TRACK 1Emerging Spatial Planning Practices
Liliana Padovani, Carolina Pacchi
Generally speaking, planning can be conceived as a social interaction process in which different forms of knowledge interweave, producing interactively new social knowledge.
The role of learning processes and knowledge in policy making is increasingly recognised as a crucial issue both at theoretical level and in planning practice. Increasing attention has been paid to the ways knowledge is produced and exchanged in complex governance arrangements, and on how in turn it can shape decision making processes. In the planning field the focus is not just on expert or professional knowledge, but on a broader range of knowledge forms, from local and everyday to institutional. Furthermore knowledge resources, in the different forms they may assume, are increasingly perceived as an important asset in many of the core areas addressed by planning: such as the pursue of good level urban quality, urban promotion and regeneration, action in deprived urban areas. In this perspective, looking at planning as a practice producing interactive knowledge could be particularly relevant.
Based on planning theoretical approaches and practices, the track suggests the papers to focus on some key issues in this field. Such topics may be developed by theoretical approaches and/or case-studies:
a) planning practices in a knowledge-based society
How recent experiences deal with the restructuring and re-scaling of the European space produced by the contemporary economy and patterns of spatial interaction? Such planning practices may include experiences of spatial planning for urban regions, but also practices of knowledge exchange, policy transfer, and networking promoted by some the EU programmes (Interreg, Urbact) and/or the implementation of spatial European ideas (European Spatial Development Perspective: polycentricism, corridors, urban regions,?).
b) learning processes in planning practice
How different spatial planning practices have learnt to deal with different forms of knowledge (expert, experience, local, ordinary, etc.), overcoming the barriers between different knowledge-takers (through a variety of interaction styles: deliberation, mediation, negotiation, etc )?
c) mutual learning and hybridisation processes at European level
d) evaluation as a form of learning
How could a learning process's outcomes and results be evaluated? On the other hand, which perspectives for evaluation if considered not only as a bureaucratic step focused on indicators, but also as a practice of reflection and knowledge production with a focus on the quality of the outcomes aimed at increasing the understanding of what works in a planning process, and if different interventions could be more effective?
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TRACK 2 Economic Development and Urban Change
Roberto Camagni, Gabriele Pasqui
In the last 20 years many scholars have studied urban economic development and change emphasising the role of knowledge both for firms and for social actors, citizens and institutions. The growing importance of knowledge based economy and cultural industries in urban contexts influenced the relevance of competitive factors and of the spatial organisation of urban areas. Innovative ways to balance competition and liveability, competitiveness and sustainability are at stake in the international debate.
This track explores transformations fostered by a knowledge based economy, at European and global level, in two directions: the analysis of urban dynamics and the problems and possibilities of public policies for knowledge-driven urban change.
We suggest to submit papers related, but no limited, to key issues, such as:
a) knowledge based economy and spatial organisation of urban areas
The spatial organisation of economic activities dramatically changed in consequence of knowledge driven economic development. How are knowledge based activities spatially articulated in cities and among urban areas? What is the relationship between innovative clusters, information intensive and science-based economic sectors and the restructuring of urban spaces and places? Which spatial policies for knowledge based activities should be useful (if any)?
b) local and global networks
The growing importance networks among cities and of technological networks in urban areas is one of the main features of knowledge based economy. What are the new characteristics and dynamics of global networks linking knowledge-based cities? What is the importance of networks between knowledge-based cities in the global process of urbanisation and decentralisation? What is (and what should be) the role of ICT in local development for European cities? Urban networks policies are possible and useful for increasing urban competitiveness, liveability and social cohesion?
c) cultural industries and urban creativity
In successful urban economies cultural industries and creative activities are often intended as crucial. Do these industries enrich the urban environment? What patterns of urban development do they induce in the city fabric? What kind of work opportunities do they open up? What are the social, environmental and institutional factors stimulating urban creativity? How do urban cultural policies respond to the quest for urban brand imagery and positioning strategies and for economic and cultural revitalization?
d) competitiveness, liveability and sustainability
A critical look to economic development processes in knowledge-based urban areas shows a possible trade-off between competitiveness, sustainability and social cohesion. What are (if any) these trade-offs between urban competitiveness and attractiveness, and social and territorial cohesion? What is the role of the social capital in economic development? What are the main problems of (social and environmental) sustainability for knowledge-based cities?
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TRACK 3 Learning through Governance
Pierluigi Crosta, Valeria Fedeli
The concept of governance disclosed new spaces of observation and reflection in international urban research stressing different disciplinary fields and borders and opening new spaces of observation, reflection, project... Looking through a governance perspective in fact has offered the possibility to deal with government as a complex, thick and 'muddy' thing: on the one side it has opened up the way to the research on the way in which government (and government effects) is produced in contemporary society. On the other it has fostered research on which arrangements and mechanisms are (or can be) produced to deal with the complexity and fragmentation of contemporary society. In this second perspective, the call for (good) governance has been producing a misleading reference: governance being assumed as a positive term, a desired scenario to work for (and with governance, several concepts, as social capital, have followed the same destiny).
