Cities in the post-recession transition

Call for papers: RGS-IBG annual conference, London, 26th-29th August 2014

Cities in the post-recession transition: strategies, pathways, futures

Convenors: Hug March and Ramon Ribera Fumaz (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya), Ugo Rossi and Marco Santangelo (Università & Politecnico di Torino)

The proposed session interrogates the ways in which cities are embarking on post-recession transition pathways. Within the extant urban literature and the wider social science scholarship, the impact of the global economic crisis on cities and regions has been investigated mainly from the standpoint of austerity measures, budget cutbacks and processes of socio-spatial restructuring. Scant attention has been paid so far to the ways in which cities and most notably their politico-economic elites as well as grassroots actors are confronting the recession scenario by committing to socially and technologically innovative trajectories of economic development and regeneration. Despite being closely related to the global economic crisis due to the financialisation of the housing sector and the consequent financial crash, cities are persistently seen as key loci of economic experimentation and possible sources of a renewed sense of prosperity and societal wellbeing within contemporary scholarly debates and the wider public alike.

We are looking for papers touching on the following issues (but not limited to) from a post-recession perspective:

– Accumulation strategies and geographical imaginaries reconciling issues of sustainability and socio-environmental resilience with economic growth and competitiveness;

– Smart city politics involving a wide range of public and private actors, including local administrations, multinational firms and technologically advanced start-up firms.

– Communities of practice experimenting with socially innovative experiments within urban economies.

– Social movements contesting existing mainstream development and post-recession pathways.

– Socioeconomic practices and public discourses anticipating post-recession futures.

Please send an abstract no longer than 250 words to one of the

following addresses by Friday 14th February:;


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