2022 Regions in Recovery Special Sessions
As part of the 2022 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.
Click here to submit an abstract to one of the special sessions. Please choose the special session from the Gateway Theme during the submission process.
Extended abstract submission deadline: 31st January 2022
- Josiah C. Ogbuka, Institute of Maritime Studies, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Nigeria
- Dr. Emeka B. Ogbuene, Centre for Environmental Management and Control, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Nigeria
- Prof. Anastasia I. Ogbo, Department of Management, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Nigeria
- Dr. Helen Agu, Department of International and Comparative Law, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Nigeria
- Dr. Henry Okwor, Department of Managament, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Nigeria
- Dr. Paul Ezinna, Institute of Maritime Studies, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Nigeria
The main objective of this session is to create a network for researchers, scholars and policy makers to present regional, national or locally based topical issues and innovations that can support flexible and integrated approach to sustainable livelihood in this new pandemic era. Essentially, relevant topics or subjects around this theme will assist in understanding and working out strategic engagements in new opportunities and adaptive ways of pursuing sustainable means of livelihood as the pandemic era lasts.
- Roman Martin, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
- Marte C.W. Solheim, University of Stavanger, Norway
- Markku Sotarauta, Tampere University, Finland
- Anne Nygaard Tanner, Technical University of Denmark DTU, Denmark
Globalisation, climate change, resource depletion, and global health crises are placing major transformative pressures on regions, which need to continuously adapt their structures and functions to remain competitive. Regional industrial restructuring has become a central concern among researchers and policy makers interested in regional development. Regional industrial restructuring is usually seen as a process by which new firms spinoff from incumbents or existing firms diversify into new fields, relying on a re-combination of skills, knowledge and other assets accumulated in the past. While early theories have mostly considered firms and their knowledge assets, a vibrant academic debate has recently emerged around various drivers and mechanisms for new path development, including policy, change agency, public and private demand, institutional and innovative entrepreneurship, local and non-local knowledge linkages, and other types of firm- and system-level assets. Inspired by the resource based view of the firm the concept of dynamic capabilities, regional studies scholars argue that regional industrial restructuring is linked to the ability to integrate, build, and reconfigure firm-level and system-level assets. The main purpose of this special session is to advance our understanding of economic, social and environmental transformation of regions, by focussing on firm- and system-level assets and agency. We are interested in drivers, hinders, processes and mechanisms for regional industrial restructuring and new path development. We welcome theoretical contribution as well as empirical studies, especially, but not exclusively, from the Nordic territory. The special session has three main objectives: (1) to advance existing theories on regional industrial path development, with a particular focus on firm- and system-level assets and agency, (2) to introduce new methodological approaches to analyse and understand regional path development and structural change, and (3) to provide empirical evidence on drivers, hinders, processes and mechanisms for regional industrial restructuring in different geographical settings.
- Bryonny Goodwin-Hawkins, Countryside and Community Research Institute, UK
- Joanie Willett, University of Exeter, UK
- Rhiannon Pugh, Lund University, Sweden
The political and academic rediscovery of so-called ‘left-behind places’ and ‘geographies of discontent’ has ignited new interest in peripheral regions – or, at least, become the de rigueur reference for discussing unequal geographies (and what to do about them). Yet, as the quantitative flurry abates, both research and policy must look beyond headline narratives that collapse the complex diversities of the myriad places that are ‘non-core’, or on the ‘edge’ of core activities, including but not limited to rural, semi-rural, post-industrial, de-populating and sparsely populated areas. That too many places have not mattered for too long calls for new ways of reckoning with peripherality.
This session shapes critical conversations from among a growing community of researchers who are working to reinvigorate the study of peripherality within (and beyond) regional studies. Together, we take up two key tasks. First, we debate emerging theorisations of peripheral places and peripheralising processes that reveal, problematise and challenge the social, spatial, economic, environmental, and temporal inter-relationships that impact on how peripheries are imagined. Second, we recognise that fresh theory demands an accompanying methodological toolkit, and showcase innovative applications of qualitative and mixed methods approaches to understanding peripheries.
We welcome papers that share the ethos of the session, and that critically engage with questions of peripherality, broadly conceived. Potential topics might include:
- Types of peripherality (e.g. rural, remote, post-industrial, topological, peripheries-within-cores).
- Reinterpreting the relationships between cores and peripheries.
- Peripheries as spaces of flow and adaptive assemblages.
- The role of relational networks beyond the region and interconnections with national and global economies.
- Disciplinary perspectives on peripherality (e.g. economic geography, rural sociology).
- Peripherality in territorial policy.
- Local economic futures and territorial well-being in peripheral places.
- Avoiding the ‘resource curse’ for sustainable pathways in natural capital rich peripheries.
- Moritz Breul, Institute of Geography, University of Cologne, Germany
- Robert Hassink, Institute of Geography, University of Kiel, Germany
- Arne Isaksen, Department of Working Life and Innovation, University of Agder, Norway
- Michaela Trippl, Department of Geography and Regional Research, University of Vienna, Austria
Driven by climate change concerns, we are witnessing various actions and policies across the world that are targeting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and decrease the environmental impact of economic activities in general. While many of these are enacted at national or supranational levels (e.g. Paris agreement, lignite phase-out in Germany, etc.), the resulting consequences and dynamics especially unfold on a regional scale and confront regions with great challenges as well as new opportunities to restructure economies towards zero carbon. The emerging literature on smart specialization for sustainability (McCann & Soete 2020) and challenge-oriented regional innovation systems (Tödtling et al. 2021) suggests that regional policy strategies could play an important role in supporting such transitions Fossil energy producing regions need to design transition strategies for a time after the cessation of their often dominant industrial path; regions specialized in mature ‘dirty’ industries (e.g. energy-intensive industries, automotive industries, etc.) face the challenge to renew these existing mature paths towards ‘greener’ products and modes of production (e.g. Baumgartinger-Seiringer 2021; Coenen et al. 2015); and yet other regions aim to use this window of opportunity and spearhead efforts for a decarbonizing world by developing new green industries (e.g. hydrogen clusters, battery production, etc.). In short, there is an increasing emphasis in different kind of regions across the world on developing new green industries and ‘greening’ mature ones (Grillitsch & Hansen 2019; Steen et al. 2018; Trippl et al. 2020). Research in regional studies and economic geography is well equipped through its longstanding interest in and conceptualizations of regional industrial dynamics to increase our knowledge on (lacking) green restructuring processes in different regional contexts as well as related socioeconomic consequences. Concepts such as regional lock-ins, path-dependent diversification processes as well as new path development with its several recent advancements incorporating building blocks like agency, inter-path relations, extra-regional resources and multi-actor settings provide helpful perspectives to analyze how and why different regions differ in their ability to undergo green restructuring processes (e.g. Binz et al. 2016; Breul et al. 2015; Fornahl et al. 2012; Grillitsch & Hansen 2019; Trippl et al. 2020; Sotarauta et al. 2021). This session invites papers/presentations that contribute empirically and/or conceptually to our understanding of regional industrial dynamics in a decarbonizing world. In particular, we welcome submissions that deal with, but are not necessarily constrained to the following topics:
- How does green restructuring (i.e. the development of new green paths and the greening of existing industrial paths) take place in regions?
