Urban Space and Social Life conference publications

Updated: December 21, 2014

Urban Space and Social Life conferences aim at publishing best papers in different ways: edited volumes, journal special issues, research databases, and other possibilities.

Edited Volumes

Home, Community, and Identity (edited by Robert Compton, Ho Hon Leung, and Yaser Robles) contract signed with Palgrave Macmillan (forthcoming in Spring, 2016)

This volume publishes papers mostly generated from our first four conferences.  

This interdisciplinary work brings together experts in the social sciences, the humanities, and the built environment to examine the construction, maintenance and evolution, and destruction of home and community spaces.  Based on theories of social cohesion and identity formation, the chapters in this edited volume intend to explore the sense of home and community across different cultures and cities in the context of glocalizing places.

Notions of home and community are central to the development of social cohesion.  By examining how people throughout the world form different communities to establish a sense of home, this work examines the formation of identity within the context of rapid development, global and domestic neoliberal and political governmental policies and societal pressures.  As such, the themes of cooperation, conflict, inclusion, exclusion, and balance require negotiation among different actors (e.g., the state, professional developers, social activists, and residents) as home and community develop.  Three sections (i.e., home, community, and identity) of the book incorporate these themes in the various chapters.     

From Imagined Community (Benedict Anderson) to Imagining Globalization (Leung, et al), scholars have examined the issues of pertaining to community construction.   This book seeks to explain how communities are created, maintained, destroyed, and re-constructed through the lens of identity.  The primary goal of this book consists of a desire to illustrate how interactions among people; between people and institutions, governmental policies, and social structures; and between lived social life and architectural design create community.  How communities are created, maintained, destroyed, and reconstructed is a complex phenomenon.  Negotiations among participants and the configuration of power are central to the contour of the community. 

The book draws on three organizational and theoretical themes: Sense of home; Sense of Community; and Sense of Identity.  Relying on a framework developed in Community Development in Perspective (1989), edited by James Christenson and Jerry Robinson, this work will provide a series of well integrated case studies on communities from interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary perspectives.  In particular, we focus on incremental and sudden changes in community as a conscious effort involving a collective learning process.  We also note that once begun, systemic community change is irreversible.  

Special Issues (Journals)

Social and Cultural Meanings of Vernacular Architecture (Ho Hon Leung, guest editor)

Buildings & Landscapes, the official journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum has agreed to work on this special issue with the 5th Urban Space and Social Life conference, held in Athens, Greece, June 16-18, 2014.  The papers in this issue examine the social and cultural meaning of different types of vernacular architecture in Brazil, China, Egypt and Greece.

Research Databases

The conference abstracts and proceedings are available in EBSCO.  We are making arrangements with other research databases for posting our conference publications.