Special Sessions - Winter 2016

New Pressures on Cities and Regions

Managing change in your local economy: have your views heard

Session organiser(s)

Andrew Beer, University of South Australia Business School

This meeting is part of an international research study looking at the ways in which key individuals and businesses at the local or regional level are involved in managing the processes of change in the economy.   Regions such as northern Adelaide are undergoing a substantial shift, with more change expected as production at Holden ends in 2017. This change will have knock on effects for other businesses, the community sector, the labour market and probably consumer confidence.  So what do business and community leaders do in response to these challenges?  How involved are you in driving this process of change, and what would you do if you had the capacity to reshape the economy?

This meeting covers these sorts of questions and looks at two scenarios: what happens when a large new business announces that it wants to enter your region, and what happens when they announce their closure.   We will discuss both possibilities, with the results written down and then included in the research.

The other nations participating in this study are Finland, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and the USA.  Our results will be compared with the outcomes from these places.  Once the project is finished, the results will be available on the web, or we can send them to you in hard copy or via email.  

Submission guidelines

For more information: call Andrew Beer on 0409 696 485 or contact him on email on andrew.beer@unisa.edu.au

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Interpreting long-term urban economic transformation in cities

Session organiser(s)

Ron Martin, University of Cambridge

More information to follow. 

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The Political Economy of Brexit

Session organiser(s)

Leslie Budd, The Open University Business School

The vote to leave the EU is a pivotal moment in British history. It is potentially the biggest political blunder of our time, most likely to plunge the UK’s fragile economic recovery back into recession (or even stagflation0  over the medium term. The potential impact flows beyond the UK’s shores in regard to its other neighbouring other European nations and regions. In the aftermath of the Referendum the British Prime Minister stated that "Brexit means Brexit".  What form and what duration this process will take is in the realm of unknown unknowns  (as Donald Rumsfeld famously said). What we do know is that in brokering a post-Brexit United Kingdom settlement, a brake may be applied to the socio-economic trajectory and development of a number of the devolved nations and regions. In the case of the former, there is a special case given their different socio-economic capacities and capabilities as well as their constitutional construction. In many of these territories their economic performance has not yet returned to Global Financial Crisis (GFC) levels. The combination of Great Unravelling of the global economy and the Great Uncoupling of Brexit compounds these consequences

.           The purpose of this workshop is discuss and examine a number of issues that underlay the challenges set out above. These include:

How is this likely to impact our already weak manufacturing industries?
How will the withdrawal of EU funding for regional development impact on growth and future economic development outside of London and the Southeast?
What is the likely impact on wages and labour regulations?
How are relations with our closest EU neighbours likely to develop, critically for Northern Ireland with Ireland and with the biggest economic player, Germany?
Finally, whither the EU? How will it fare without one of the largest economy within the Union? Whether in or out, the EU’s stability and growth are inextricably linked to those of the UK.

This workshop is an open discussion forum that begins with the reflections of a number of expert colleagues in order to establish the lines of discussions. The other participants are then encouraged to contribute their own expertise, experience and reflections. At the end of the session a briefing note will be written up in order to share the discussion more widely with the RSA membership

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External and Internal Displacement: Impacts and Lessons Learned from Resettlement Processes

Session organiser(s)

Dr. Yehya Serag, associate professor of urban and regional planning (Ain Shams University- Cairo) and Dr. Abeer Elshater, associate professor of urban design (Ain Shams University – Cairo)

This spatial session aims to provide a review of the resettlement processes and programs on the mass displacement of people throughout the contemporary era. Worldwide, this review can give a solid ground for further innovations for this kind of crises in terms of a better life for all; the hosted and comer. The primary focus is on both displaced people whether they are internally displaced persons (IDPs) or externally displaced persons (refugees) and their impacts on the host territory of displacement. The internally displaced persons, on one hand, have not crossed an international boundary, but have, for whatever reason, fled their homes, causing internal demographic flows. On the other hand, different nations witnessed (and are witnessing) several flows of refugees. Both types of flows have their impacts on the host communities that they end up settling, affecting, for example, their socio-economic aspects, their built environment and reshaping of Human settlements, to mention a few.

