Academy for Territorial Development – Call for contributions

Robin Hambleton Photo for Post 2
#44 Successful public protest
17/05/2022
#45 Tirana Next City
30/05/2022

Small Towns and Metropolitan Cores:
Functional relations, spatial imaginaries and cooperation arrangements

Call for Contributions to a Online Seminar

Organiser: Academy for Territorial Development (ARL) in the Leibniz Association
Date of the event: 21 September 2022

Details:

On the occasion of the next meeting in Hannover in September 2022, the the ARL international working group on the following theme: Small towns and metropolitan cores: towards cooperation? A European perspective launches a call for contributions to an online seminar. The invitation is open to any academic who is interested to debate about the relationships between metropolitan regions and small towns in the European context, now and in the future. This seminar is an outstanding opportunity for contributors to share their results, to exchange ideas with the members of the working group and to gain more visibility at the international level.
The online format will allow with in-depth discussions with members of the working group and all the participants, without having to travel to Hannover to participate face-to-face to the seminar.
Shortly after the seminar, the contribution of invited contributors will be considered for inclusion in the publication plan of the working group. We expect to publish an English-language, peer-reviewed scientific publication. Contacts are currently taking place with publishers or journal editors for a book or a special issue of a peer- reviewed journal.

Theme and tracks:

While large cities and metropolitan city-regions are seen as major places of a society based on knowledge, innovation and creativity, a large proportion of the population in many European countries lives in small urban settlements. For many reasons, the challenges faced by small towns remain underexplored. Small towns are heterogeneous regarding their spatial position: they may be included in metro regions, isolated in remote rural areas or part of a network of towns of a similar size. The population thresholds and the key functions of 'small towns' are not unanimous criteria within the research community. Across Europe, few studies have been devoted to small towns being part of a larger metropolitan area and even less analysis has been carried out on how territorial cooperation can bring reciprocal benefits or challenges between metropolitan core and intermediate urban poles.
The working group focuses on how European small towns face metropolitan development and its associated challenges. Aiming at developing a transnational and interdisciplinary approach to the chosen topic, the working group explores several research questions. In view of the online seminar, three lines of investigations are proposed.

Track 1 – Functional relations and socio-spatial dynamics:

  • Functional typologies of small towns
  • Development trajectories of small towns in relation to their larger neighbour
  • Labour market or housing market integration between cities
  • Patterns of specialization and concentration of urban functions
  • Measuring relationships and dependencies between towns and larger cities
  • Processes of gentrification in towns close to larger cities
  • Shadowing and borrowing, or other typologies of dependencies between cities
  • Comparisons in development between small towns close to larger cities and towns that are more isolated

Track 2 – Narratives and Imaginaries:

  • The political and social implications for small towns of taking part in a metropolitan institution with competences and financial resources
  • To what extent a model of governance based on informal agreements leaves more autonomy to small town authorities
  • The uneven capacity to act of metropolitan authorities in public transportation, sustainability or housing, affecting the quality of life in small towns and their access to big cities
  • The attitudes of local actors towards cooperation, the capacity to "think metropolitan" and how this may shape the outputs
  • The diversity of policy arrangements for city-region cooperation in European countries, and the diversity of instruments (strategic planning, financial incentives for cooperation, amalgamation of local governments…).

Track 3 – Narratives and Imaginaries:

  • The political and social implications for small towns of taking part in a metropolitan institution with competences and financial resources
  • To what extent a model of governance based on informal agreements leaves more autonomy to small town authorities
  • The uneven capacity to act of metropolitan authorities in public transportation, sustainability or housing, affecting the quality of life in small towns and their access to big cities
  • The attitudes of local actors towards cooperation, the capacity to "think metropolitan" and how this may shape the outputs
  • The diversity of policy arrangements for city-region cooperation in European countries, and the diversity of instruments (strategic planning, financial incentives for cooperation, amalgamation of local governments…).
Important dates:

Deadline for abstract submission: 24 June 2022
Online seminar: 21 September 2022

More information on the seminar and call for contributions can be found on the ARL official website.

Visit the ARL working group webpage!

Comments are closed.