- How and why do regions differ in their ability to undergo green restructuring processes?
- How and by whom are enabling inter-path relations mobilized and conflicting inter-path relations overcome in order to successfully develop green industrial paths?
- To what extent can path-dependent processes, as suggested by Evolutionary Economic Geography conceptualizations, explain transition processes towards decarbonized regional economies?
- The role of incumbents/regime-actors in regional transitions: change agency vs. maintenance agency;
- Through which policies can green industrial path development be promoted?
- How are regional transformation strategies designed and implemented? And which factors of the policy-making process influence their transformative power?
- What can we learn from the relationship between extractive industries and regional diversification for the reorientation of fossil energy mining areas?
- How does green path developments affect other parts of the regional economy (i.e. path reformation processes)?
- Regional economic and social consequences of the exit or decline of ‘dirty’ industrial paths and the emergence of new green paths;
- Dark and bright sides of integration into ‘green’ global production networks;
- The role of extra-regional linkages for greening economies in different types of regions (e.g. clean development mechanisms, foreign direct investment, global knowledge networks, development aid);
- Changing geographies of energy-producing and energy-intensive industries.
- Nicola Pontarollo, University of Brescia, Italy
- Maria Laura Parisi, University of Brescia, Italy
- Carolina Foglia, University of Perugia, Italy
Population ageing brings a worldwide challenge that is questioning both social and economic developments. New approaches towards turning this challenge into an opportunity are enclosed within the silver economy – an environment in which the over-60 engage in healthy, active and productive lives, participate in society, and help drive the marketplace as consumers. As a consequence, this has a crucial impact on public finances. Moreover, the combination of ageing population and gender inequality give rise to social and economic disparities for future elderly women. The purpose of this session is to explore innovative quantitative and-or theoretical approaches that will suggest to policymakers which steps are required to capture the opportunities of longevity across different sectors and activities. Original contributions exploring the regional and urban dimensions of the silver economy adopting a broad focus or examining selected case studies are welcome.
- Karel van den Berghe, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
- Marcin Dąbrowski, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
- Joanna Williams, University College London, United Kingdom
- Wendy Wuyts, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Circular economy (CE), a new sustainability paradigm pushing us beyond the take-make-waste approach of resource consumption towards one in which waste is ‘designed out’ and material cycles are closed and value of products and materials is maintained over time, proclaims that economies and societies function within ‘planetary boundaries’. While becoming a goal of many supranational, national, regional and urban policies and strategies, CE still goes largely under the radar of regional and urban studies scholars, a gap that we strive to bridge in this session. CE involves actions to Rethink business models and value chains, Reduce waste generation, promote Re-use of materials, Repair and Refurbishment of products, devices or buildings, and Recycling. Mainstreaming those activities requires deep changes in the way in economic activities relate to one another to promote those R-activities and in management of waste and resources, but also such a transition entails many spatial and social implications, which are often overlooked. By the same token, the potential of the CE transitions to valorise industrial skills and breathe new life to the currently neglected (or gentrifying) industrial areas, create jobs for vulnerable social groups, promote community involvement, and make our cities more resilient and vibrant. While heralded as a new approach, CE actually builds on practices of reuse or upcycling that have been around for a long time, but have been forgotten or side-tracked in our consumer lifestyles, at least in the developed economies. In sum, CE creates a huge potential for driving transitions towards sustainability, by connecting different agendas, from cutting carbon emissions, promoting social cohesion, civic engagement and foundational economy, regenerative approaches to urban development, to place-branding and regeneration of neglected urban and industrial areas, and by connecting a diversity of stakeholders across sectoral and administrative boundaries. Many cities and regions start seizing the opportunities that CE brings, and yet most of them remain at the beginnings of the journey towards circularity. Exploiting the potentials brought by CE transitions brings to the fore several puzzles, for instance:
- What are the spatial conditions under which CE can flourish?
- How to harness the CE’s potential to promote social cohesion and help reduce socio-spatial inequality within regions and cities?
- What are the implications of ‘going circular’ for the global economic connectedness of regions and cities?
- What is the potential for learning from the everyday circular practices in developing countries to inform CE strategies for cities and regions?
- How to assess progress of CE transitions?
- How can we develop awareness of the benefits of CE among stakeholders and incentivise both the companies and the consumers to choose circular products and services?
- How can we minimise the risk of ‘circular washing’ (cf. green washing) with proliferation of practices, projects and urban or regional strategies that brandish the CE banner while perpetuating unsustainable practices?
We invite conference presentations addressing some of the above questions from a critical angle and from diverse disciplinary perspectives, from economic or human geography, urban studies, urbanism, sociology, to spatial planning and political science.
- Kazi Fattah, The University of Melbourne, Australia
- Redento B. Recio, The University of Melbourne, Australia
- Iderlina Mateo-Babiano, The University of Melbourne, Australia
- Michele Acuto, The University of Melbourne, Australia
Most cities in the South and Southeast Asia regions have experienced severe impacts of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Particularly, the large megacities in these two regions were most heavily affected. In response to this, various policy measures and pandemic recovery plans have been put in place at the state and metropolitan levels to tackle the pandemic. Evidence already indicates critical governance gaps in pandemic management, characterised by exclusionary politics of public health risk mitigation and ad-hoc policy responses that were unresponsive to work and welfare needs of the urban poor. For example, evidence suggests that in Dhaka city, ill-planned lockdowns pushed migrant workers out of the city resulting not only their loss of livelihoods and increased vulnerability but also led to further transmission of the virus from the city to smaller towns and even in the rural areas.
This open special session invites empirical, methodological and policy analyses that address any of the following topics in the context of South and Southeast Asian megacities:
- Critical examination of the effectiveness, impact, and gaps in terms of how well state and metropolitan level policy measures and pandemic recovery plans were (or were not) able to address the needs of the urban poor, especially the informal/migrant workers.
- Missed, existing or contrasting links of policy lessons between the academia and the actual policymakers.
- Critical lessons from bottom-up grassroots responses that can inform inclusive pandemic interventions and post-pandemic recovery strategies.
- Policy lessons and recommendations in mitigating the Covid-19 pandemic that can contribute to building more inclusive and resilient cities in the South and Southeast Asia regions.
We encourage submissions focused on the megacities Dhaka, Hyderabad, Karachi, Jakarta and Manila in particular but will also welcome papers that address the above mentioned topics in the context of any megacities in the South and Southeast Asia region that were severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Depending on the number of submissions we receive, we aim to run two concurrent sessions. A number of papers might also be invited to be included in an edited collaborative book project or a journal special issue to be published sometime in 2022/2023.