Most refugees (58%) now live in cities, not in refugee camps. In cities, refugees face hard conditions and often have their basic rights denied. It is extremely challenging to support refugees in urban settings. As such, one of the aims of this session is to attempt to give a precise morphological analysis and define the process and scenarios of settled accommodation in the host communities. In most resettlement cases, several interventions are made by the host countries as well as International organizations, to provide direct aid for the displaced persons, but of course, such interventions might have their positive and negative impacts of the host communities.

This session aims to start a process of knowledge sharing on how the crises of displacement was and is dealt with, by the host communities and what are the impacts, benefits, and disadvantages of the resettlement processes. Our aim is to invite speakers from Europe and the Middle East to share their experiences and studies on the resettlement process, from its different aspects. This should be done while, taking into consideration that Europe is currently witnessing a flux of refugees as a result of the Syrian unrest. Simultaneously, some Middle Eastern countries (mainly Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon) witnessed and are witnessing several flows of both types of displaced people as a result of regional wars, domestic unrest, and large-scale development projects. Meeting resettlement demands have been dealt with previously in several cases in these countries, thus having a proper experience for dealing with such demands.

The intended outcomes of this session are to collect contributions in various fields such as urban planning and housing approaches and practice, heterodox concepts highlighting local and social economies indicators, strategies of displacement, and others to enhance our knowledge in the following topical areas (and possibly others):

The socio-economic pressures that face the host countries to participate in the resettlements of refugees, and IDPs in their territories.
The socio-economic impacts of the displaced people in the host communities and human settlements.
The physical impact of the resettlement on the built environment and housing sector.
The impact of resettlement on the services sector in the host communities.
The assessment of what the gender-related impacts of resettlement have been.
The role of international aid organizations in the resettlement initiatives
Types of internal displacement, their causes, and their impacts.

Submission guidelines

We welcome both theoretical and empirical papers to this theme. If you are interested in participating in this special session, please send a title and abstract (between 400 and 500 words) to:

Dr. Yehya Serag, associate professor of urban and regional planning (Ain Shams University- Cairo): yehya_serag@eng.asu.edu.eg

Dr. Abeer Elshater, associate professor of urban design  (Ain Shams University-Cairo): abeer.elshater@eng.asu.edu.eg

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Book Panel - Local and Regional Development, 2nd Edition

Session organiser(s)

Speakers: Jamie Peck (UBC); Fulong Wu (UCL); Mia Gray (Cambridge) and Chris McDonald (OECD).

Local and Regional Development by Andy Pike, Andrés Rodríguez-Pose and John Tomaney is a widely cited text that addresses key themes of interest to RSA members. A new expanded, updated and revised edition of the book has just been published. The book examines how actors and institutions in localities and regions across the world are seeking prosperity and well-being amidst tumultuous and disruptive shifts and transitions generated by: an increasingly globalised, knowledge-intensive capitalism; global financial instability, volatility and crisis; concerns about economic, social and ecological sustainability, climate change and resource shortages; new multi-actor and multi-level systems of government and governance and a re-ordering of the international political economy; state austerity and retrenchment; and, new and reformed approaches to intervention, policy and institutions for local and regional development. The book provides an accessible, critical and integrated examination of local and regional development theory, institutions and policy in this changing context. Amidst its rising importance, the book addresses the fundamental issues of ‘what kind of local and regional development and for whom?’, its purposes, principles and values, frameworks of understanding, approaches and interventions, and integrated approaches to local and regional development throughout the world. The approach provides a theoretically informed, critical analysis of contemporary local and regional development in an international and multi-disciplinary context, grounded in concrete empirical analysis from experiences in the global North and South. It concludes by identifying what might constitute holistic, inclusive, progressive and sustainable local and regional development, and reflecting upon its limits and political renewal.

Jamie Peck (UBC), Fulong Wu (UCL), Mia Gray (Cambridge) and Chris MacDonald (OECD) will discuss the book and its significance academic and policy debates.

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