City Collaboratory Meeting : 12 May 2023, Lausanne Urban Futures: City Collaboratory Meeting Lausanne 2023

City Collab Lausanne 2023 was a great success: meet and greet, keynote by Ayona Datta on "Informal peripheries", urban tours around Lausanne, and more!

The 2023 City Collaboratory meeting took place in Lausanne on May 12. It was the biggest and best yet.

The day began with a meet and greet exercise, dividing everyone into thematic groups based on their interests registered during the sign up process. This was a good way to start the day and to break out of our usual social circles. We had a productive exchange on relevant theoretical and methodological questions.

Ayona Datta (UCL) gave a fantastic keynote: “Informal peripheries: Rethinking the urban in a digital age”. She presented a case for so-called informational peripheries as an analytical lens to understand new configurations of urbanization in our digital era. She explained how exclusions are marked by both geographic and informational distance from the state, and worked to render visible that which is “uncountable and unmappable” – digitally, socially, and materially.

This was the first time that a City Collab meeting had a formal keynote, and it was amazing. We’ll certainly keep this going for the 2024 meeting.

After lunch, we broke into three groups to visit sites in the field: the culture center Platforme 10, the urban garden Plantage de Cour, or the “Undesirables” exhibition. This was a new innovation brought to life by the local Lausanne organizers and it was a hit. We experienced the city and still had plenty of time for informal exchange as well.

The day concluded with the now-traditional City Collab Roundtable, where we discussed the evolution of the collective and where we’d like to go next. And then, as is custom, a beautiful apero – this time on the rooftop of the nearby Perchoir.

All in all, it had everything we’re trying to do with this network: interpersonal exchange, academic advancement, urban exploration, and the continued construction of caring infrastructures. Thanks, Lausanne! See you next time in Zurich 2024.