This session is being organised by the Melbourne Centre for Cities and the Informal Urbanism Research Hub at the University of Melbourne as part of a 2021 RSA Policy Expo project titled ‘Tackling a global pandemic in Asian megacities: Uneven vulnerabilities, state responses and grassroots practices’ which is led by the University of Melbourne in partnership with academic research institutions in five South and Southeast Asian megacities.
- Nadir Kinossian, Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Germany
- Erika Nagy, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungary
- Linda Stihl, Lund University, Sweden
- Vladan Hruska, Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem, Czechia
Local agency has attracted growing interest in the current debates in economic geography, regional development, and planning policy. However, there are gaps in our understanding of agency and its function, structure, capacity to act, and performance within various spatial and institutional contexts. This is particularly true for non-metropolitan regions and places that often have weak institutional capacity, suffer from outdated skills and economic specialisations, and are in a weak position to establish a new development path to prosperity. We conceptualise local agency as diverse in terms of the form, purpose, its holders and their capacity to act (Grillitsch and Sotarauta 2020; Jolly et al. 2020). The power of local actors to shape regional development depends on their own capabilities and networks, as well as the legitimacy and mandates they have within specific institutional architectures (Nagy et al. 2021). We treat agency as formed by human actors (both individuals and groups) who are locally present and at the same time, embedded in broader institutional environments and practices, and regional and extra-regional networks. We assume that although non-metropolitan regions and places have similar structural conditions and challenges, they differ substantially in their institutional and agentic qualities and their capacity to identify, create, and grasp development opportunities emerging beyond urban centres. This special session aims to facilitate discussion on local agency, including conceptual, methodological, and empirical aspects with predominant focus on localities and regions characterised by relative peripherality and legacies of industrial specialisations.
Possible topics include the following:
- Theoretical and conceptual foundations of local agency, including regional development and governance, policy, evolutionary economic geography, economic and social rebounding, well-being, sustainability, leadership and organisation literature.
- Local agency within broader political-institutional environments, including uneven relationship of power, multi-level governance, and other conditions fostering or constraining local agency.
- Threats (and responses to) associated with political centralisation and more assertive role of the central state in development policy, fiscal regimes, and public administration reform.
- Multi-scalar embeddedness of local agents in local and regional economies and communities as well as global production networks.
- Analysis of the role of agency in the creation of new development paths in the context of non-metropolitan and peripheralized regions.
- The interplay of spatial narratives, imaginaries, and policies and their implications for the formation of new development paths.
- Emerging conflicts, dependencies, vulnerabilities, and unintended consequences associated with new development paths. Policies and governance mechanisms designed to deal with such conflicts.
- Policies focused on local agency and its contribution to new path development, economic and social rebounding after crisis situations, and strengthening long-term stability and cohesion of the EU.
Grillitsch M., and Sotarauta M (2020) Trinity of Change Agency, Regional Development Paths and Opportunity Spaces. Progress in Human Geography 44 (4): 704–723. https://doi.org/10.1177/0309132519853870
Jolly S, Grillitsch M and Hansen T (2020) Agency and actors in regional industrial path development. A framework and longitudinal analysis, Geoforum 111: 176-188, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2020.02.013
Nagy E, Gajzágó G, Mihály M, Molnárc E (2021) Crisis, institutional change and peripheral industrialization: Municipal-central state relations and changing dependencies in three old industrial towns of Hungary. Applied Geography 136, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2021.102576
- Carolina Castaldi, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
- Dan Breznitz, University of Toronto, Canada
- Beatrice D’Ippolito, University of York, UK
- Neil Lee, London School of Economics, UK
This session will discuss how theoretical, empirical and policy narratives around innovation success could be broadened to account for more models of innovative clusters than the high-tech model only. The four talks will speak to the increasing discontent about the Silicon Valley model of innovation cluster and highlight opportunities for research and policymaking inspired by alternative models of innovation. Some of the questions that the session will tackle will be: how can theory and policy better recognize and value innovation specializations along the whole innovation process? Are regions focusing on innovative specializations beyond high-tech experiencing less inequality and more prosperity? What are new innovation metrics that can help track more types of regional innovation specializations?
Speakers will include Dan Breznitz, author of the book “Innovation in Real Places”, Carolina Castaldi, recipient of the MeRSA grant on “Soft Innovation: Towards new narratives on regional capabilities and policies”, Beatrice D’Ippolito, expert on design, innovation and regional development and Neil Lee, reporting on insights from the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre of NESTA.
- Vasilis Avdikos, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Greece
- Suntje Schmidt, Leibniz Institute Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS), Germany
- Ilaria Mariotti, DAStu-Politecnico di Milano, Italy
- Thilo Lang, Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL), Germany
- Ignasi Capdevila, Paris School of Business, France
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.: – What are the functions of CWS in rural/peripheral areas in comparison with those in urban agglomerations? – How do CWS interact with their local socio-economic environment? – How are CWS in rural areas embedded in translocal networks of CWS? -How do they contribute to regional and local learning, creative, social or economic innovation or entrepreneurial processes -How do CWS function in local and regional markets? – What are the public policies that support the development of CWS in small and medium cities and towns? 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)
 Babb, C., Curtis, C., & McLeod, S. (2018). The Rise of Shared Work Spaces: A Disruption to Urban Planning Policy? Urban Policy and Research, 36(4), 496-512. doi:10.1080/08111146.2018.1476230, Capdevila, I. (2015). Co-working spaces and the localised dynamics of innovation in Barcelona. International Journal of Innovation Management, 19(03), 1540004.,Mariotti I., Pacchi C. Di Vita S. (2017), Coworking Spaces in Milan: ICTs, Proximity, and Urban Effects, The Journal of Urban Technology, 24 (3): 47-66, DOI: 10.1080/10630732.2017.1311556; Di Marino, M., & Lapintie, K. (2018). Exploring multi-local working: challenges and opportunities for contemporary cities. International Planning Studies, 1-21. doi:10.1080/13563475.2018.1528865
 Deskmag. (2019). 2019 COWORKING FORECAST.
 Cappelli, P., & Keller, J. (2013). Classifying Work in the New Economy. Academy of Management Review, 38(4), 575-596 doi:10.5465/amr.2011.0302
 Avdikos, V. and Merkel, J. (2020), Supporting open, shared and collaborative workspaces and hubs: Recent transformations and policy implications, Urban Research and Practice, DOI 10.1080/17535069.2019.1674501, Fuzi A., 2015, «Co-working spaces for promoting entrepreneurship in sparse regions: the case of South Wales». Regional Studies, Regional Science, 2(1): 462-469. Doi: 10.1080/21681376.2015.1072053.
 Rodríguez-Pose A. (2017), The revenge of the places that don’t matter (and what to do about it), Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 11 (1): 189-209.
