Dr Jonathan Rock Rokem to give first open lecture in Climate Change series

The next Centre for Architecture and the Sustainable Environment (CASE) Open Lecture on Tuesday 9th March at 6pm will be given by Dr Jonathan Rock Rokem, Lecturer in Human Geography at the School of Anthropology and Conservation at the University of Kent, and Co-Director of Kent’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Spatial Studies (KISS). This open lecture is the first in KSAP’s Climate Change lecture series. Please use this link to join the open lecture on Tuesday 9 March at 6pm.

Dr Jonathan Rock Rokem’s lecture will focus specifically on climate change and urban resilience. Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our society and it is one of the core topics in Kent School of Architecture and Planning’s teaching activities. Dr. Jonathan Rock Rokem will present research on climate change and urbanisation from a social sciences perspective, in turn helping students widen their understanding of these phenomena.

Dr Jonathan Rock Rokem explains: “In this lecture, I draw on a variety of debates from urban resilience and climate change scholarship, introducing the ‘cities and climate emergency’ agenda. I seek to establish a working interface between the social sciences and the built environment to promote a across disciplinary dialogue and a more nuanced appraisal of the role cities play in the global climate crisis. International institutions and environmental assessment processes continue to integrate more social science into environmental policy, but at the same time it appears that the social sciences engagement with climate change still need further work to live up to growing local and regional challenges.

While cities force a certain spatialisation of the climate crisis discourse, its temporality is still central to the debate, made even more critical through the acknowledgement of the ‘Anthropocene’. I will consider the advantages of a global urban climate crisis approach and recent calls to regionalize the discourse more specifically. Within this argument is an acknowledgement of the debate being driven by differing concerns between the global ‘North’ and the global ‘South’, and the power differentials that tends to cause tensions between the two in terms of aspirations towards regional mitigation and adaption strategies. This is analysed within the advantages and pitfalls of positioning cities as global leaders and critical actors in the unfolding climate crisis.”

Dr Jonathan Rock Rokem is a human geographer with research interests in political geography and urban studies. He has particular specialism in social and spatial analysis, interdisciplinary methods, urban violence and inequality from a geopolitical perspective, with a specific interest in Europe and the Middle East.

Dr Rock Rokem’s work is inspired by over a decade of researching ethnic minorities in contested cities. His overarching research agenda is committed to conceptualising a socio-spatial ontology that brings a new comparative perspective to human geography and urban studies. He also investigates the deferential role of transport and mobility infrastructures as tools to govern social life in highly uneven and unequal settings.

All welcome!