Cities as Laboratories of Change

How is the city a site of change? This research area is set in West Africa, South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa during the 19th to 21st centuries. It investigates how the very nature of the city, which includes large populations, closely packed settlements, migration, capital exchange, and seats of political power, makes it a place of novelties and transformations. The city often leads the way to new social relations, cultural practices, industry and technology, infrastructure, and governance. And by focusing on cities in the “Muslim worlds”, the project shows how the non-Western world contributes to past and present understandings of urbanity. The research field is divided into three subfields. First, the project interrogates the social, material, and economic development of cities. Second, the project explores the relationship between the city and civic engagement. Third, the project analyses the different ideologies and visions of city and urbanity.