espèces sur place.

Les organisateurs de la conférence ne peuvent garantir la réservation de votre hébergement. Néanmoins, n'hésitez pas à nous contacter si vous souhaitez des conseils ou informations supplémentaires.
Vous pouvez trouver ci-joint une sélection d’hôtels (.doc) pour vous aider dans votre recherche et choisir le meilleur emplacement par rapport au lieu de la conférence.
Termes et conditions

  • Les enregistrements par téléphone ne sont pas acceptés.
  • Tous les documents d'enregistrement doivent être intégralement remplis.
  • Les annulations sont acceptées jusqu'au 1er Novembre 2014. Cependant, il ne sera pas possible de rembourser les frais après cette date.


Participants extérieurs à la Belgique

Nous sommes heureux que le séminaire attitre un nombre considérable de participants et d'invités issus du monde entier. Les participants extérieurs à la Belgique doivent vérifier si un visa est requis pour leur entrée en Belgique.
¡La inscripción al 15º Congreso N-AERUS, que tendrá lugar del 27al 29de Noviembre de 2014 en Bruselas ya está abierto!
¿Cómo registrarse?

Descargue el formulario de registro (.doc), siga las instrucciones del documento y reenvíe el formulario a la dirección Naerus2014@ulb.ac.be antes del 15 de Octubre 2014.


Precio de inscripción

El precio de inscripción al Congreso es obligatorio para todos los asistentes, incluidos participantes, conferenciantes, ponentes y aquellos que asistan a alguna sesión.
La tarifa es única para todos los asistentes– 20 euros.
Formas de realizar el pago

  • Pago online: se deberá mostrar el justificante de pago en el momento de la llegada al Congreso.

Cuenta Bancaria:
Lacambre Patrimoine
IBAN: BE04 3100 0807 4631
Concepto: For the N-AERUS Conference

  • Los pagos en metálico o en efectivo: en el momento de la llegada al Congreso, en el punto de información.

La organización del Congreso no puede garantizar la reserva del alojamiento. Aún así, podemos aconsejarle sobre ello si usted lo necesita.
En el documento adjunto (.doc) podrá encontrar una selección de hoteles que pueden ayudarle a elegir la mejor localización en relación a la asistencia al Congreso.
Términos y condiciones:

  • Las inscripciones por teléfono no serán aceptadas.
  • Todos los formularios de inscripción deben ser completados.
  • Únicamente serán aceptadas las cancelaciones comunicadas antes del 1 de Noviembre. Lamentablemente, no será posible el reembolso del pago de la inscripción después de esa fecha.


Asistentes internacionales

Al Congreso acudirán un considerable número de asistentes e invitados de diferentes países. Se aconseja, a los asistentes internacionales, consultar si necesitan Visa para entrar en Bélgica.


[ Version française ]

[Versión en castellano]


Exploring and assessing ways to co-produce knowledge for tangible transformations in the cities of the South

Since the coinage of action-research in 1944, experiences from the South have been crucial sites for the epistemological development of participatory action-research practices, from the Orangi Pilot Project in Karachi to the Brazilian initiatives of Paulo Freire, to name just two.  These cases, together with numerous comparable initiatives, underpinned the potential concomitancy of understanding and improving specific contexts of operation collaboratively, with the grounded experience of co-researchers representing a prime component of the endeavour. Whose voice is being voiced, and whose knowledge is being built upon for an understanding of city-making, have become critical interrogations to consider for any actor involved in the democratisation of knowledge and the enactment of authentic social change.

Consequently, assessing the way in which knowledge is (co)produced and disseminated in the context of development is an increasingly crucial aspect to consider for policy-makers, academia and politicians alike, to the point that reflecting on whose experience and capacity are actually being expressed has become a challenge in itself. While the goal of democratising knowledge defies any facile interpretation of co-researchers’ contribution, the urgency of ‘real change’ is ever more pressing in the light of the negative effects of a pervasive neoliberal agenda and the disorienting power of the global trope.

However, communities are presently struggling with the fragmentation induced by a diffused post-political and post-national condition (Syngendouw, 2004), while recent insurgent citizenships have been singled out for the danger they carry of not being able to create substantive change without the creation of new forms of organisation, in spite of their vibrancy (Holston, 2013).  Likewise, the academic world appears inert while still digesting the weighty effects of having to disentangle disciplinary epistemologies from their colonial roots, and overcoming therefore the exclusivity of established frameworks of knowledge production.

Collaboratively understanding the world, and reflectively changing it at the same time, appears more complex than ever today. It is pressing therefore to reflect on the ways in which communities, universities, donor agencies and other key development actors can recover their position as co-producers of knowledge for change in the global urban South – and beyond.  Offering a platform to grapple with such interrogations, the XV N-AERUS conference proposes three thematic round table sessions (following individual paper presentations) to question and reshape academic, institutional and community-based agendas for the identification of innovative frameworks for knowledge co-production.

