While there is already an established and growing body of research on the nexus of sexualities/gender-identies and the urban, this relationship and particularly its current manifestations remain understudied in many cities around the world. In particular, a bias towards Anglo-American geographies of (homo-)sexualities and gender-identities tends to dominate the field. Similarly, most research only depicts the experiences and dynamics of cis-gender and predominantly male homosexual movements and does not pay attention to trans lives or intersectionality. Finally, generalizations often assume false or incomplete similarities between different cities and sites on a global, regional or even local scale without sufficient empirical evidence or scrutiny for difference. Paying closer attention to the facets of inclusion and spatial appropriation in different sites, i.e. modes of urban regeneration and governance, thus allows us to enhance our knowledge about the actual contingencies, negotiations and spatial dynamics of inclusion.
For example, while many cities have (begun to) address parts of the LGBTIQ* spectrum in their strategies of economic urban regeneration, causing ambivalent inclusive effects and reactions from LGBTIQ* movements and its opponents, little do we know about the changing nature of political support on the local level beyond the so called ‘pink pound’. This includes social policies, specific modes of governance or modes of urban regeneration that effectively and sustainably enhance (or impede) participation and inclusiveness.
Many cities in Europe have introduced diversity-oriented policies and programmes that in many instances almost exclusively address migration as the only facet of urban heterogeneity and that do not acknowledge the need for more intersectional or ‘diversified’ concepts of heterogeneity and inclusion. On the other hand, this comparably advanced discourse has not even been introduced in many cities and countries around the world as a result of ongoing discrimination, ignorance and open hatred.
Against this backdrop, the workshop serves as a platform to address the interplay between urban development/regeneration and inclusion and to debate on current and future challenges for research and practice.
Therefore, the workshop addresses the following questions:
- How can we conceptualize LGBTIQ* inclusion on a local level?
- What role do municipal administrations/governments and other actors play with regard to LGBTIQ* inclusion in cities?
- How can research tools, concepts and theoretical perspectives be employed for both localized empirical research and theoretical generalization?
- What is the epistemological value of (international) comparison for research on the nexus of sexualities/LGBTIQ* inclusion and urban development?
LGBTIQ* is an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersexual and queer identities