Forced displacement and the city

Learning event

The intersections of urbanisation and forced displacement in low- and middle-income countries will be covered in an event in London in September – and interested parties can now submit their papers or abstracts.

9am-5pm (BST)
The Foundry, 17 Oval Way, London SE115RR
Last updated 7 July 2023
Building with a mural of a young girl.

Street art in a neighbourhood of East Amman, home to many refugees. The mural, by Fintan Magee, is entitled 'The Exile' and depicts a Syrian girl from Azraq refugee camp (Photo: copyrighted Fintan Magee)

Protracted displacement in an urban world logoScholars, practitioners and postgraduate students have the opportunity to present original work on the intersections of urbanisation and forced displacement in low- and middle-income countries at an event in September.

Over one and half days on 26 and 27 September, members of the ‘Protracted displacement in an urban world’ project team are hosting a symposium in London.

Participants will be organised into a series of thematic panels, and will explore and discuss a range of topics relating to protracted urban displacement.

Themes may include:  

  • How displaced people navigate formal and informal city systems to find shelter, achieve livelihoods and access basic services 
  • Gendered and intersectional analysis of displaced people’s experiences of the city 
  • Reflections on refugee/internally displaced people (IDP) self-reliance and/or wellbeing in towns and cities, their economic and social contributions, and the opportunities and barriers to a decent standing of living in exile 
  • Municipal responses to forced displacement that promote refugee and IDP inclusion, including innovations in participatory city planning and expanding service provision and protection 
  • Experiences of international, national and community or refugee-led organisations in supporting municipal authorities and local service providers to promote an inclusive, safe environment for displaced people in towns and cities 
  • Explorations of the relationships between camps and cities, and how displaced people navigate the humanitarian system to maximise benefits to themselves and their families, and 
  • The role of secondary cities and small urban centres in providing opportunities for refugee livelihoods and protection.  

Present your work 

Those interested in presenting their work should email Morgan Jennings via [email protected] with a brief overview of the paper you would like to present.

Those invited to attend will be expected to submit their papers or extended abstracts (around three pages) by 1 September 2023.

Please note that we will not be able to cover any travel or accommodation expenses related to attendance at the symposium. The event will be predominantly in-person, although we will consider hybrid panel sessions for presenters who are not able to travel.

Authors of outstanding contributions will be encouraged to submit a paper to a special issue of Environment and Urbanization on forced displacement and the city, which will be published in October 2024, and guest edited by the PDUW team.

A detailed call for papers will shortly be published on the journal’s webpage

Attending the event 

The event will take place in person in The Foundry, 17 Oval Way, London SE11 5RR

The venue has an ‘excellent’ environmentally friendly rating by BREEAM and is managed by The Ethical Property Company, a Living Wage employer. The Foundry also promotes social justice as proceeds support the voluntary sector, particularly social justice work.

Catering is locally sourced with a wide variety of vegetarian, vegan, halal and ethnic foods.


The Foundry is fully accessible to people with a wide range of abilities, with the meeting room located on the ground floor. Parking is available for blue badge holders.  

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