- Donato Iacobucci, Centro di ricerca sull’Innovazione e l’Imprenditorialità, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Italy
- Roberta Ruggeri, Centro di ricerca sull’Innovazione e l’Imprenditorialità, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Italy
- Taina Tukiainen, Aalto University Business School, Finland
- Will Bartlett, Research on Southeastern Europe (LSEE), European Institute LSE, UK
Interregional cooperation is one of the 7 ‘enabling conditions’ for the smart specialisation strategy (S3) and will therefore be central to the 2021-2027 programming period for EU cohesion policy.
In the design of S3, regions are required to choose their specialisation domains considering, inter alia, potential relationships with other EU regions based on based on complementarities or similarities. Empirical evidence shows that only in a few cases the regions considered these inter-regional links. In addition, the methods used to identify potential links between the specialisation domains are based more on anecdotal evidence than on the application of theoretically grounded methodologies. Moreover, the methods adopted to detect potential links between the specialisation domains are based more on anecdotal evidence than on the application of theoretically grounded methodologies.
In addition to S3, EU macro-regional strategies (MRSs) have emerged during the past decade to strengthen interregional cooperation and address common challenges. Although the four existing strategies are at different stages of maturity in the formulation of policy programs, they provide opportunities for cross-fertilisation across countries and domains of intervention.
Building on this broad and diversified framework of strategic actions at regional and interregional level, the main objective of the special session is to promote the debate on interregional links within S3 and to highlight the potential synergies between S3 and macro-regional strategies in promoting innovation. Both methodological and empirical contributions are welcome.
- Başak Demireş Özkul, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey
- Silvia Mugnano, Universita degli Studi di Milano Bicocca, Italia
- Özlem Tepeli Türel, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey
Creativity leads to social impact through the gathering of people who have a common interest in design and; ultimately, it improves the economy. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, cultural and creative sectors are among the most affected by the current crisis with short- and long-term implications. The decrease in purchasing power and public and private financing for arts and culture, particularly at the local level, could accelerate this negative trend in the long term. Due to the lockdown measures, restrictions on international mobilities, and social distancing measures implemented in this process, some creative sectors have been unable to continue their work, while others explored new business models by developing new skills and expanding their client base. Venue-based sectors such as museums, the performing arts, live music, festivals and cinema have been the hardest hit by COVID-19 measures. Events such as annual fairs, design weeks and concerts were cancelled. With the lockdown, many public and private providers shifted content online for free to keep audiences interested and meet the increasing demand for cultural content. The inability to carry out design events due to these restrictions has reduced the networking opportunities of artists and businesses disrupting a key aspect of their production process. In this special session, through interdisciplinary and international dialogue, we would like to share the experiences of this pandemic process from four creative metropolitan cities: Barcelona, Istanbul and Milan. Through these case studies we will be posing questions around the future of creative industries and the resilience and sustainability of the networks that sustain them.
- Başak Demireş Özkul (Istanbul Technical University)
- Silvia Mugnano (Universita degli Studi di Milano Bicocca)
- Emre Erbirer (ATOLYE)
- Marianna d’Ovidio (Universita degli Studi di Milano Bicocca)
- Montserrat Pareja Eastaway (University of Barcelona)
- Özlem Tepeli Türel (Istanbul Technical University)
- Federica Antonucci (Universita degli Studi di Milano Bicocca)
- Rebecca Agnes, Visual Artist
- Danny MacKinnon, CURDS, Newcastle University, UK
- Nadir Kinossian, Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Germany
- Dr Vincent Béal, University of Strasbourg, France
Social and spatial inequalities between and within core and peripheral regions have re-emerged as an acute concern in economic geography and regional development studies. The past couple of decades have seen growing spatial polarisation between ‘superstar’ cities and economically lagging and shrinking regions. Struggling or ‘left behind’ places, particularly former industrial and rural regions, have been a central focus of spatial policies at different scales for many decades. Such policies were based on traditional redistribution, new approaches to regionalism, and more recently, ‘smart specialisation’. Over recent years, however, spatial policy became increasingly city-centric, based on the notion of major city-regions as the principal engines of growth and innovation. From this perspective, there is a sense that non-metro regions have been ‘left behind’ by spatial policy as well as by broader processes of globalisation and technological change. In response to growing spatial polarisation and the metropolitan orientation of existing urban and regional policy frameworks, there is a pressing need to rethink spatial policies for ‘left behind’ places. The limitations of the conventional growth and competitiveness paradigm have become increasingly apparent, while the potential of emergent alternative frameworks remains vibrant conceptually and theoretically, but under-developed and unrealised in policy design and practice. At the same time, high levels of disaffection and discontent in many lagging-behind and shrinking places are suggestive of a need for broader thinking to address questions of belonging, identity, and community as part of more-than-the-economy approaches that better relate economic with social and environmental concerns. Seeking to address these issues and contribute to emergent debates and approaches, the aim of this open session is to explore and assess local and regional policies and strategies for ‘left behind’ places. The organisers welcome theoretical, methodological, empirical and policy analyses from the global North and South which address the following indicative topics:
- Theoretical and conceptual foundations for local and regional policy, development policy including evolutionary economic geography, new economic geography and urban economics, post-Keynesian thinking, diverse and community economies, the economics of belonging, and post-growth and degrowth approaches;
- Governing local and regional policy, including decentralisation/recentralisation, state restructuring, the establishment of new organisational capacities and the advancement of new spatial narratives.
- Conventional, growth-based initiatives, including physical infrastructure, business and competitiveness, employment and skills interventions, and area-based regeneration.
- Alternative forms of economic and social development, including the foundational economy, inclusive economies, community-wealth building, wellbeing, diverse economies and post-growth strategies.
- Policy responses to urban shrinkage, including initiatives that seek to manage and accept shrinkage as well as those aiming to counter it through renewed growth.
- Place-based policies and endogenous development strategies.
- Forms of exogenous development based on the attraction of mobile investment and talent.
- Net zero and ‘green new deal’ strategies
- The role of social infrastructures and social innovation in supporting the development of ‘left behind’ places
- The new municipalism, place-based activism, cooperation, self-help, and volunteering.
- Potential linkages and inter-connections between conventional and alternative spatial policy frameworks.
- Dimitri Corpakis, FeRSA, former European Commission, Friends of Smart Specialisation (FoSS), Brussels, Belgium
- Richard Tuffs, Senior Expert, former ERRIN Director, Friends of Smart Specialisation (FoSS), Brussels, Belgium
- Jan Larosse, Senior Expert, former Flanders Region, Friends of Smart Specialisation (FoSS), Brussels, Belgium
The European Green Deal is the new growth strategy of the EU. Introduced in 2019 along with the Digital Agenda, the Green Deal and the Digital Agenda became the twin-track policy drivers for the 2021-2027 financial period supported by cohesion, research and innovation and industrial strategies.
