пятница, 18 января 2013 г.

Urban-Centric Differentiation of Space - and the Making of Peripheries and Marginalities


Call for Papers: Annul International Conference, RGS-IBG, London, 28-30 August 2013. 

Session Title: Urban-Centric Differentiation of Space - and the Making of Peripheries and Marginalities


ORGANISERS:
Tassilo Herrschel, University of Westminster, London, UK,
Mike Danson, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland and
Thilo Lang, Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde, Leipzig, Germany

PANEL DESCRIPTION:
In an increasingly globalised world driven by a neo-liberal agenda of competitiveness, cities and, especially, city regions, have become the main foci of attention as the most likely ‘drivers’ of regional and national economic development. Such selectivity implies an acceptance of inherent disparities as fait accompli. No longer, it seems, is there an attempt at viewing territories as contiguous and cohesive, as has been the case in conventional regional policies, especially in a European context. The result is an acceptance, even implicit likely reinforcement, of a gap between growing metropolitan areas and, as a shadow image, stagnation or shrinking peripheries – be they declining cities, rural areas, border regions. This process is accompanied by discursive practices valuing or devaluing particular forms of development, and translates into notions of ‘successful’ and ‘failing’ administrative structures and governance practices - as, for instance, assessed from a neo liberalism-inspired public choice perspective.

Today’s peripheries thus cannot merely be seen as sparsely populated, rural areas, situated somewhere on the edge of a territory, as clichés will have it. Rapidly expanding urban sprawl, suburban and exurban expansion, for instance, or development along corridors of communication within and between urban regions, including medium-sized and larger towns and/or cities, produce new inequalities in accessibility – actual and perceived. And this, in turm, produces notions of ‘edgeness’, peripherality and selective exclusion. No longer are places and actors included merely because they are located in the same space. Less attractive localities and regions, including old industrial towns and cities, appear to be increasingly disconnected from development DYNAMICS at whatever scale - global, global-regional (e.g. European), national, regional, local and sub-local.  The notion of active processes of “peripheralisation” as the outcome of an urban-centric spatial selectivity, and a division of space into economically ‘attractive’ (urban) and ‘unattractive’  (non-urban) opportunities, opens up new perspectives to better understand current disparities in spatial development within and between cities, and likely policy answers that may be required.

In particular, this means that:

1. Peripheries should no longer simply be specified by geographic distance to centres or by lower population densities, alone. Processes of peripheralisation refer not only to rural regions but also to urban areas of varying sizes, including city regions, as well as parts of towns and cities.

2. Peripheries - at whatever scale - are created by dynamic processes of the social and discursive production and interpretation of space, and imply a focus on (urban) centres, while reducing non-urban spaces to mere background noise.

3. Applying a process (discursive)-, rather than structure-based notion of peripheralisation also leads to a focus on the responses by actors and governance networks, and opens the possibility for conceptualising ‘de-peripheralisation’ as a counter process across different scales.

AIMS:This session thus aims at furthering the conceptual debate on “peripheralisation” in the context of a growing urban lens through which to see and evaluate economic space, thus effectively constructing inclusions and exclusions, i.e. cores and peripheries. The session invites theoretical and/or empirical papers that seek to address the following questions:

1. Which processes of peripheralisation (and centralisation) can be observed across economic spaces – at varying scales? 

2. What is the relationship between peripherality (as condition) and peripheralisation (as process)?

3. Which theoretical approaches can help to better understand processes of peripheralisation on a city/ regional level?

4. Which forms of governance responses addressing peripheralisation in cities and regions, can be identified, and how do they work?

5. What is the evidence of processes of “de-peripheralisation” and “(re)centralisation” respectively of cities and ‘complementary’ regions occurring concurrently?

DEADLINE:
Please send any abstracts for consideration to the organisers:


by the deadline of Friday, 8 February.

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