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2020 RSA Annnual Conference Special Sessions

As part of the 2020 RSA Annual Conference, 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.

Please submit your abstract via the online conference portal.

SS1: Geographic inequity in well-being and quality of life


SS1: Geographic inequity in well-being and quality of life (#RSA2020_QoL)

Session organisers: Tomas Hanell (University of Helsinki, Finland) and Daniel Rauhut (University of Eastern Finland, Finland)

There is an emerging scientific interest in the connection between well-being (WB) or quality of life (QoL) on the one hand, and place on the other. Within regional science, this interest originates from lacking evidence on spatial variations in WB or QoL and the determinants for these, combined with the implications that this knowledge gap has for practical regional or planning policy justification, formulation and evaluation. Additionally, non-geographic disciplines examining different dimensions of well-being and quality of life (such as psychology, sociology or economics) have acknowledged that adding a spatial dimension to the subject would substantially enrich the existing pool of knowledge. Furthermore, there is an embryonic body of evidence pointing in the direction that differing combinations of inequity (e.g. intra-regional, and/or intra-personal) within WB or QoL would also act as a substantial determinant for aggregated regional differences within the same. Moreover, such mechanisms appear to be sensitive to contextual differences at a multitude of spatial scales, which further justifies adding a geographic element to the topic. Finally, the emergence of new data sources for subjective content information on WB or QoL certainly also act as an impetus for further investigation.

Thematically, this Special Session covers a wide range of issues. Suitable themes may include different forms of conceptualisations of WB or QoL and how these are practically operationalised at differing spatial scales and contexts, how objective and subjective content indicators intertwine in a spatial setting, or what kinds of implications issues related to WB or QoL may have in terms of strategic planning or regional development policy.

As we are dealing with a truly interdisciplinary scientific field, we foresee contributions not restricted to traditional human geography alone, but also look forward to input from related fields like e.g. sociology, political science, economics or health sciences. We welcome quantitative and qualitative empirical analyses equally as we do theoretical contributions to the topic. Through such an interdisciplinary and multi-methodological dialogue, we hope to enhance our understanding of how local, regional and urban development or policy can be depicted or analysed through different conceptualisations of well-being or quality of life.

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