RC21 - Conference 2021 Antwerp

Announcement: the Antwerp RC21 Conference has been postponed to 14-16 July 2021

After much consideration, the ISA-RC21 board and the local organising team have decided to postpone the RC21 conference in Antwerp, Belgium, to July 14-16, 2021.

This is a difficult decision to make and we understand that it may come as a disappointment to many of you, but we feel that there is too much uncertainty regarding the different chronology of both the pandemic and the phasing out of restrictive measures in different countries around the world. As we cannot guarantee that all sessions will be organized nor that keynote speakers will be able to attend, and since it will be hard to respect the national physical distancing legislation when organising an international conference for about 700 participants, we feel that postponing the conference with one year is the most responsible and inclusive decision we could make.

All the activities that have been prepared for the RC21 conference 2020 will be maintained. This includes the paper presentation sessions as much as the plenaries. We will however provide some flexibility to the session conveners who would like to adapt their program and allow their participants to update the title and abstracts of their contribution to the RC21 conference. The sessions and abstracts selected for the RC21 conference in September 2020 thus remain valid for the RC21 conference in July 2021.

You will find a new calendar that allows some flexibility to the session conveners who wish to update and re-open some of their panels to new participants to replace the colleagues who will not be able to join us in July 2021 and to take into account the questions and challenges raised by the Covid-19 outbreak, its impact on cities and urban life and the urban world that will come out of it.

On behalf of the ISA-RC21 board and the Local Organising Team

Stijn Oosterlynck, Elisabet Van Wymeersch and Talja Blokland 


Announcement: COVID-19 and cancellation policy

All of us are now living under the intense pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic. Academic conferences catering for large international audiences due to take place in the coming months have been cancelled, postponed or reorganized as a virtual meeting.

We are not sure whether we will be able to organize the RC21 2020 conference in Antwerp in September. We are committed to make it happen and have not received any message from the Belgian government nor the university leadership indicating that it would not be possible to do so. However, we do not know how the COVID-19 pandemic will develop and which measures (e.g. travel bans) will still be in place. We also do not want to put the health and wellbeing of conference participants as well as the local population at risk.

The local and international organization committees are closely monitoring the situation. We will decide, depending on the circumstances and previsions, at the latest in the mid of June whether the conference will take place in September 2020. If it proves impossible to organize the conference in September, it will be postponed to 2021 in Antwerp.

Because we want conference delegates to register in all tranquility and in well-informed conditions, we have decided that the early-bird registration period will be extended to 15 June 2020.

We also want to stress that in the event of a postponement or cancellation of the September conference because of the pandemic, all fees paid by delegates before the decision to cancel or postpone, will be (i) returned fully or (ii) transferred to the 2021 edition (to be decided by the conference participant).

In case of cancellation because of lack of government or university permission to travel (but when conference is taking place as planned), fees are paid back until 31 July 2020.


Welcome to Antwerp!

The 2020 annual conference of the International Sociological Association Research Committee 21 on Urban and Regional Development will take place in Antwerp.

The general theme of the conference is ‘Sensing and Shaping the City’, focusing on how citizens experience the fragmentary, unequal and contradictory realities of global urbanity. You can read the conference call here

The official conference programme consists of plenaries and paper sessions, but will be accompanied by a social programme, including a welcome reception, a conference dinner and city tours.

The “Call for Sessions” has now closed. The selected calls for papers can be read here.   

The “Call for Papers” is open until the 23th March 2020. Notifications of abstract approvals will be sent out from the 15th of April onwards.

All queries about the conference can be sent to RC21-2020.conference@uantwerpen.be

We hope to see you in Antwerp!

On behalf of the ISA-RC21 board and the Local Organising Team

Stijn Oosterlynck


Contact committee

Prinsstraat 13