Following the COVID crisis in 2020, the EU unleashed a battery of new instruments under Next Generation EU enriched by a New Industrial Policy and a New Digital Agenda. The EU’s long-term budget, coupled with NextGenerationEU (NGEU), a temporary instrument designed to boost the recovery, freed up €2.018 trillion to help rebuild a greener, more digital, and more resilient Europe.post-COVID-19 Europe a greener, more digital and more resilient Europe.
To access the funding, Member States produced in a record time the so-called National Recovery Plans (NRP), which in themselves are for their majority, impressive planning pieces of extraordinary promise targeting investments for innovative growth. Yet, there are serious concerns over their feasibility, the underlying framework conditions for their implementation and the prioritisation mechanisms that led to their adoption.
However, one of the key weaknesses of the Recovery Plans was the lack of attention paid to consulting the regional or local levels on future investment choices as it is now confirmed by numerous reports at the EU institutional level. Therefore, the Recovery Plans may firstly not represent the actual regional challenges or relate to existing smart specialisation strategies and secondly reduce the ‘buy-in’ of regions and relevant stakeholders due to a lack of ownership of the program and hence undermine its implementation.
So, a key question is why were, in most Member States, regional smart specialisation strategies (S3) ignored but also how can S3 play a bridging role with the NRP to deliver the best prioritisation process for investment choices in the context of the Green Deal? More generally, the question of mainstreaming S3 at the heart of relevant EU policies that have an impact on growth, jobs and wellbeing needs to be seriously debated.
This Open Session welcomes discussion and insights from on the ground as to why Smart Specialisation is not already mainstreamed as a general concept in all transformation policies? Can we identify bridges that facilitate linking recovery plans and smart specialisation or on the other hand identify barriers to linking smart specialisation to National Recovery Plans and EU Industrial Policy? Is Smart Specialisation confined to regional policy and what happened to multilevel innovation governance?
A second area of discussion is how to link a more sectoral industrial strategy focused on industrial ecosystems, alliances, and Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEIs) with the concept of place-based transformation? This opens up the debate between a top-down directionality (e.g. Green and Digital) with a more bottom-up focus rejecting a one-size-fits-all approach and a shift to a more challenge driven approach embracing mission-oriented research and innovation (Horizon Europe). What could be the spatial implications of such an approach?
These questions open up a wider discussion on several areas:
- Can S3 or S4 act as a transition policy of the economic growth model as a whole (Green Deal for climate neutrality)?
- Is the European Green Deal, with its wealth of policies, encouraging regions to shift from S3 to S4 (smart specialisation and sustainability)?
- What is the leverage power of ‘smart specialisation for sustainability’?
- How can an innovation system approach be integrated in multi-level governance? For example, what should be the future role of the European Research Area which still supports ‘a robust policy framework to better support fundamental research at national and European levels to generate breakthrough knowledge and innovation’ while accepting a stronger need to ‘link industrial and R&I policies, notably on how to accelerate the industrial take-up of R&I results’.
- Who will be the driver and have the political ownership for a possible new top-down/bottom-up growth model? What could be the role of European alliances across urban innovation systems?
- Stefano Amato, IMT School for Advanced Studies, Italy
- Evans Korang Adjei, Umeå University, Sweden
- Rodrigo Basco, American University of Sharjah, UAE
- Lech Suwala, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany
In the majority of countries around the world, SME/ family firms constitute the most predominant forms of business organization (Basco et al. 2021). Simultaneously, these businesses are geographically uneven phenomena with regard to their distribution across, their impact on, and their interactions with the local, regional, and (inter-) national levels and beyond (Basco and Suwala 2021, Ricotta and Basco 2021). Following the debate opened by Stough et al. (2015) and continued by Basco et al. (2021) to advance the cross-fertilization between (SMEs)/family business and regional studies/ economic geography, this call aims to move forward this debate by shading new light in a twofold and not mutually exclusive way. First, by unveiling under what conditions (SMEs)/ family and non-family firms are differently affected by the regional context where they are located (Capello 2011; Suwala 2021). The pervasive economic, social, and emotional connections with their home place (i.e., territorial embeddedness) may enable family firms to exploit some locational advantages (Cucculelli and Storai 2015; Amato et al. 2021) or to offset the downsides resulting from regional remoteness (Baù et al. 2019). Second, by exploring the (SMEs)/family firms’ influence on the regional context (Adjei et al. 2018), that is whether and to what extent the prevalence of family firms in spatially-bounded areas—such as regions and territories—fosters (Block and Spiegel 2013) or hinders (Cappelli et al. 2021) local and regional development.
Potential topics include, but are not limited to:
- SMEs/ Family firms and agglomeration economies and or proximity dimensions
- The influence of locality on SME/family firm’s decision-making and growth pathways
- The nature and dimensions of regional/spatial familiness and family spatialities
- SMEs/ Family firms and regional structural change / spatial evolution of economic activities
- SMEs/ Family firms in industrial districts, business clusters or other regional institutions
- SMEs/ Family firms in rural and peripheral areas
- SMEs/ Family firms’ contribution to regional resilience
- SMEs/ Family firms in regional path creation, path branching/lock-in
- SMEs/ Family Firms and place-based or mission-oriented policies
- SMEs/ Family Firms and university-industry cooperation
- SMEs/ Family Firms and regionalized ‘Big Data’
- SMEs/ Family firms and regional corporate responsibility / sustainability
- SMEs/ family firms in digitalization, smart regions, Industry 4.0, and platform-based economies
- The regional role of SMEs/ family firms during exogenous shocks (e.g., financial crisis, pandemics etc.)
This session is linked to a special issue (https://www.springer.com/journal/10037/updates/19677408) in Review in Regional Research.