ROUND TABLE 1 – Social movements and social justice
Taking up the overall theme of the N-AERUS conference, this sub-theme sets out to rethink how urban social movements shape and are shaped by the neoliberal city in the context of the fractures in the hegemonic discourses and practices of capitalist relations and the ongoing financial crisis, both of which have delegitimized dominant organizational forms and opened a space within which alternatives can proliferate. In this framework, we particularly invite – but by no means restrict submissions to – manuscripts addressing one or several of the following topics:

  • What are the urban social movements that have emerged, how they have emerged, spread and developed? What goals do they pursue, what actors do they involve, what actions do they carry out, at what scales do they operate, etc.?
  • How are urban social movements being shaped and how do they shape the neoliberal city? To what extent have they re-produced existing inequalities or have they contributed to greater social, environmental and economic justice, and what challenges do they face?
  • How is knowledge being produced or co-produced through social movements? What kind of knowledge is being spread and how?

ROUND TABLE 2 - Participatory, process-oriented and demand-based approaches – the role of development cooperation
Today's principles of development cooperation, be it of international organisations or bilateral donors, are influenced by the intrinsic vocabulary of action research. When action research methods were developed in the mid 20th century, mutual benefitting from each other's experiences between action-research and development cooperation was meagre: even though outset situations and the aim of behavioural change proved to be strikingly similar, approaches differed substantially back then. Over the last three decades, underlying concepts and beliefs of development cooperation have come a long way from their earlier patterns of paternalism, dirigisme and authoritarianism.
This round table will explore forms and features of action-research within development cooperation as well as its role in fostering the co-production of knowledge in partner country initiatives:

  • Currently bi- and multilateral donors have gained considerable experience with action-research in urban development which might in turn benefit academia: which valuable approaches and instruments might be observed e.g. with regard to participatory and process-oriented planning, facilitation of ownership and decision-making competence, participatory implementation and evaluation of dissemination measures? How have these participatory processes worked, or in other words how have they been translated into practice?
  • However, this shift in principle in development cooperation approaches has not been free of conflict and more than once has encountered limits: what are the lessons learned and which challenges do persist (e.g. with regard to short-term project logic, limited replicability or a partially set-in-stone encouragement of a recipient mentality)? Which strategies have been brought forward over the past years in overcoming those?
  • The international development community is currently in the process of reviewing its guiding millennium development agenda, debating the Sustainable Development Goals and related financing mechanisms: how do those realignments of international frameworks reflect the importance of knowledge co-production? How have action-research approaches been reviewed? Which additional considerations should be made?

ROUND TABLE 3 - Lobbying and the role of academia
The academic role in reflecting upon urban policies and actions in the developing world has always been central to N-AERUS, due to the weight of academics in its structure. It seemed important to us to use this meeting in Brussels to ponder about and question the changes academia has undergone in the last decade, and how these changes affect its lobbying capacity within urban development. Most of these changes are linked to the process of globalisation (i.e. fragmentation and increasing competition between social actors) and participation (i.e. social forum), and deeply affect epistemological and disciplinary aspects of research (e.g. Latour’s concept of symmetry).  Urban policies in the North and in the South share a lot more than they used to, and the exchange of practices in research and action-research is increasing, although development issues still cannot be described as “mainstream”.  The change in geopolitical terms has deeply affected the position of Europe as a “State”, narrowing its historical importance, and European policies in terms of research, cooperation and education. Issues we would like to address in this session are:

  • How has research evolved in the last decade?
  • How does the European institutional transformation affect academia and research in the fields related to urban issues in the South, such as the balance between big research programmes and funds and smaller ones? Likewise, how does it influence the balance between EU and state members’ funds?
  • How can we consider and reshape the role of N-AERUS as a network in this changing landscape (i.e. in terms of lobbying, exchange of practices, and research)?

Conference set-up:
Following individual presentations (5-10 minutes each) in each round table, an informal discussion will be kicked-off by presenters on a number of participant-led topic choices. Subsequently, the round table chair, as an expert, will extend the discussion either on a broad question put to the session as a whole, or specific questions related to the session’s thematic orientation. More detailed information on this setup will follow after abstract submission and selection.

Abstract submission:
150-250 words should be submitted in .rtf or .doc by 20th April 2014 12:00 PM CET, to Naerus2014@ulb.ac.be. Abstracts and papers can be written in English, French or Spanish. Abstracts should: 

  • Indicate the round table
  • Indicate a title
  • Explain the state of the issue to be addressed, define the context, and highlight the main arguments.

Important dates:
Abstract submission: 20th April
Paper review/selection by: 30th May
Paper submission: 1st October
Conference: 27th to 29h November 2014.

A limited number of (partial) fellowships may be available for excellent papers, to support the participation of some researchers or practitioners – in particular, young researchers and practitioners – from Africa, Asia, Latin America. Candidates are encouraged to indicate their wish to be considered for funding when submitting their abstracts

No registration fee accompanies attendance of the conference. There will be however a charge of 20 € for all participants to cover the costs of documentation, lunches and coffee/tea.



PROGRAMME - download here-