11 May 2018

City of well-being: a radical guide to planning

City of well-being: a radical guide to planning

The primary message of Barton’s latest book, City of Well-being, I would then write: “peoples” health and community well-being must be the primary priorities for urban planners and place managers.

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17 April 2018

Soil sealing and unsealing: State of the art and examples


Franz Conen Adrian Duss Leonore M. Wenzel Christine Buser Christine Alewell

Soil sealing for urban and infrastructure development constitutes the most intense form of land
degradation and affects all ecosystem services. Researchers and policy makers have become
aware of this fact and call for limiting development and compensating for new soil sealing with
unsealing measures. In a literature review, we found that the state of research about the impacts
of soil sealing is far more advanced than about the potential and prerequisites of unsealing. In
practice, soil restoration after mining and construction activities as well as redevelopment or
renaturation of abandoned industrial sites are increasingly important issues, but systematic
research on the success of soil unsealing and restoration is rare. In particular, the development
of soils and vegetation after unsealing and restoration measures as well as their potential to provide
ecosystem services need more detailed investigation.
In 3 case studies, we demonstrate that replacing a sealed surface with soil to restore ecosystem
services is always beneficial for humans and nature. An indicator‐based mapping approach
revealed the potential performance of different ecosystem services at former industrial sites in
Switzerland. When unsealed sites are transformed to pioneer habitats, the intended vegetation
may successfully be regained, but landscape connectivity is hardly enhanced due to increased
overall landscape fragmentation. Our investigations show that with the techniques currently
applied, the soil physical parameters in a restored agricultural soil developed favourably for crop
growth within 15 years. However, unsealed soils are anthropogenic soils with reduced
multifunctionality, and protecting natural soil against sealing is always the better option.


12 April 2018

9 April 2018

Call for Editors, Early Career Editor and Digital Editor for REGIONAL STUDIES


Call for Editors, Early Career Editor and Digital Editor for REGIONAL STUDIES 
The Regional Studies Association seeks to appoint three Editors, one Early Career Editor and a Digital Editor to its flagship journal, Regional Studies.
Editors (three positions available)
The Editors support the Editor-in-Chief, David Bailey (Aston University, UK), in managing the peer review of submissions in their area of expertise, enhancing the journal’s reputation as a world-leading publication in the field of regional studies, and ensuring that it is in a position to attract the best authors and papers for its readership.
Early Career Editor (one position available)
The appointment of the Early Career Editor is open to candidates within five years of the date on their PhD certificate on 3rd June 2018. The appointment is similar to the role of Editor (above) but is a mentored role and will normally have a fixed term of three years after which it will be re-advertised. Re-application as the Early Career Editor is not permitted as this position is designed to offer capacity building and training within the academy.
Digital Editor (one position available)
This is a new role to develop the journal’s digital and social media presence. It is expected that the Digital Editor will manage the journal’s social media accounts and strategy to best disseminate journal content and engage with readers and followers about the journal, trends in the field and publishing tips and queries. The Digital Editor will also be expected to oversee the peer review of a limited number of submissions to the journal to allow them to engage in day-to-day editorial processes.
The successful candidates appointed to all positions will be expected to join the RSA as Members throughout their term. Current non-Members may apply. Further details on are available from the Regional Studies Association Office and here.
Closing date: No later than 5pm (UK time) 17th May 2018
Regional Studies Association
Sussex Innovation Centre, Science Park Square, Falmer BN1 9SB, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1323 899 698, Fax: +44 (0) 1323 899 798

29 March 2018

Place branding in strategic spatial planning | A content analysis of development plans, strategic initiatives and policy documents for Portugal 2014-2020 | Journal of Place Management and Development | Vol 8, No 1

This paper aims to firstly depict the theoretical links between place branding and strategic spatial planning to provide further theoretical and conceptual foundations. Secondly, it aims to explore the roots of place branding theory and practice in Portugal, as well as how place branding has been approached (or not) in spatial development plans, strategic initiatives and policy documents by stating the territorial, spatial-economic and sectoral development trajectories for the country and its northern region.

