Cities and Regions: Managing Growth and Change

Regional Studies Association 2nd North America Conference

Date and location

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Conference details

Abstract submission and registration deadline Sunday 28th February

If tweeting about this event use #RSAUSA2016

In the wake of the global financial crisis, cities have searched for new policies and practices capable of addressing major shifts in socio-economic relations at the urban and regional scale. These divergent and differentiated efforts have led to the intensification of underlying problems in some cities and a return to growth in others. 

Regional policies, particularly in the North American context, responded to economic challenges by adopting new technologies and new institutional and organizational forms to manage growth and change at the city scale.  The result is a complex and uneven landscape of public and private actors delivering financial services, scaling-up supply chains, coordinating firm networks, diffusing process and material innovations, and organizing new forms of civic representation and participation. 

This conference provides a platform for researchers to address the effects of these policy, organizational, and institutional innovations and their impact on work, identity, governance, production networks, infrastructure investments, technology diffusion, and ultimately place. The conference will focus on the policy implications of emerging forms of governance and policy delivery relative to uneven development and inequality in a post-crisis era of ongoing market liberalization, financialization, and global competition.

The inter-related processes of industrialization, urbanization, and regional and local development are complex.  These processes pose a major challenge for regional policy, firstly for our conceptualizations of regional and urban development and, secondly, for specifying appropriate policy-fixes to provide the conditions for sustainable, smart, and equitable economic growth.  

The 2016 RSA North America Conference, in the 51st Year of the Regional Studies Association, is an opportunity to discuss these issues, to chart future research imperatives, and to address concerns and challenges confronting policymakers and practitioners.  The conference organizers are keen to attract papers and sessions addressing a broad research and policy agenda, including contributions from disciplines that offer relevant insights associated with recasting our cities and regions.


Confirmed Plenary Speakers:

Professor Karen Chapple, University of California, Berkeley, USA

Professor Susan Christopherson, Cornell University, USA

Dr Dieter Kogler, University College Dublin, Ireland

Professor David Rigby, UCLA, USA


Conference Tracks and Themes:

A. Smart Cities, Smart Regions: connecting and connected regions, intersections of ICT and urban infrastructure, diffusion networks, partnership approaches, internet of things, financing city and regional development

B. Regional Innovation: Theory, Methods, Practice: urban and regional theories, methodology, value change (including big & open data), visualization, spatial economic analysis, metrics

C. Territory, Politics, Governance: metropolitan politics, institutions, regionalism, data-driven governance, policy evaluation, urban policy mobilities, intermediaries

D. Sustainable Cities and Regions: urban and regional sustainability at the city scale; risk; resilience; energy systems and sources; transportation networks

E. Emerging Community, Urban, and Regional Identities: culture, identity, citizenship, lived differences, racial and income inequalities, social capital, ageing and succession planning; social entrepreneurship; open government; civic hacking

F. Labor Markets in Cities and Regions: geographies of jobs; changing skills and patterns of work; reskilling regions and cities; local labor markets; immigration and skill; talent;  contract worker and precarious labor

G: Regional Economies: SMEs, Scale-Up, and the Future of Production Networks: smart specialization, evolutionary economic geography, competitiveness, reshoring and manufacturing, firm networks, sectoral policies and clusters, working regions, financialization and geographies of venture capital and private equity


Conference Fees:

The conference is open to RSA members and non-members. RSA members benefit from a lower registration fee. Non-members might wish to join the RSA to also benefit from the reduced conference fee and our membership benefits, to find out more about membership please click here.

RSA members rate £260 $400
Non members rate £320 $492

Proposal Submission Process:

Proposals will be considered by the Conference Programme Committee against the criteria of originality and interest, subject balance and geographical spread. Please submit your abstract of up to 400 words by Sunday 28th February 2016

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Conference organisers

Academic Organiser: Professor Jennifer Clark, The Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
RSA Organiser: Lesa Reynolds:

Related Documents

How to get there

Georgia Institute of Technology, Historic Academy of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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