DCUN activities

The international research network on cities and diffuse urbanization develops different research activities.

Research seminars

The international research network “Diffuse Cities and Urbanization” (DUCN) launches a regular research seminar. Its objective is to address the debates surrounding the contemporary worldwide diffusion of urbanization, in order to contribute to the production of new epistemologies of the urban in a global and comparative perspective. Not only the territorial diffusion of urbanization poses major challenges in terms of governance, but it also offers an intriguing research object which stimulates the production of ‘new geographies of urban knowledge’ (Roy 2009). Such geographies require the elaboration of new analytical frames which transcend the dichotomies between urban and rural, North and South, Western and postcolonial (Brenner and Schmid 2015). Our research seminar aims to contribute to the production of such analytical frames. It does so by providing a space where diverse disciplinary and thematic perspectives and approaches on urban diffusion and the diffusion of urbanization are presented in a comparative and relational perspective (Ren and Luger, 2015).


A research production method specific to the network was set up at the outset: this is the “micro-research”, a lightweight comparative research production process that brings together several researchers from the network, each of whom works on a particular issue and field that they wish to compare with others. These micro-research projects are undertaken with material and prior knowledge of the field, and the network provides the necessary complement to build a comparison that allows for the testing of original issues and questions. Micro-research also allows the strengthening of partnerships with other research institutions in France and abroad.


– Roy, A. 2009. “The 21st Century Metropolis: New Geographies of Theory”. Regional Studies. Vol. 43 (6). 819-830.
– Brenner, N. and Schmid, C. 2015. “Towards a new epistemology of the urban?”. City. Vol. 19 (2-3). 151-182.
– Ren, J. and Luger, J. 2015. “Comparative Urbanism and the ‘Asian City’: Implications for Research and Theory”. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. Vol. 39 (1). 145-156