Adjei EK, Eriksson RH, Lindgren U, Holm E (2018) Familial relationships and firm performance: the impact of entrepreneurial family relationships. Entrep Reg Dev 31:357–377
Amato S, Patuelli A, Basco R, Lattanzi N (2021) Family Firms Amidst the Global Financial Crisis: A Territorial Embeddedness Perspective on Downsizing. J Bus Ethics Online first
Basco R, Stough R, Suwala L (2021) Family Business and Regional Development. Routledge, London
Basco R, Suwala L (2021) Spatial familiness and family spatialities—searching for fertile ground between family business and regional studies. In: Basco R, Stough R, Suwala L (eds) Family Business and Regional Development. Routledge, London, pp 7–32
Baù M, Chirico F, Pittino D, et al (2019) Roots to Grow : Family Firms and Local Embeddedness in Rural and Urban Contexts. Entrep Theory Pract 43:360–385
Block JH, Spiegel F (2013) Family firm density and regional innovation output: An exploratory analysis. J Fam Bus Strateg 4:270–280
Capello R (2011) Location, regional growth, and local development theories. AESTIMUN 58:1–25
Cappelli R, Cucculelli M, Peruzzi V (2021) Family firms and regional entrepreneurship: The European evidence. Fam Bus Reg Dev 193–209
Cucculelli M, Storai D (2015) Family firms and industrial districts. Evidence from the Italian manufacturing industry. J Fam Bus Strateg 6:234–246
Ricotta F, Basco R (2021) Family firms in European regions: the role of regional institutions. Entrep Reg Dev Online first
Stough R, Welter F, Block J, et al (2015) Family business and regional science: “Bridging the gap.” J Fam Bus Strateg 6:208–218
Suwala L (2021) Concepts of Space, Refiguration of Spaces, and Comparative Research: Perspectives from Economic Geography and Regional Economics. Forum: Qualitative Social Research 22 (3)
- Jay Mitra, University of Essex, UK
- Mariusz E. Sokołowicz, University of Lodz, Poland
- Agnieszka Kurczewska, University of Lodz, Poland
The shock of the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed weaknesses in existing economic models, including regions, towns and cities. It has demonstrated that the rapid changes caused by lockdowns, the breakdown of global supply chains, transport and delivery problems or the sudden loss of income of many citizens and businesses result in even greater social and economic inequalities. As a result, it is mainly low- and middle-income citizens in cities and regions who suffer and major global players who win as the gatekeepers of global information systems and data resources. The territories most dependent on these global players are the least resilient and can only adapt to the conditions dictated by these players. Yet, an alternative exists in locally managed supply chains (e.g. food, primary health care products, housing and urban amenities). These processes are supported by a renaissance of locally rooted social and economic activities – based not on the pursuit of profit by big business but citizen entrepreneurship. In these territories, the latter emerges become more shock-resilient. The proposed session aims to show the benefits and conditions needed to emerge such citizen entrepreneurship. The session will bring together academics and practitioners to present the first good practices in this field. There are already first signs of this kind of community-based activities, where the responsibility and the benefits are shared more jointly among the participants in the processes of providing services and manufacturing local products. This session also aims to present such practices and reflect on how they will contribute to the study of citizen entrepreneurship and to what extent this phenomenon shall contribute to regional recovery in the long term.
- Luc Ampleman, Poland
- Melisa Pesoa Marcilla, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain
The current session takes place within the framework of the EIG CONCERT-Japan 7th Joint Call ICT for Resilient, Safe and Secure Society. This session brings together the four partner institutions of the project entitled “Assessment of Transformations in Vitality, Vulnerability and Versatility in Rural Towns (3VRUT)”. By developing a better understanding of the rural vitality, vulnerability and versatility (the 3Vs), the 3VRUT research project intends to identify strategies that may help rural communities be more resilient in times of crises. The present special session is the second organised in the RSA framework cycle on “Regions in Recovery [e-festival]”. In the first edition held in June 2021, the 3VRUT consortium members had the occasion to discuss some methodological issues related to identifying indicators to measure rural communities’ vitality vulnerability, and versatility. The present special conference session aims to present a more accurate portrait of the eight communities that will be part of the study assessment.
Purpose of the special session:
The 3VRUT project finds its pragmatical rationality from the premisses that rural regions in Germany, Japan, Poland, Spain and are under stress in emerging global crises (pandemics, refugee-related migration, economy-related rural depopulation, cyber-crime and disinformation, environment-related climate change). While in recent months, colossal work has been undertaken to identify and select indicators that would allow evaluating the resilience of small rural towns in different contexts. A clearer picture of the communities to be assessed within the project must be provided. The proposed special session aims to present a first portrait of the following communities: Shibushi and Tsukuba (Japan); Bayrisch Eisenstein and Obermichelbach-Tuchenbach (Germany); Połaniec and Bodzentyn (Poland) as well as Les Planes d’Hostoles and Alp (Spain). The portraits of these communities will focus on three resilience dimensions: the geo-social dimension, the economic size, and the geo-social dimension, economic size, and politico-institutional extent. Some complementary but fundamental data concerning two other dimensions (environmental, infrastructure, and built environment) will also be provided to complete the general descriptions of these communities. Finally, recurrences, similarities and differences between the communities will be discussed. Challenges to applied remote sensing data collection in these communities will be examined. A step to improve the general portrait through other methods (direct observation, field interviews, geo-statistic data gathering, etc.) will be considered. The special session audience will be invited to provide their inputs and ask questions.
The closed session includes the following speakers:
- Japanese case studies: Shibushi and Tsukuba – Akira Mukaida (Remote Sensing Technology Center of Japan [RESTEC], Japan);
- German case studies: Bayrisch Eisenstein and Obermichelbach-Tuchenbach [presenter to be confirmed] (Technical University of Munich);
- Polish case studies (Połaniec and Bodzentyn – Malgorzata Strzyz (Jan Kochanowski University, Poland);
- Spanish case studies: Les Planes d’Hostoles and Alp – Melisa Pesoa Marcilla (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain);
- On methodological process and literature review: Luc Ampleman (Poland);
- On the remote sensing data gathering: Pegah Hashemvand Khiaban (Restec, Japan) and Walter de Vies (Technical University of Munich).
- Chandrima Mukhopadhyay, India
- Patrick Cobbinah, University of Melbourne, Australia
- Asmaa Kamaly, Egypt
- UN Habitat’s P4CA
Coastal city regions worldwide are already experiencing severe impacts of climate change, cities and regions in the global South being most vulnerable. The 2021 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlights the urgency for climate action especially in vulnerable regions of Asia and Africa. Although with the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2016, national governments have focused on climate change mitigation, achieving GreenHouse Gas (GHG) emission mitigation in inter-city infrastructure sectors is still difficult, for instance, in the inter-city or regional transport sector in India. However, little attention is given to climate change adaptation and resilience. United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), signed in 2015, especially, SDG13 on “Climate Action” include targets on adaptation and resilience both at the intra-city and inter-city scale.
Particularly, the large coastal cities across Africa and Asia have been heavily affected due to sea level rise. In response to this, various policy measures and global responses have been proposed and developed to address the climate crisis. Yet, available evidence indicates critical planning gaps in climate change management, characterized by exclusionary politics of risk mitigation and ad-hoc policy responses that were unresponsive to climate change impacts, particularly flooding and sea level rise. For example, evidence suggests that African cities such as Durban, Accra, Lagos and Luanda are ill prepared and ill-planned to address climate change, increasing their vulnerability. Similar experiences are reported for Asian mega-cities including Mumbai.
In specific, IPCC (2019) and a study published in Nature Climate Change (2019) show that the impact of sea level rise on emerging urban agglomerations is threatening. The impact is three-fold in South-East Asia and South Asia in comparison to the global impact. For instance, while Greater Mumbai Metropolitan Area is an emerging mega-region (forecasted 28 million population and $0.5 trillion GDP by 2030) in India, its historic downtown, the economic hub, is forecasted to be submerged under 1.9 ft water by 2050.
