2021 Regions in Recovery Special Sessions
As part of the 2021 Regions in Recovery E-Festival, we welcome proposals for Special Sessions. Special Sessions are a great way to bring together presenters to discuss and highlight a particular topic and to develop or further extend your network.
If you would like to submit a Special Session proposal please download the template here and email directly to Lesa Reynolds. Deadline for submission of special sessions proposals is 27th January 2021.
Click here to submit an abstract to one of the special sessions, please choose the session from the Gateway Theme during the submission process. Abstract submission deadline – 17th March 2021.
Session organisers: Karel Van den Berghe, Aksel Ersoy, Marcin Dabrowski and Ellen Van Bueren, Delft University of Technology, TheNetherlands; Frank van Oort, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Joanna Williams, University College London, UK
This open-paper session is part of a series of sessions focussing on the Circular Economy (CE). The CE poses an increasing challenge for spatial researchers, from analysing (what, where), monitoring (performance) to pro-actively policy-making (cf. EU Green Deal and many national policy programs). This session invites papers that focus in particular on the role of space in the transition towards the CE. It is presumed that in the CE locations and geography will play a more crucial role. Already today we see that in many research papers and policy documents the focus is shifting away from global flows to regional and local flows of materials and products, in order to extend the life-cycle of products and reduce waste generation and consumption of resources. Regions and cities play a key role in this transition towards CE, and already today we see that at those scales the majority of circular innovations emerge. It also in regions and cities that action can best be taken to explore the flows of materials and propose new policies and strategies to close material loops and connect the relevant industrial, institutional and social stakeholders. Nevertheless, the vast majority of CE innovations focusses on Recycling, and fail to have higher impact that deal with Repair, Reuse, Reduce and Rethink. An explanation that circular innovations have difficulties to achieve higher impact, is that the technical aspects dominate innovation, without connecting these to socioeconomic, spatial and institutional aspects, which are especially relevant for higher R-level innovations. In particular, it is not fully understood what constrains or enables the type and impact of innovations to develop in and beyond particular places. Therefore, this session invites contributions that use space as a lens to study CE and contribute to debates on circularity. We welcome empirical, conceptual as theoretical papers. Topics include (but are not limited to): – the mobility of labour and knowledge (cf. circular skills, circular jobs);- circular economy as driver for industrial policy; – (critical) reflections on (circularity) discourses (from green to circular washing?); – the role of circular economy for regional policy and competitiveness; – emergence of circular economy clusters; – material and/or non-material network analyses on circular economy activities in regions and cities; – spatial needs and consequences of a transition to circular economy; – the challenges of transitioning towards circular economy; – planning approaches and tools for circular transitions; – the (ontological) positioning of nature versus/and society; – the (mis)match between (economic, institutional, cultural, social) scales (e.g. local vs global processes). – The role of human behaviour in the (non)success of CE innovations
Session organisers: Marcin Dabrowski, Karel Van den Berghe, Aksel Ersoy, Ellen Van Bueren, Delft University of Technology, TheNetherlands and Frank van Oort, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
This open-paper session is part of a series of sessions focussing on the Circular Economy (CE). CE has rapidly emerged as a priority on the agendas and strategies of cities around the world and is a central tenet in the European Green Deal. However, the concept remains ill-defined and there is a gap in knowledge on how cities can facilitate a CE transition that is just and inclusive and what this entails. Current policies and research overlook three critical, but interconnected aspects of CE transitions (1) First, CE is seldom considered from a territorial perspective. This is problematic not only because we may overlook potentials for harnessing CE to improve spatial quality and design more sustainable and liveable cities, but also because the transition away from linear economy entails complex spatial challenges which cannot be ignored (see e.g. Williams, 2019). For instance, circular processes require preserving industrial spaces for recycling or remanufacturing with appropriate buffer zones, which goes against the current plans in many cities for redevelopment of industrial areas into mixed-use areas. (2) The second neglected aspect of urban CE transitions is social. Thus, we need to explore (a) who and which spaces are affected by the negative externalities of circular activities (e.g. noise, odours, decline of certain industries); and (b) how to use the new opportunities stemming from CE transition to improve the quality of life, improve life chances and social cohesion, create jobs, bring back (re)manufacturing to cities, revalorise industrial skills, and promote social reinsertion of the marginalised social groups from deprived urban areas (see Moreau et al., 2017; Croxford et al., 2020). (3) Third, to develop place-sensitive CE strategies and harness their potential to produce positive spatial social change, we need to rethink the current governance of territory and spatial planning practices towards more open, inclusive and adaptive decision-making. Given the complexity and novelty of CE, the conflicting pressures on land development and the path dependencies related to linear economy, this is a tremendous challenge (see Marin & De Meulder, 2018; Obersteg et al., 2019). We lack templates and insight into how to overcome these governance problems and how to harness the potential of co-creative approaches to achieve this. Against this background, the session will explore the spatial, social and governance tensions that urban and regional circular strategies bring. This session invites contributions that explore these tensions. We welcome empirical, conceptual as theoretical papers. Topics include (but are not limited to): Conceptual and theoretical perspectives on the nexus between CE, spatial development and governance; Spatial planning and CE; The spatial conflicts that closing material loops and shifting towards circular industries entail; Towards circular built environment; Geographies of material flows; Citizen engagement in regional and urban CE strategies; Circular jobs and circular skills; Governance of regional and urban circular economy policies; CE transition management; The potentials of CE to foster social inclusion; Synergies between CE and urban regeneration; CE in cities and regions in the Global South; Path dependencies in shifting towards CE; Citizen attitudes towards circular economy, negative externalities and NIMBYism.
