International Urban Retrofit Workshop: Theories and Concepts, Dynamics and Practices, Politics and Implications

On 13th-14th September, the Retrofit 2050 project, in association with Mistra Urban Futures, will host an international workshop intended to explore the politics and processes of retrofit as they unfold in different countries and contexts across the world. Although the focus of the project is primarily on the UK context – in particular the city-regions of Greater Manchester and Cardiff/South East Wales – this workshop will provide a window into understandings and dynamics of retrofitting activities on the global stage.

The core aim of the workshop is to comparatively explore how urban scale retrofitting can be conceptualised as a socio-technical transition; to critically compare and contrast different national styles of response in cities of the north and global south; and, to develop new research and policy agendas on future development of progressive retrofitting.

Participants will look across different infrastructures, different types of built environment and different urban contexts, examining formalised corporate and policy responses as well as more informal bottom up and community responses. Whilst energy efficiency and carbon reduction inevitably dominate much of the debate over urban retrofitting, we are also keen to examine broader sustainability concerns such as those relating to water and waste. Coming from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds that reflect the complexity of the policy challenge, they will conceptualise retrofitting as a challenge with both social and technical aspects.

For more information on this event, please contact; to find out more about Mistra Urban Futures, visit

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