URO Labs

Twice a year, URO will lead a three-day session for the core group and external stakeholders. Three URO Labs will involve national stakeholders and four URO Labs will be organized with stakeholders from three ’collaborator cities’ (Johannesburg, New Orleans and Berlin). At each URO Lab, an urban case will be identified from either the national context or from one of the collaborator cities that focuses on how urban rights are contested and negotiated through the seizure and ordering of urban spaces. During the three-day session, all members work towards addressing specific solutions to the case while also charting future issues arising from the particular problematic situation. Participants involve both academic and non-academic stakeholders and all participants will bring their particular expertise to bear on the case being discussed during the URO Labs.

The first UROLab was held in Aarhus and was arranged by the Danish URO group. The next UROLab will be held in Berlin, led by Stefan Höhne and Thomas Bürk.



Upcoming URO Labs

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The 1st URO Lab: Urban youth and outdoor spaces in Gellerup

The 1st UROLab was held in Aarhus 28-29 May 2015 and involved academics and practitioners from all collaborator cities except Johannesburg. The theme for the 1st UROLab was ‘Gellerup, youth and outdoor spaces’. Focusing on the ongoing upgrading of the Gellerup Park on the western outskirts of Aarhus (the largest urban upgrading project in Denmark), the aim of the 1st UROLab was for the participants to collectively discuss the contested status of the area’s urban youth in relation to the use of outdoor spaces and, on this basis, consider new ways of harnessing the Gellerup Park’s potentials for developing a more integrative urban environment.

Access the first URO Lab report here







The 2nd URO Lab: Governing the Narcotic City: discourses on drug use, dealers and migration around Görlitzer Park in Kreuzberg-Berlin

The second UroLab will focus on the contested urban orders of the Goerlitzer Park - a small local park in Berlin Kreuzberg. Located in a diverse and rapidly gentrifying quarter between two vibrant nightlife districts, the Park has traditionally been open for a wide variety of uses and groups, from tourists and drug dealers, to migrants, bohemians and local families. With the recent influx of refugees into the park and growing concerns of fear and violence, however, the site has become a focus for interventions of activists as well as the local government and the police. Eventually, in 2014, the park was declared a “danger zone” and saw a rapid increase of patrols, raids and arrests. With the marijuana trade and the protest against racial discrimination intensifying nonetheless, the Görlitzer Park is now the site of one of hottest conflicts of Berlin and a symbol for the ongoing struggle over public space and “the right to the city”.

Access the second URO Lab report here.