TRIALOG Conferences / Annual General Meetings

Trialog Conference September 2021 (virtual)
“Changing voices? European Civil Society in the Global Urban Development Discourse” in collaboration with the IHS, Erasmus University Rotterdam

This year’s TRIALOG conference is dedicated to a critical (self) reflection of past and future roles of European civil society and academia in the global urbanisation discourse. Civil society’s engagement from North to South in urban development provides a complex picture that can be interpreted in many ways. Twelve panels will assess the roles and impacts of urban stakeholders, particularly of Civil society Organisations (CSOs), and the transitions and reform processes they underwent over the past decades.

A diversified landscape of European CSOs and academic institutions has emerged that critically reflects but also actively engages in the urban development of the Global South. European civil society has effectively challenged prejudices and the hegemonic interpretations of development and promoted alternative ways for urban development. By learning from, exchanging on, and informing about the conditions and dynamics of urbanisation globally, Europe-based journals, associations, and institutes have contributed to the current, multifaceted interpretation of cities in the South, specifically in regards to the situation of the urban poor, spatial justice, housing, etc. This conference looks into what the major contributions of Europe from its civil society were in the past, but also how false assumptions and alternative hegemonies have triggered our understanding and ways of actions in the present. Considering its geographic position, we also would like to discuss the future of a globalized civil society: What will the coming generation of CSOs look like?

Conference Program [online now]


Opening Session [Wednesday, 8 September 2021 15:00h UTC | 17:00 CEST]

I In Between Worlds Pt.1 (Eastern Europe) [Thursday, 9 September 2021 15:00h UTC | 17:00h CEST]
A conversation about the continuously evolving and changing actors’ landscape as well as the frame conditions linked to urban practice and discourse over the past decades.

II In Between Worlds Pt.2 (MENA region) [Wednesday, 15 September 2021 15:00h UTC | 17:00h CEST]
Discussing the experience of “in-between-ness” when navigating work, life, values and co-operation in Europe and the MENA region.

III Housing Justice – Reflections on the International Mobilities of Housing Ideas and Practices [Wednesday, 15 September 2021 17:00h UTC | 19:00h CEST]
Addressing the translocal journeys of housing ideas and practice, the panel reflects on the exchange of concepts and the conditions of adequate housing.

IV The Role of CSOs for Action-oriented Research Projects [Thursday, 16 September 2021 12:00h UTC | 14:00h CEST]
Case studies from Asia highlighting the role of CSO’s opportunities and limitations for engaging in action research.

V The ‘Urbanisation’ of Municipal Partnerships [Thursday, 16 September 2021 15:00h UTC | 17:00h CEST]
A close look will be taken at transnational integrated urban development concepts through city-to-city exchanges.

VI An Informal Debate on the Informal [Thursday, 16 September 2021 17:00h UTC | 19:00h CEST]
An exchange to generate an engaging debate on the challenges and recent advancements in conceptualizing the informal.

VII A Ripple Effect of Community Mobilization through CSOs [Friday, 17 September 2021 15:00h UTC | 17:00h CEST]
Tracking the impact of civil society work and approaches on different groups of actors. Discussing the paradigm shift in the notions of urban development and volunteering.

VIII Housing, Civil Society and the State [Friday, 17 September 2021 17:00h UTC | 19:00h CEST]
A conversation between different generations of TRIALOG e.V. members on its contribution to the Housing, civil society and the State discourse.

IX Connecting Community and Organizational Resilience [Thursday, 23 September 2021 15:00h UTC | 17:00h CEST]
A debate on the challenges and recent advancements in collective action taken by communities during Covid-19 in Nairobi and Rotterdam.

X Reflecting Power Relations in North-South Civil Society [Thursday, 23 September 2021 17:00h UTC | 19:00h CEST]
A discussion on the responsibility and possibilities of CSOs from the global North to critically reflect on development discourse and their own role in the development hierarchy.

XI Voicing the Invisibles [Friday, 24 September 2021 15:00h UTC | 17:00h
An exchange on challenges experienced by ‘marginalized groups’, with a particular focus on women-led grassroots movements.

XII IUD Alumni: Career or Identity [Friday, 24 September 2021 17:00h UTC | 19:00h CEST]
Personal stories and experiences of international Alumni that graduated from European Urban Development (UD) programs.

Closing session [Saturday, 25 September 2021 09:30h UTC | 11:30h CEST]

If you are interested and have any questions, please contact us via


TRIALOG conferences since 2000

TRIALOG  Annual Conference 2021  08.-25. 09. 2021, virtual  Changing voices? European Civil Society in the Global Urban Development Discourse

TRIALOG  Annual Conference 2020  Unfortunately, our Annual Conference could not take place due to the COVID-Pandemic.

TRIALOG  Annual Conference 2019 07.-09. 11. 2019, Stuttgart  Whose Knowledge Counts? (book of abstracts) (illustrated conference recap)

TRIALOG  Annual Conference 2018  07.-08. 06. 2018, Dortmund  Resilient Urban Development versus the Right to the City?

TRIALOG  Annual Conference 2017  01. 12. 2017, Berlin  Mapping Space and Action

TRIALOG  Annual Conference 2016  16.-17. 06. 2016, Kassel  Neighbourhood Development in the Global South

TRIALOG  Annual Conference 2015  14. 11. 2015, Hamburg  Resource Efficiency

TRIALOG  Annual Conference 2014  18.-19. 09. 2014, Dortmund  Multilocality

TRIALOG  Annual Conference 2013  21. 02. 2013, Berlin  Metropolitan Regions

TRIALOG  Annual Conference 2011  18. 11. 2011, Frankfurt  Public Sphere

TRIALOG  Megacity-Colloquium`11  15.-17. 09. 2011, Darmstadt  Taming the Megacity

TRIALOG  25 Years Jubilee Congress  15.-16. 01. 2010, Darmstadt  The Urban Question

TRIALOG  Annual Conference 2009  01.-02. 05. 2009, Berlin  Redefining The Urban

TRIALOG  Annual Conference 2007  02. -03. 11. 2007, Cottbus  Strategies for Development

TRIALOG  Annual Conference 2006  20.-21. 10. 2006, Vienna  Reconstruction Experiences

TRIALOG  Annual Conference 2005  05. 11. 2005, Berlin  Urban Coalitions

TRIALOG  Annual Conference 2004  23.-24. 10. 2004, Karlsruhe Place Matters

TRIALOG  20 Years Jubilee Congress  13.-14. 02. 2004, Darmstadt  Nachbarschaftsinitiativen

TRIALOG  Annual Conference 2001  27. 10. 2001, Braunschweig  Ökologie / Zwänge / Utopien

TRIALOG  Annual Conference 2000  28.-29. 10. 2000, Weimar

Local Heroes 21 – Städte für alle 2000  3.-6. 07. 2000, Berlin   Programme Local Heroes 21, Local Heroes 21 Congress paper 1, Local Heroes 21 Congress paper 2, Local Heroes 21 Congress paper 3