A similar treatment has been given to the concept of 'knowledge': a knowledge based society having become a synonym for a positive society: in this sense, culture, rather than knowledge could be a more useful concept to deal with, in the way in which it remains open to the mixed, hybrid, ambiguous way culture is produced and used.
Focussing on governance in a knowledge based society, the track chair invites contributions regarding, but not limited to:
a) governance modes and arrangements produced by contemporary societies.
Contemporary societies are continuously producing, reproducing, reinventing new and old governance forms and modes, mechanisms, dealing with the complexity and fragmentation which characterises contemporary word. The track is interested in papers discussing, among others, the impossibility of distinguishing among practices (what people do) and policies (what the state do); stressing the so called (and contested) privileged position of the state in the production of public in so far producing policies; investigating the dissolution of the link sovereignty-territoriality-citizenship, exploring the relevance of forms of disorder and dis-organisation, dealing with the ambiguous role of social capital, revealing the emergence of new forms of agency?
b) dealing with the production and use of knowledge in different governance modes and forms.
In a knowledge based society the relevance (both in terms of power and constitutive weakness) of the use of different kinds/forms of knowledge in decision making processes, policy making, assessing, evaluating, governing etc. is evident. The track is interested in papers dealing with, among others, the production of public as a learning process, where public is seen as the not necessarily intended consequence of practices and acknowledgment processes and actorship is seen as interactive process of constitution of the actor and construction of action?
c) looking at institutions as they try to open up and be open to social learning processes.
Institutions appear stressed and sometimes overwhelmed by social change and governance problems. At the same time many of them are engaged in fostering a new governance culture. The track is particularly interested in hosting paper overcoming the contraposition among representation and participation in a process perspective, where interests are not predefined to agency; dealing with the pluralisation of the notion of local democracy; attentive to un-intended consequences and by-product outcomes and un-consistency and variability of problems, actors, solutions; looking at conflict as positive factor in the treatment of problems by way of social interaction?.
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TRACK 4 Integration and Cohesion in Knowledge-based Urban Societies
Serena Vicari, Antonio Tosi
Knowledge-based societies face increasing challenges from the point of view of their integrative and inclusive capacity. Flexibilization in the labour market and restructuring of the social protection system have significantly increased the vulnerability of large sectors of the population and weakened the position of a variety of groups in society. At the same time, new opportunities have developed as a result of a new focus on the role of science, technology and life-long learning as the avenues towards a new sustainable European society and economy. This track explores these transformations in two directions: first, from the point of view of their impact on urban form and on the social structure, and secondly from a policy perspective; we request papers that assess policies addressing new forms of inequality and social exclusion. A critical look at the rhetoric, ideology, discourse and knowledge mobilized in the spatialization of social problems and related policies is also welcome.
The following key issues are identified:
a) Urban re-structuring : processes of fragmentation, gentrification, segregation.
In this section we invite papers dealing with the impact of new forms of work in the knowledge-based economy. Renewed theoretical considerations regarding the role of the State in gentrification and the concept and process of social and ethnic segregation in European cities are also welcome.Papers are expected to address questions such as: is flexibility affecting high-level professionals in the knowledge-intensive industries and low-skilled workers to the same extent ? Are these new forms necessarily linked to growing inequalities and poverty in European cities? Which policies are able to mitigate the impact of processes of marginalization and spatial segregation?
b) Multicultural, multi-ethnic cities: diversity, inequality and conflict.
Cities are the containers of many different cultures and identities which represent a challenge to integration. How do processes of inclusion and exclusion manifest themselves? Are different social and ethnic groups gaining political and social citizenships ? Does urban conflict increasingly take the form of cultural conflict?
c) Mobility and processes of de-territorialization and re-territorialization.
Increased mobility among cities and within the city imply transformations in the urban form and in the (dis)attachment of different social groups to local places and spaces. How does the mobility of people affect the new spatiality of the city? Does the urban structure of contemporary cities influence the mobility styles of inhabitants? How do mobility choices and accessibility to urban amenities and services structure opportunities in contemporary urban areas? Do new forms of inequalities arise from different mobility needs and capacities? What kind of new spaces are defined by new social groups and practices? How are new identities socially (re)constructed in the urban space?
d) Claiming the right to the city: policies and practices of social inclusion.Cities have innovated their instruments to provide social protection to their citizens and these new arrangements deserve a thoughtful critical appraisal. New social movements have nourished new initiatives and practises responding to social needs. Papers should address questions arising from the changing definition of the public sphere, the effectiveness of participatory policies and the overall issues of democracy and political and social citizenship.
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