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Keynote Speakers

Ludovic Halbert
Trained as an economic geographer and planer, my work focuses on urban dynamics and how they are affected by the transformation of productive systems (globalization, financialization), the changing financial circuits involved in urban production, and evolving urban development policies (planning, economic development).

Research interest: After having probed the intra- and inter-urban locational patterns of firms in a context of globalizing economies, I am currently going through a new research cycle critically questioning how various financial circuits interact with the material fabric of urban systems in different national contexts. Such works include a study of the financialization of real estate and infrastructure and the increased importance of capital markets in the construction and ownership of urban « assets ». I also look at the social housing financing system and at the provision of buy-to-let residential properties in France as other types of financial circuits.(

Conference 1: Beyond yet another case of financialization of urban production: financial infrastructures, comparative urbanism, and rent-based accumulation
May 15 (9h15 - 10h00), Ludovic Halbert (Universidade Paris-Est – França)


Fabrice Bardet
Ph.D. in Political Science, Fabrice Bardet is currently professor and researcher at the Université de Lyon and the École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat. Recently worked on writing the history of what he refers as an "accounting counter-revolution": after the advent of what historians had called the "probabilistic revolution", in the 1970s, new government tools have progressively imposed themselves, originating a deep recomposition of the governmental practices. His work has most often been carried out in domains related to regional development: economic development, transport, social housing, sustainable construction. (

Conference 2: Could sociology of quantification offer new perspectives on financialization of cities? A first research fieldwork on Lyon’s Metropolis Developers
May 16 (9h00 - 9h45), Fabrice Bardet (Universidade de Lyon – França)


Conference 2 - May 16, 9h00 - 9h45

Manuel B. Aalbers
The coordinator of the Real Estate/Financial Complex research project. He is trained as a human geographer, sociologist and urban planner and is currently associate professor of Social and Economic Geography at KU Leuven / University of Leuven (Belgium). Previously, Manuel held positions at the University of Amsterdam and Columbia University (New York) and was a guest researcher at New York University, City University New York, the University of Milan-Bicocca and at the University of Urbino (Italy).

His main research interest is in the intersection of real estate (including housing), finance and states. Manuel has published on redlining, social and financial exclusion, neighbourhood change (including decline and gentrification), the privatization of social housing and the Anglophone hegemony in academia. He is the author of Place, Exclusion, and Mortgage Markets (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011) and The Financialization of Housing (Routledge, 2016) as well as the editor of Subprime Cities: The Political Economy of Mortgage Markets (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012). He is also the associate editor of the Encyclopedia of Urban Studies (Sage, 2010) and of geography journal TESG. He is also on the board of the journals Urban Studies, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Belgeo and Geografie. (

Conference 3: Governing urban development in the Low Countries: From managerialism to entrepreneurialism and financialization
May 16 (17h00 - 18h00), Manuel Aalbers (Universidade de Leuven – Bélgica)