Session Organisers: Ben Derudder, KU Leuven, Belgium; John Harrison and Michael Hoyler, Loughborough University, UK; Xingjian Liu, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; Evert Meijers, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Freke Caset, Ghent University, Belgium
Bindong Sun, East China Normal University, China
Mark Pendras, University of Washington, United States
The ‘polycentric urban region’ (PUR) has become a key concept in regional studies, both as an analytical framework to capture empirical realities as well as part of normative visions and goals in regional development policies. In its most basic guise, the PUR notion applies to regions characterised by the presence of multiple, more-or-less proximate urban centres without pronounced hierarchical differentiation between those centres. Given the increased conceptual, empirical and policy relevance of PURs, in 2017 the Regional Studies Association (RSA) (co)funded a research network dedicated to enhancing our understanding of the prevalence, significance, and future development of PURs. In this session, we synthesise and reflect on the major insights emerging from the different events and publications associated with the research network, and use this as a starting point to present a future research agenda on PURs and implications for policy-making. The session consists of an extended presentation by the research network coordinators, followed by a series of invited responses from established and early-career scholars working in the field, thereby leaving ample room for critical and constructive discussion with the audience. The purpose of this session is thus to develop both a timely overview of the present state of PUR knowledge in the broadest possible sense (looking back) and developing a critical agenda for further work in this area (looking forward).
Session Organisers: Vasilis Avdikos, Panteion University, Greece; Ilaria Mariotti, DAStu-Politecnico di Milano, Italy; Suntje Schmidt, Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS), Germany; Ignasi Capdevila, Paris School of Business, France; Thilo Lang, Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL), Germany; Pavel Bednar, Tomas Bata University in Zlín, Czech Republic
Collaborative workspaces (hereafter CWS), such as coworking spaces, fab labs, creative hubs etc., for freelancers, self-employed, remote workers and start-ups are increasingly gaining attention of local and regional economic development strategies and policies as they are considered important intermediaries that help deliver entrepreneurial growth and local innovation agendas (Babb et al., 2018; Capdevila, 2015; Mariotti et al., 2017; Di Marino & Lapintie, 2018). Based on Deskmag (2019) we have witnessed an upsurge of CWS (600 CWS in 2010 – 18700 in 2018) with 1.65 million CWS users worldwide. CWS promote novel working practises with a collaborative, community-based approach to independent work such as freelance or self-employment, mainly in the field of cultural, digital, and creative industries (Cappelli & Keller, 2013). Whereas the vast majority of CWS are located in urban agglomerations, we recently observed the gradual spread of CWS in less densely populated cities, towns and villages in rural and even peripheral regions across the EU (Avdikos and Merkel, 2020, Fuzi, 2015). It seems that CWS may contribute to solving very specific socio-demographic challenges in these regions, such as brain drain, low investments level, low entrepreneurship level etc. Compared to urban CWS, rural CWS thereby differ in terms of scopes, functions and impacts. However, a systematic comparison between urban and rural CWS is still lacking and there is yet no clear evidence about their functions, their impacts and the ways that policymaking may (or should) promote a rural CWS wave and assist in linking the development of CWS with processes of local socio-economic development. In fact, that policy link is much needed for those disadvantaged places (Rodriguez-Pose, 2019), as only a few EU policies (e.g. Interreg) have assisted, in a fragmented way, the development of CWS in peripheral and rural areas. We are inviting contributions that deal with the exploration of the multiple ways that CWS function in rural areas and peripheral towns and regions, e.g.: – Distribution and character of collaborative workspaces in rural and/ or peripheral regions – Contributions of CWS to regional and local learning, creative, social or economic innovation or entrepreneurial processes -Gender dynamics Functions of CWS in local and regional markets – Role of CWS in local and translocal entrepreneurial ecosystems -Potential contribution of CWS to sustainable regional development and relevant public policies. The session is supported by the Marie Sklodowska Curie-Innovative Training Network CORAL: Exploring the impacts of collaborative workspaces in rural and peripheral areas in the EU (www.coral-itn.eu) and the COST Action CA18214 “The Geography of New Working Spaces and the Impact on the Periphery” (www.nmbu.no/en/projects/new-working-spaces)
Joanna Williams and Marjan Marjanovic, University College London, UK; Joerg Knieling, Hafencity University, Germany
This closed-paper session is the plenary session for a series of sessions focussing on the Circular Economy (CE). With cities striving to meet sustainability criteria, the circular economy (CE) approach is gaining momentum at the local scale. Especially in Europe, cities have adopted measures and strategies to implement circular development in fields ranging from infrastructure to urban planning, social consumption, industry and business. National governments such as those in the Netherlands and France, as well as the European Union support these local efforts. In the Covid-19 context, many cities are turning to circular development in an effort to formulate long-term recovery strategies that are in alignment with their sustainability and climate goals. In this session we will explore how taking a circular approach to development in city regions might help to address the problems highlighted by the pandemic (health, economy, social disparities, labour markets, housing, food security). We also explore how a circular approach to development might help to support the sustainable practices which have emerged during the pandemic ( e.g. home-working, active transport, growing food) or counter unsustainable practices ( increased car use and reduced recycling). The session will highlight how taking a circular approach to development is likely to impact on land-use and the way in which we plan our city-regions in the future. Speakers include: ; Jo Williams UCL, UK; Luigi Fusco-Girard, University of Naples, Italy; Joerg Kneiling, Hafencity University, Germany; Ellen van Beuren, TU Delft, Netherlands; Francesco Fuso Nerini KTH Stockholm, Sweden TBC; Eva Garcia Chueca, Barcelona Centre for International Affairs, Spain TBC, Elena Magrini, Centre for Cities TBC