Early this year I was invited by Dr. Frank Müller to co-organize and participate in a workshop on security and housing in June at the Center for Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam.
The workshop set out to explore how uncertainty affects security practices in urban populations in Latin America and Europe in a comparative perspective. A central issue of the workshop was how uncertainty influenced the livelihood, particularly the house or home as a place where residents protect and want to establish as a safe place.
Frank Müller (University of Amsterdam or UvA), Austin Zeiderman (LSE), Christien Klaufus (CEDLA/UvA), Ana Ivasiuc (Justus-Liebig-University at Giessen) and me working on this topic in different cities in Latin America, Europe, as well as Lior Volinz (UvA) whose research focused on Israel.
Here is a summary of the workshop on June 29, 2017 and the participants.
I had arrived at the Center for Urban Studies at UvAmsterdam as a visiting scholar two weeks before to work on the organization of the workshop with Frank and prepare my own presentation based partly on my research of women and the city in Medellín. I was given office space at the Center of Urban Studies, UvA where I met an amazing group of scholars -Rivke Jaffe, Fenne Pinkster, Erella Grassiani, Francesca Pilo’, Patrick Weir.
In this shared office, I worked on my presentation “Right to a Safe City: Urban Planning and Gender in Medellín, Colombia”. For the presentation, I used the data I had collected in April and May, which was mostly documents on gender and urban planning in Medellin and interviews with women’s organizations and the Secretary for Women. My presentation focused on how the women’s organizations and movements in Medellin have tried to influence urban planning spatial polices -known as Plan de Ordenamiento Territorial– in order to make a safer city for women. Their claim is that women and men experience security differently in the city. Women tend to be exposed to violence and insecurity in the city. Women’s movements and grassroots organizations, which are organized under LA MESA DE TRABAJO DE MUJER DE MEDELLIN, did their own studies demonstrating to Medellin’s Planning Department that certain urban spatial planning policies and practices increased insecurity and even violence for women.
So happy to have co-organized and participated in this workshop which brought many great scholars together to exchange ideas. The plan now is to publish a Special Issue soon. Will keep you posted on that. 🙂