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Tue, 21 Feb


The University of Hong Kong

For a "global urban imagination": networking cities, connecting urban sciences

Prof. Michele Acuto

For a "global urban imagination": networking cities, connecting urban sciences
For a "global urban imagination": networking cities, connecting urban sciences

Time & Location

21 Feb 2023, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm HKT

The University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong

About the event


The last two decades saw a distinct rise of cities in international affairs across all kinds of domains of global governance, from climate to health, migration and development.  With hundreds of city networks connecting local governments worldwide, countless platforms, summits and not urban-focused multilateral programs, ‘city diplomacy’ is witnessing a continued heyday in the 21st century. Despite lockdowns and border closures, the COVID-19 pandemic all but hindered the continuing expansion of this connected landscape. At the same time, knowledge exchange is very much at the heart of this networked geography. As cities have progressively risen to the world stage, a growing variety of calls for a greater attention to urban science, urban research and city-based knowledge (not just emanating from academia but across this whole landscape) have also proliferated with not only expanding data and methodological capacity, and burgeoning circuits of knowledge mobility, and widening scores of urban knowledge institutions. 

Discussing the recent trends in this global ecosystem of urban connections, this talk will explore the centrality of knowledge exchange in its operate and current challenges. It will investigate how it has been shaping a growing but shifting “global urban imagination” and how that in turn affects the aspirations and internationalisation of both cities and urban researchers.

About the Speaker:

Prof Michele Acuto is director of the Melbourne Centre for Cities, Professor in Urban Politics and Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning. He is an recognised voice in international politics and urban governance, with specific expertise on questions surrounding the future of cities and their relation to global challenges, urban health, waste management and the nigh-time economy.

He is also currently a non-resident Senior Fellow of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and a member of the City of Melbourne Nighttime Economy Advisory Committee.

Before joining the Faculty, Michele was Professor of Diplomacy and Urban Theory at University College London, having previously worked as Stephen Barter Fellow of the Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities at the University of Oxford. He also taught at the University of Canberra, University of Southern California, Australian National University and National University of Singapore. Outside academia, Michele worked for the Institute of European Affairs in Dublin, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), the Kimberley Process for conflict diamonds, the European Commission's response to pandemic threats.

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