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A (very short) tale of two urban forums

A (very short) tale of two urban forums

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Published by TigersEye99
Marcelo Lopes de Souza

Thoughts on the World Urban Forum, Rio, 2010

Marcelo Lopes de Souza

Thoughts on the World Urban Forum, Rio, 2010

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: TigersEye99 on Jun 08, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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This article was downloaded by:
[University of Michigan] 
11 December 2010 
Access details:
Access Details: [subscription number 926553365] 
Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK
Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~content=t713410570
Two world urban forums. What happened in Rio? Where does it lead? Adiscussion
Adrian Atkinson; Barbara Lipietz; Marcelo Lopes de Souza; Shipra Narang SuriOnline publication date: 20 October 2010
To cite this Article
Atkinson, Adrian , Lipietz, Barbara , Lopes de Souza, Marcelo and Suri, Shipra Narang(2010) 'Twoworld urban forums. What happened in Rio? Where does it lead? A discussion', City, 14: 5, 566 — 585
To link to this Article: DOI:
Full terms and conditions of use:http://www.informaworld.com/terms-and-conditions-of-access.pdfThis article may be used for research, teaching and private study purposes. Any substantial orsystematic reproduction, re-distribution, re-selling, loan or sub-licensing, systematic supply ordistribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden.The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contentswill be complete or accurate or up to date. The accuracy of any instructions, formulae and drug dosesshould be independently verified with primary sources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss,actions, claims, proceedings, demand or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directlyor indirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material.
 D o w nl o ad ed  B y : [ U ni v e r si t y  of  Mi chi g a n]  A t : 13 :34 11  D e c e mb e r 2010
, V 
. 14, N
. 5, O
ISSN 1360-4813 print/ISSN 1470-3629 online/10/050566-20 © 2010 Taylor & FrancisDOI: 10.1080/13604813.2010.511822
Two world urban forums. Whathappened in Rio? Where doesit lead? A discussion
 Adrian Atkinson, Barbara Lipietz, Marcelo Lopes de Souzaand Shipra Narang Suri
Taylor and Francis1360-4813 (print)/1470-3629 (online)Original ArticleAtkinson@newsynergies.ch
‘In the history of radical movements, of socialmovements, the process of cooptation is wellknown, and this … is perhaps what ishappening to forums to the ideals of forums,when they become forums for allstakeholders alike – as if all stakeholders wereequal. But they are not all equal. The task isto make them equal.’
Thus, Peter Marcuse in his address for theopening session of the more populist SocialUrban Forum (SUF), one of the two forumsthat were meeting in Rio in March, 2010. Theother was the original, more institutionalisedWorld Urban Forum (WUF). Between andwithin the two forums, was the procession of cooptation at work? Was there also somemove towards equality? What happened?Where does it lead?Three members of the
network,Adrian Atkinson, Marcelo Lopes de Souzaand Shipra Narang Suri, and a new associate,Barbara Lipietz, were there. And we are intouch with a fifth participant, Peter Marcuse,to whom we return later in this introduction.What did they see? How do/did they inter-pret it? This is the approach we adopted whenwe began our virtual dialogue between Souzain Brazil, Narang Suri in India, Atkinson inSwitzerland and Lipietz in the UK. This is anapproach that emphasises
the process of knowing
or perhaps not knowing, of comingto know or not know, of individual, cultural,national, institutional and existential under-standings and misunderstandings, of diver-gent, conflicting and/or shared meanings.
What follows is then not an agreed state-ment, not a static presentation of petrified‘knowledge’ but a dynamic exploration intemporal form. A narrative, in fact,conducted in/on
three stages
. Four individ-uals arrive in Rio. What did they see, hear?Or rather, three people arrive in Rio – Souzawas, as he rightly asserts, already there. Webegin, then, with a presentation of four
preliminary thoughts
. At this point Souza,the one insider to that/those situation/s, sawthe need to set out an analysis of what hadbeen happening, which he does in an essay,
A (very short) tale of two urban forums
.This was, to say the least, something of aneye-opener to his three visiting colleagues.Atkinson’s immediate response was that it‘put our chatter to shame’. The third stage,then, is a series of interim conclusions,
Second thoughts
, by the three outsiders, arelatively short one by Atkinson and twosuccessive essay-type responses/accounts,from Narang Suri, ‘A response to Marcelo …Reflections on WUF’, and from Lipietz, ‘OnWUF, SUF and mobilisation for progressivechange – a response to Marcelo, Shipra andAdrian.’
 D o w nl o ad ed  B y : [ U ni v e r si t y  of  Mi chi g a n]  A t : 13 :34 11  D e c e mb e r 2010

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