The theme of the City Futures IV conference jointly organized by EURA and UAA is Creating Just and Sustainable Cities. Taking inspiration from the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals the conference topic focuses on the challenges that we are currently facing to create cities and communities that are just, inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, while reducing poverty and inequality. Following a decade of crisis and austerity, inequalities are becoming ever more apparent at local, regional and global scales, with our current economic models increasingly being questioned and trust in formal politics declining. Violence and extremism lead to enforced migration and the post war geopolitical map is being shaken. Urban areas are often the sites where the contrasts between wealth and poverty are most stark, where inequalities become expressed spatially, where environmental degradation is most pronounced, and where the disenfranchised and disillusioned look for solutions in entrenchment and fear of ‘otherness’.
Despite such challenges urban areas, as they have been for millennia, are often the fulcrum of hope and innovation. The Conference theme asks scholars to reflect on how we can move towards more socially just, diverse, democratic, environmentally rich cities and city region.