Date and location

  •   November 23, 2012 - November 23, 2012
  •   Holiday Inn, Bloomsbury, London

Conference details

One of the major impacts of the current economic crisis is the way it is deepening territorial inequalities at a time when the scope for public intervention to tackle inequality is being diminished as a result of widespread austerity measures. These developments pose many challenges for the analysis and management of territorial development strategies, particularly at the scale of cities and regions. Some of the many challenges centre on which regions and industries will suffer and which will show greater capacity to adapt and thrive in an uncertain political and economic environment.

How will extant (and classic) forms of urban and regional development policy be affected? Will the current crises expose the failures of these policies or demonstrate their strengths? What alternative models of territorial development are there? Should any of these alternative models be considered, that is, are they likely to redress some of the structural inequalities reinforced in the current context? To address these issues future research is needed interpreting regional inequality trends, combined with an analysis of their impact in particular places. This should take into account both macro-processes and local dynamics as this will be crucial in deepening our understandings of how an international financial crisis and the politics of ‘expansionary austerity’ affect the prospects of cities and regions. We also need to evaluate the opportunities and challenges ahead, reflect on the usefulness of previous approaches, and explore the potential of alternative territorial development strategies. In vogue concepts such as ‘city regions’ and ‘creative places’ need to be re-evaluated while emerging notions of ‘shrinking cities’ and ‘smart specialization’ must be carefully evaluated. Equally, the notion of managing decline, botboth economic and environmental, is likely to become more relevant as opportunities for significant public investment are reduced.

Conference Organisers

Academic Organisers:

RSA Organiser:

Elizabeth Mitchell: elizabeth.mitchell@regionalstudies.org

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How to get there

Holiday Inn, Bloomsbury, London