Call for papers: ‘Translocality and transformation of urban spaces through internal migration’, African Urbanisms conference, Oct 2024

Two colleagues of the Department of International Urbanism, Shaharin Annisa and Els Keunen, are organising a session as part of the African Urbanisms conference, which will take place at the School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) in Johannesburg (South Africa) between 23 and 26 October 2024. The session is entitled ‘Translocality and transformation of urban spaces through internal migration’ and we are now looking for paper proposals. You can find the session description below.


Convenors: Shaharin Annisa (Department of International Urbanism, University of Stuttgart), Els Keunen (Department of International Urbanism, University of Stuttgart)

Track: Critical Engagements

Keywords: Internal Migration, Translocality, Housing, Livelihoods, Networks

Session link:

Migration in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) primarily takes place between, to and out of cities within national boundaries. These movements give rise to multidirectional and multifaceted networks that enable the flow of people, resources and activities and result in the transformation of interconnected areas, a process defined as translocality. Translocality emerges both from an ongoing process of livelihood strategy adaptation in response to changes and facilitates the migration choices of others. Translocal networks assist internal migrants in arriving in the city and provide support to gain access to livelihoods in the city. Through their actions, migrants become agents in the (re)production of spaces in cities.

We are interested in understanding dialectics between the city and the migrant in the context of SSA. In what way do internal migrants shape the city and the city shapes the migrant? How do migrants adapt to urban livelihoods? What is the effect of translocal migrants on the physical and social urban environment? To what extent are urban areas adapted to mobile populations in terms of housing, livelihoods, infrastructure, and services?

We welcome contributions that include but are not limited to:

  • Drivers of internal migration to urban areas
  • Processes of internal migrants’ arrival and adaptation
  • (Re)production of urban space by internal migrants
  • Translocality, drivers of translocal social networks, translocal livelihoods, economic translocalisation and their relation to urban areas
  • Formal & informal, public & private measures to accommodate (in a broad sense) internal migrants in urban areas

There is a template for submitting a paper proposal, which can be accessed through this link: Deadline for submission of the abstracts is 21 April 2024. In case you have any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch with Shaharin ( or Els (