I’ve also just come across this debate between Edward Soja, Andy Merrifield and Maria Kaika on the future of urban studies, which took place at the University of Manchester a couple of weeks ago on 16 November 2012.
I wasn’t able to attend this or the previous day’s lecture by Professor Soja on regional urbanisation (which I will post when it goes up) so I’m glad I’ll be able to get to see it when I have spare couple of hours. This was organised by the excellent Open Space forum (though they don’t seem to have a website). There’s an audio recording of another of their events here, which I did go to while I was still in Manchester, titled ‘Every Revolution has its Space: from Occupying Squares to Transforming Cities?’ – the only time I got to see the late great Neil Smith.
I should also put up this video of Neil Brenner speaking at Harvard around a year ago on ‘The Urbanization Question, or, the Field Formerly Known as Urban Studies’. There’s also an open access article in IJURR by Andy Merrifield called ‘The Urban Question under Planetary Urbanization’. This ongoing debate and exploration is something I’m trying to work through at the moment in relation to the Anthropocene and the material and ecological reproduction of cities – connected to Hodson and Marvin’s concept of ‘urban ecological security’.