The special session invites submissions on actions to combat climate change (mitigation, adaptation and resilience) at the inter-city or regional scale. The proposed session invites papers addressing the following questions but not limited to:
- Challenges and opportunities in inter-city sectoral GHG emission mitigation.
- Challenges and opportunities in climate change adaptation in specific sectors at the regional scale.
- How do the regional plans of coastal regions take the risk of sea level rise into consideration?
- Role of stakeholder involvement in combating climate change at the regional scale;
- Finances, Governance of climate actions and climate justice at the regional scale;
- Role of scenario-planning in regional climate action;
- Theoretical and conceptual contribution towards adaptation and resiliency at a regional scale, including southern planning perspective;
- Role of regional planning and/or regional future in addressing climate change impacts;
- Local and national actions to climate change;
- UN-Habitat’s ‘Planners for Climate Action’ group is a partner to the special session, which extends on the agenda of promoting planners’ capacity in addressing climate change across global cities and regions.
Michael Woods, Aberystwyth University, UK
Marie Mahon, National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland
This special session asks what a spatially just Europe might look like as the continent recovers from COVID-19 and seeks to build resilience in the face of future social, economic, political and environmental challenges. Has the pandemic changed perceptions on the balance between economic growth and wider social and environmental wellbeing? Can coherence and solidarity be balanced with democracy and regional accountability? Will territorial inequalities be narrowed or intensified? What will spatial justice mean in 2050?
The session draws on mixed methods research conducted in the Horizon 2020 IMAJINE project to examine evidence on the impact of the pandemic on experiences and perceptions of spatial (in)justice and to outline four scenarios for Europe in 2050 emphasizing different understandings of spatial justice: ‘Silver Citadel’, combining an emphasis on economic growth with strong EU-mediated solidarity; ‘Green Guardian’, with an emphasis on social and environmental wellbeing exercised through pan-European solidarity; ‘Silicon Scaffold’, in which economic prosperity is pursued through territorial autonomy; ‘Patchwork Rainbow’, where fragmented autonomous territories follow diverse routes to wellbeing.
The session will be structured around three opening presentations and an extended period of discussion. The first presentation by Michael Woods will introduce the concept of spatial justice and present analysis of COVID-19 data to reveal patterns of geographical inequalities and discuss tensions around spatial justice. The second presentation by Linda Basile will outline findings from an online survey of 18,000 participants in seven European countries on perceptions of spatial inequalities, justice and solidarity and opinions on the management of the pandemic and tis impact. The third presentation by Marie Mahon will outline the features of the four scenarios and describe the process through which they were created. The following structured discussion will engage audience members in exploring the dimensions of the four scenarios and their implications for regions in Europe, working towards the question ‘What kind of spatial justice do we want?’.
Linda Basile, Università di Siena, Italy
Marie Mahon, National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland
Michael Woods, Aberystwyth University, Wales, UK
- Alejandra Trejo, Centre for demographic, urban and environmental studies, El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico
Jose L. Niño, EAN University, Colombia
In this closed session we will discuss the main aspects and research results of the book “Metropolitan Governance in Latin America” Routledge, 2021 (Alejandra Trejo-Nieto and José L. Niño Amézquita).
Presenter: Alejandra Trejo (El Colegio de Mexico)
Discussant: Nicolás Cuervo (Universidad Sergio Arboleda)
Moderator: José L. Niño (Universidad EAN)
- Maria Siranova, Institute of Economic Research Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovakia
- Oliver Rafaj, University of Economics in Bratislava, Slovakia
Some people might consider the ‘brick-and-mortar’ bank branch to be an obsolete concept destined to become extinct. Almost every decade, it has been predicted that technology will render the physical presence of banks unnecessary. The COVID-19 epidemics has sped up the ongoing process of virtualization of banking services using several digital distributional channels. However, the bank branch has yet to be replaced as the primary source of soft information with an intrinsic spatial dimension. In addition, the bank branch often fulfills other important roles aside from its core function, since it contributes to the accumulation of regional social capital. This session will bring together academics and practitioners to present their research in field of financial geography with special emphasis being paid to role of bank branches as a distributional channel of commercial banks in light of new challenges brought about by recent trends in wide-scaled digitalization of financial services. The session is supported by the Membership Research Grant Scheme – ‘Bank Branch Closings and Local SME Economic Activity in Slovakia – Good Servant but a Bad Master?’ granted by Regional Studies Association.
- Elisa Thomas, University of Stavanger, Norway
The study of universities’ role in regional development has traditionally been focusing on exceptional cases. This session discusses a reconceptualization which embraces its underlying complexity and proposes a roadmap for a renewed agenda, starting from the grassroots level of universities’ “everyday” engagements. The session is based on the newly launched book “Universities and Regional Engagement: From the Exceptional to the Everyday” where the authors delve into the manifold ways in which university knowledge agents build connections with regional partners. Brazil, Caribbean, China, Italy, Norway, and Poland provide the diversity of national and regional contexts for the case institutions allowing the advancement of a conceptual framework for unpacking university-regions’ everyday activities which will be presented at the session.
Speakers include authors of chapters and two editors of the book:
- Elisa Thomas, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Nord University and Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Stavanger, Norway
- Romulo Pinheiro, Professor of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Agder, Norway
Click here to view this forthcoming Open Access book.
- Urszula Budzich-Tabor (President)
- Peter Ramsden (Vice President)
- Haris Martinos (Secretary General)
The special session organised by LDnet will focus on the experience and lessons from local development supported through the European Structural and Investment Funds. The starting point of the discussion will be the recent study carried out for the European Commission on “The ESF and Community-Led Local Development: Lessons for the future”. A presentation of this important report will be complemented with examples from the ground – where policy meets practice: in particular, an example from Czechia, where ESF is used in rural CLLD contexts, and from Portugal, where CLLD under ESF is also implemented in urban areas. A panel discussion involving policy makers, researchers and experts, will aim to analyse the outcomes from the report, make comparisons with other recent research and discuss the implications for practice. Key research questions will be identified that need to be addressed as well as drawing policy recommendations for EU funding 2021-2027.
- Marianne Doyen (DG EMPL)
- Karolina Jakubowska (ICF)
And experts presenting examples from policy and practice, including
- Cristina Duarte (TESE, Portugal)
- Ondra Konečný (LAG Brána Vysočiny and Mendel University in Brno, Czechia)
- Andreea-Loreta Cercleux, University of Bucharest, Romania
The phenomenon of street art characterizes worldwide cities, with different sizes and specializations, from city centres to peripherical areas. In the last 60 years, the urban development context has played an important role in the evolution of street art and graffiti as well, from which this subculture started. In the 21st century, the influence of culture and arts in cities becomes vital in regeneration and resilience processes and creates new premises and ways of street art emergence.
