Just the city: rethinking the image of urban poverty
As Southeast Asia's most populous and most dense metropolitan conurbation, and the second largest urban footprint in the world, Jakarta, Indonesia, is already a city of postnatural hypercomplexity. However, recent trends in weather intensification, sea level rise, extreme river pollution, river flooding, and coastal inundation have made the city one of the key sites of research for urban theorists seeking to understand the pressures and politics of megacity transformation in the 21st century. Among the theorists engaged in such forms of inquiry, Professor AbdouMaliq Simone of the Hawke Research Institute, University of South Australia, has developed one of the most robust and influential theories of "cityness" through his recent publications, especially in his monograph City Life from Jakarta to Dakar: Movements at a Crossroads (New York and London: Routledge, 2011). In his lecture, Just the City: Rethinking the Image of Urban Poverty, Professor Simone will present research from his ongoing projects in Jakarta, Southeast Asia, and Africa, where his work is committed to rethinking the image of urban poverty, the politics of informality, and the struggles for social emancipation within megacities of the global south. This event coincides with the release of Jakarta: Architecture + Adaptation, edited by Etienne Turpin, Adam Bobbette, and Meredith Miller (Depok: Universitas Indonesia Press, 2013). Given Professor AbdouMaliq Simone's central role in the theoretical approach guiding the book, not to mention his formative interview which appears in the book, it is especially fitting that he would give this lecture and participate in a discussion on the politics and paradoxes of urban poverty for to coincide with the release of the publication in Australia. As architects, planners, and engineers all struggle to find ways to exercise their disciplinary agency through socially and environmentally responsible practices, and as the design disciplines attempt to reorganize their commitments in the face of explosive trends of urban growth, the discussion among Professor Simone, SMART Vice Chancellors' Postdoctoral Research Fellow Etienne Turpin, and the UOW audience will consider how collaborative, engaged, situated research can advance more equitable urban development within the assemblage of the contemporary megacity.