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2019 RSA Winter Conference, London, UK

14 November - 15 November

Turbulent Times: Rethinking Regions and Cities

14 – 15 November 2019

Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury, Coram St, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1HT

We live in turbulent times, but when has this not been the case? The history of regions and the ‘regional studies project’ has always had at its core concerns relating to new and increased social and spatial inequalities resulting from economic and political change. Whatever change has occurred to cause this turbulence, some people and places have taken advantage and raced ahead while others were disadvantaged and left behind. The difference today is that the stakes are higher, with more people and more places exposed and being impacted than ever before.

Indeed, regional research is once again spearheading major efforts to provide the type of reliable, robust knowledge necessary to correct the opening of gaps between people and places which are emerging as winners and losers. In order to find innovative solutions to wicked problems it is critical to ask fundamental questions about how we do regional research. Do our existing theories and concepts adequately explain present instabilities and new realities, or, do we need to rethink our analytical frameworks in the new tumultuous reality? Do existing policies and frameworks help (or hinder) cities and regions, or are there alternatives that we should be promoting? More fundamentally, are we asking the right questions and looking in the right places to find the innovative solutions that can enable a more spatially balanced, sustainable and inclusive model of economic growth and political stability.

The Regional Studies Association Winter Conference 2019 presents a timely opportunity to discuss and debate these important issues, to establish the need and nature of future research imperatives in the field, and to address the concerns and challenges confronting practitioners and policymakers. The focus on problems and solutions is an invitation to step outside the narrow confines of existing debate to address issues of profound relevance, significance and importance to future regions and cities.

Broad themes and key agendas the organisers are keen to facilitate discussion around include, but are not limited to:

  • Evaluating new and existing concepts, theories, frameworks, methods and vocabularies for understanding regional development
  • Industry 4.0 and the future shape of innovation, industrial development and strategy
  • Post-2020 EU Budget, the future of EU Policies and their implications for cities and regions
  • Energy transitions, environmental sustainability, and designing future cities and regions
  • Assessing new financial instruments for city and regional development
  • Brexit geographies and the future for investment, trading relations and their regional impacts
  • The role of planning, governance and devolution in turbulent times
  • The role of universities and other institutions in shaping places and futures
  • New tools and techniques for visualising and modelling cities and regions
  • The changing geographies and spatial impacts of global investment flows, Global Value Chains and global connectivity
  • Global migration flows and the integration of migrants into cities and regions
  • Technological change, innovation and its implications for cities and regions

Abstract submission and registration via the RSA conference portal: https://www.regionalstudies.org/events/2019-winter-conference/