This special session invites researchers and academics from various research fields to present their papers on the following themes, but not limited to these:
- Street art from graffiti and together with graffiti;
- The place of street art among cultural and creative industries;
- Communication and messages conveyed by street artwork;
- Multiculturality and street art;
- Street art, identity and local heritage;
- Stakeholders and street art as a tool for urban planning;
- Community participation in street art projects and programs;
- Street art for communities and neighbourhoods;
- Urban regeneration through street art;
- Impact of street art subculture at local level;
- Street art and place-making.
- Valentina Cattivelli, Municipality of Cremona and Uninettuno University, Italy
The food desert expression has been widely used over the past few decades to identify regions in which access to food retailers that store affordable and healthy food is lacking or nonexistent (e.g., Sadler et al., 2016). The configuration of a desert is appealing and tends to evoke a barren landscape devoid of food for the people within (e.g., De Master & Daniels, 2019; Gilbert, 2019). This suggests a spatial approach for their delimitation, which incorporates spatial differences in transportation service and infrastructure, in food retail infrastructure and in time use as drivers (Widener, 2018), as well as an economic approach which instead considers job/income drops, income and social inequalities as main determinants (Alkon et al., 2013; Pine & Bennett, 2014). Both approaches potentially underestimate the value of smaller stores/non-corporate food retail spaces for the local food provisioning (Martin et al., 2014). Beyond spatial and economic approaches, more nuanced approaches include personal factors, that derive from the mental attitude or knowledge of the consumer (Shaw, 2006), individual preferences (e.g., Onstein, et al.,2019) or physical difficulties (e.g., disables or elderly of limited mobility) (Food Commission Report, 2005). Other limits of food availability and access derive to demographic dynamics and their distribution across the territories (Widener & Shannon, 2014) as well as on differences in effective population (the residents) and the potential one (composed also by commuters and tourists) which influence local food demand. Food desert extension condition the opportunity for the local population to access to food, and serve as explanation for food insecurity, social inequalities and increasing health disparities (Caspi et al., 2012). Recently, this expression has fallen into disfavor because some critics argue its inaccurateness. Accordingly, desert are naturally occurring ecosystems, with specific species and living beings that survive and thrive even in these contexts or in our specific case there are initiatives, economic activities that operate. For this reason, Yakini prefers talking about “food apartheid”. Cattivelli (2022, forthcoming) demonstrates the proliferation of significant social innovative initiatives. The consequence of the rapid expansion of Covid-19 has aggravated the risks of food desertification. Social distancing measures and stay-at-home orders adopted to counteract the contagions prevent moving outside the residence municipalities for non-essential reasons. They also suggest stocking up on food at the food stores located in the municipality. This has reduced the opportunity to get access to larger number of food stores and created discomfort especially in municipalities where there are no supermarkets locally or other organized forms of food supply in close proximity. Restrictive measures impose the closure of many non-essential firms close, and this implies consistent financial shortcomings and income drops. This in turn reduce consumers’ power and expenditure (e.g., (Galanakis, 2020)). As answer, several social innovative initiatives to put in circle the food proliferate. The present session would like to include contributions, which answers to these questions:
- What are food deserts?
- Where are they widespread?
- Are they prevalent in metropolitan areas or do they also find space in rural/remote contexts?
- What are their determinants?
- What policies have local governments put in place to reduce their negative effects?
- Are food deserts incubators of social innovation experiences?
- Benedict Arko, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana
- Esther Danso-Wiredu, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana
- Yaw Asamoah, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana
- Victor Owusu, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana
- John Amoah-Nuamah, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana
- Eva Quansah, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
- Dorothy Takyiakwaa, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
Cities and regions have featured prominently in the discourses surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic. As opined by Keil et al (2020), health and disease tend to be urban as they coincide with urban growth and urban ways of life. Rapid urbanization enables the spread of infectious disease, with peripheral sites being particularly susceptible to disease vectors that can cross the animal-to-human species boundary. These notwithstanding, it has however been observed that Covid-19 is much about the peri-urban and rural-to-urban connections and in places that are often not on the global map (Klaus, 2020). By this characterization, there is much knowledge to be gleaned from cities and regions in Africa as of their experience of the pandemic. Generally, African cities and regions have been spared the very high levels of fatalities and infections experienced in other parts of the world. This notwithstanding, the economic toll of the pandemic on cities and regions in Africa have been devastating to say the least. It has been estimated that across sub-Saharan Africa, economic losses could total $200 billion, with about 20 million jobs at risk (Miller at al, 2020). It has also been noted that virtually all economies in Africa have been hit by the global economic slowdown and the effects of national level measures implemented to halt the spread of the virus. Again, private capital is been diverted from emerging African markets at a record pace, bond yields have gone up substantially, stock markets are going down and currencies have depreciated. Additionally, foreign direct investment (FDI) is expected to fall by 20%, and vital remittance flows will decline significantly (Miller at al, 2020). These are but a tip of the iceberg of challenges resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic confronting cities and regions in Africa. The pandemic has very much exposed the deep inequalities and insecurities that still plague many cities and regions in Africa despite the supposedly huge economic gains made in the recent past. Factual and grim as these statistics may be, they present only part of the story. The story of the interrelations between African cities and regions and the pandemic is also about resilience, resolve, and an unbreakable spirit, a sort of African Tenacity. Unfortunately, not much of that has been featured in scholarly discourses. Shining light on this is important for a holistic picture to emerge. It is for this reason that this special session is being organized. We seek contributions that are theoretical, empirical, or methodological from scholars from and on African cities and regions that seeks to shed light on the resilience and recovery processes from the Covid-19 pandemic. We invite papers that address the following themes, but are open to other ideas: Innovative livelihood mechanisms for coping with the hardships unleashed by the pandemic. The coping strategies of actors in the informal economy. New business opportunities created by the pandemic. Provision of microcredit in the face of the pandemic. The provision of municipal services amidst the pandemic. Innovative housing strategies that counter homelessness unleashed by the pandemic. Covid-adaptive transportation solutions. Business support programmes by municipal and other subnational authorities. We seek a well-rounded selection of contributions and contributors. This is an invitation to collaborate in telling the full story of African cities and regions in the era of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Ed Ferrari, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
- Stephen Parkes, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
This session will explore important questions about what the introduction of autonomous vehicles might mean for cities and regions. Comprising of a panel discussion featuring experts from academia, government, and practice, this session seeks to promote dialogue around the potential impacts that increasingly connected and autonomous vehicles might have in urban and metropolitan environments and on their transport systems. We are particularly interested in exploring how towns and cities are preparing for the arrival of autonomous vehicles, where their impact might be felt most positively, and what actions are, and should be, being taken now to best prepare for their arrival. The session will also include discussion around the impacts such actions will have on competing (and potentially conflicting) policy agendas seeking to enhance the liveability and prosperity of such places.
Panel speakers will include academics, policymakers, and practitioners to provide a wide-ranging discussion of the potential pros and cons of such vehicles for cities and regions. The session will allow ample time for questions from the audience so please come prepared to ask a question!