From Occupation to Inhabitation - International 1- Day conference, 18 June

Seminar Series

Urban vacancy, occupation and commoning: Advancing a global comparative urbanism

1-Day conference: From Occupation to Inhabitation

18 June 2024, TU Wien, Vienna, Austria

The ambition of the seminar series "Urban vacancy, occupation and commoning: advancing a global comparative urbanism" is to convene a global cohort of scholars to advance innovative conceptual and methodological approaches around urban vacancy, occupation, and commoning. In engaging across Southern and Northern geographies-drawing together scholars working in cities in South Africa, Europe, and Latin America – we adopt a relational and global comparative approach to thinking the urban. The dynamic relationship between vacancy, occupations and commoning has been extraordinarily productive; however complex geographical variegation creates barriers. The seminar series addresses this challenge through a) learning from embedded discussions involving academics, occupiers and social movements, b) developing a global comparative urban approach, c) training ECRs to develop grounded and international collaborations.

The hybrid 1-day conference is the third event in a wider seminar series supported by the Urban Studies Foundation which convenes a global cohort of scholars and activists to advance conceptual and methodological approaches around urban vacancy, occupation, and commoning. Held at the Research Center for New Social Housing at the TU Wien, the conference “From Occupation to Inhabitation” will build on previous events online and in Cape Town. Bringing together scholars working on these issues in both Northern and Southern contexts, the conference aims to advance a comparative urban scholarship by engaging in theoretical assumptions, learning across sites and trajectories, and highlighting limitations in existing debates. It will also generate ideas for future projects that can inform movement strategy and political action.

To confirm attendance and receive the zoom-link or address at TU Wien, please email to


All time specifications: CEST Vienna | presentation schedule subject to change
*Speakers present on site

Welcome and introduction by Judith M. Lehner, Suraya Scheba and Cian O’Callaghan

Session 1
Presentations by

  • Tommy Gavin* / Cian O’Callaghan*, Trinity College Dublin / Maedhbh Nic Lochlainn, Univeristy College Cork / Kathleen Stokes*, Dublin City University
  • Nobukhosi Ngwenya, University of Cape Town
  • Alex Vasudevan*, University of Oxford

10:00–10:30 Discussion chaired by Kathleen Stokes, Dublin City University

Session 2
Presentations by

  • Saila-Maria Saaristo / Joana Lages, University Institute of Lisbon
  • Andre Krammer / Friedrich Hauer*, TU Wien
  • Mara Ferreri, Beyond Inhabitation Lab, Turin

11:30–12:00 Discussion chaired by Suraya Scheba, University of Cape Town

12:00–13:00 Lunch break

Session 3
Presentations by

  • Elsa Noternam, Queen Mary University of London
  • Alicia Gerscovich, University of Buenos Aires / Judith M. Lehner*, TU Wien
  • Stella Paterniani, University of Campinas / Nate Millington*, University of Manchester / Suraya Scheba*, University of Cape Town

13:45-14:15 Discussion chaired by Cian O’Callaghan, Trinity College Dublin

Session 4
Presentations by

  • Joao Tonucci, Federal University of Minas Gerais
  • Patricia Cezario / Francisco de Assis Comaru, UFABC
  • Gabu Heindl, University of Kassel
  • Clarissa Cordeiro de Campos, Federal University of Minas Gerais

15:30-16:00 Discussion chaired by Andreas Scheba*, Human Sciences Research Council

Plenary and Closing

Evening discussion: TUesday lounge
(on site only) The lounge opens at 17:00, and small snacks and drinks will be available.

Presentations by Cian O’Callaghan and Kathleen Stokes (Dublin), Suraya Scheba and Andreas Scheba (Cape Town) and discussion with Simon Güntner and Judith M. Lehner (TU Wien)