Get to know our team of researchers.


Introducing a new model of urban living lab.

Research in Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and Poland.

NEWS

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Text by Lisa De Roeck At the start of 2024, the CONTRA researchers gathered in Antwerp for our third international consortium meeting. This time, our program also featured an insightful […]
Text by Lisa De Roeck In November 2023, Eva Wolf (Tilburg University), Barbara Koole (Tilburg University) & Lisa De Roeck (University of Antwerp) from the CONTRA project met in Delft […]
The European Consortium for Political Research, ECPR General Conference in 2023 The ECPR General Conference gather around 2000 political scientists every year, and is an important arena for presenting papers […]

The case studies consist of recent projects focused on climate transition…

What?

Polarisation threatens the transformative capacity of cities at a time when collective plans for a more sustainable urban future are needed. The typical answer to polarisation has been to strengthen consensus building among stakeholders, but such approaches are known to lead to alienation, tensions with existing democratic institutions, and an increasing gap with legal practice. CONTRA explores how institutionalising productive conflict can increase the transformative capacity needed in the transition towards more sustainable cities.

How?

Through a comparative study of urban planning law and practices focused on climate transition in 4 countries (Belgium; Netherlands; Norway and Poland), we study how conflict is handled and investigate the connection with political and legal institutions to determine whether conflict is suppressed or actively used for sustainable transformation. We also test new ways to handle conflict. CONTRA pioneers a new model of living labs (Drama Labs) that uses theatre-based methods to experiment with productive conflict.