The retreat will take place at the village Rovies, Evia island from 3 to 6 of September

Retreat program

NEW (27/08/2015):

Preliminary draft of the retreat program, abstracts and short descriptions of the workshops [pdf]

Call for contributions

Transformative urban politics in and beyond the crisis 

Since 2007 the words crisis, debt, austerity, economic depression became commonplace around the world. Particularly, Greece and its capital Athens became a territory for implementing harsh neoliberal measures that proved to be anything but temporary. Instead, we see a “normalization” of exceptional measures creating even more unjust cities. With new force, entrepreneurial strategies seek to trump principles of democracy and social justice and the commodification of the urban intensifies.  At the same time in Greece as elsewhere we witness new social attempts to not only cope with poverty and the new post-political moment but also to contest and challenge this new normality of crisis.

The INURA conference in Athens will focus on this praxis for change and offer insights to alternatives for urban development and the work of social solidarity initiatives. The Retreat which follows the conference offers the opportunity to reflect on the projects and practices we encountered in Athens. This year´s retreat explicitly aims at deepening these discussions and to link the Greek experiences to experiences from other places. Expanding on the conference´s theme we want to initiate a common discussion on how to transform urban politics but also how transformative urban politics can be established?   We therefore encourage participants to share their experiences and insights and to prepare contributions to one of the following three themes:

1. FRICTION New forms of urban conflicts, contestations, struggles and alliances in the era of austerity. What are new claims and demands of movements?

2. ALTERNATIVES Economies and citizenships beyond neoliberal capitalism. Self-organized approaches across the formal/informal divide aiming at a different possible urban world and new society.

3. CRITICS The role of critical urban theory for understanding the current situation and for transformative urban politics.   To facilitate a discussion that engages all participants the format of this retreat deviates from the conventional format of paper presentations known from other scientific conferences. Instead of papers, we ask for contributions which are brief and which synthesize empirical and theoretical works into arguments that can stimulate and kick-start a common discussion.

Contributions can thus, be either in the form of: the presentation of a brief pointed argument/claim based on empirical example of urban contestations/alternatives and/or a theoretical discussion the organizing of a session/workshop around one of the themes which aims particularly at comparative discussions

Please submit your proposal as short abstract of not more than 250 words until the deadline of June 27th 2015 to the following address:

Please use “Contribution Retreat + NAME” for subject

About Rovies

Rovies is a seaside village in Western-Northern Evoia. It is build on top of the ancient village of Oroviai and has about 1000 permanent residents. During the 70s and 80s it has developed as one of the main touristic destinations in Northern Evoia, also due to its vicinity to the well known thermal bath centre of Aidipsos. However, touristic activity has declined especially during the last years of economic crisis.

It is surrounded by an extensive olive grove, an important economic activity of the area. Locals have established an agricultural cooperative since 1982s in order to promote and sell their products. The only remnants of its medieval past is a Venetian tower (the Tower of Rovies) in the centre of the village.

Nearby interesting destinations are the “Drymonas’ waterfalls” in the forest  and the village Kerasia (Cherry tree) named after the numerous cherry trees around it. There one can visit the Museum of fossilized mammals who lived in the area during the Stone Age.


We will stay at Hotel Rovies 

Travel info

We are going to arrive at Rovies altogether with coaches on Thursday noon.
A coach has also been booked for our return from Rovies on Sunday at 15.00

Alternatively, there is a local bus line to Chalkida (Evoia’s capital):

  • Rovies – Limni – Chalkida:
    5:45, 11:00 (except holidays and weekends), 13:50 (except holidays and Sundays), 16:40

From Chalkida to Athens there are frequent buses (on Sundays they run at: 6.15, 7:15, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, 11:30, 12:15 and then every half an hour until 21:00) and a train which takes you directly to Athens or Piraeus and to the airport (with an interchange at Acharnes).
There are also ferryboats from Aidipsos (18km from Rovies) to Arkitsa. Then you can take a bus to Athens


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