Place branding in strategic spatial planning | A content analysis of development plans, strategic initiatives and policy documents for Portugal 2014-2020 | Journal of Place Management and Development | Vol 8, No 1

Local government and urban governance in Europe

This edited volume promises a European-based overview of 60 years of reform in local government policies and the evolution of urban governance practices. The editors organize the book by focusing on three driving forces, which explain in part these wide-ranging and dynamic changes over time: (1) the transition to democracy in the mid-1970s and early 1990s, (2) the 2008 financial and economic crisis, and (3) the implementation of European Union (EU) urban policies.

Local government and urban governance in Europe: (2017). Local government and urban governance in Europe. Planning Theory & Practice. Ahead of Print.

25 March 2018

Can Strategic Spatial Planning Contribute to Land Degradation Reduction in Urban Regions? State of the Art and Future Research


Land degradation is becoming a serious environmental issue threatening fertile agricultural soils and other natural resources. There are many driving forces behind land degradation. The expansion of artificial surfaces due to various economic activities, such as housing, industry, and transport infrastructure, known as soil sealing, constitutes one of the most intensive forms of land degradation in urban regions. 

Measures to halt and reverse land degradation require both strong land-use management policies, as well as effective spatial planning mechanisms. In this regard, strategic spatial planning has been increasingly practised in many urban regions worldwide, as a means to achieve sustainable land-use patterns and to guide the location of development and physical infrastructures. 

It is reasonable, therefore, to expect that strategic spatial planning can counteract the outlined undesired land degradation effects, specifically those resulting from soil sealing. In this paper, we review strategic spatial planning literature published between 1992 and 2017. 

The focus is on the phenomena causing land degradation that are addressed by strategic spatial planning literature, as well as on the mechanisms describing the role of strategic spatial planning in land degradation reduction. Results show that sustainable development and environmental concerns have become core objectives of strategic planning in recent years, yet references to the drivers of land degradation are rare. 

The mechanisms that exist are mainly intended to address environmental issues in general, and are not aimed at reducing particular forms of land degradation. T

he paper concludes by sketching future research directions, intended to support strategic spatial planning and land-use policymaking related to coping with the global phenomenon of land degradation.

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22 March 2018

“Branding Places – How to attract, keep, and motivate residents, tourists and companies” in June (18th-20th 2018) in Copenhagen.

Copenhagen Business School Executive Teaching is offering a three days intensive course of “Branding Places – How to attract, keep, and motivate residents, tourists and companies” in June (18th-20th 2018) in Copenhagen.


Sebastian Zenker

Do you have the feeling that you are a little stuck in your daily routine and would like to have some time to critically reflect, exchange experiences and learn more about the field? We may have something for you: Copenhagen Business School Executive Teaching is offering a three days intensive course of “Branding Places – How to attract, keep, and motivate residents, tourists and companies” in June (18th-20th 2018) in Copenhagen. Meet and discuss with international well-known place branding experts and colleagues across Europe!  

Read more at: 

Constructing regional advantage in branding the cross-border Euroregion Galicia–northern Portugal


5 citations

78 Almetric score

Constructing regional advantage in branding the cross-border Euroregion Galicia–northern Portugal

This paper employs a constructing regional advantage (CRA) approach in respect of examining the potential of joint branding strategies intended to position and give visibility to cross-border regions. The CRA concept is introduced here to improve understanding about the empirical significance of a branding strategy through cross-border relatedness, differentiated knowledge bases and policy platforms. It also aims to contribute to the academic debate on region branding. The case study focuses on the Euroregion composed of Galicia in north-west Spain and northern Portugal (GNP). Findings show that the combination of the key economic domains in which GNP excels will echo the cross-border advantage and strengthen a joint region branding strategy.

26 February 2018

Renaud Vuignier

Institut des Hautes Etudes en Administration Publique, Université de Lausanne

New paper CONCUR WSL Project: Governance arrangements, funding mechanisms and power configurations in current practices of strategic spatial plan implementation

Governance arrangements, funding mechanisms and 

power configurations in current practices of 

strategic spatial plan implementation

  • Eduardo Oliveira and 
  • Anna M. Hersperger 
  • Highlights

    Current strategic spatial plan implementation practices are characterized by governance arrangements, funding and power configurations.
    Negotiations, interest groups involvement and multi-level government cooperation are pivotal governance arrangements in planning practice.
    Private interest groups as developers and retail representatives have been increasingly involved in negotiations during plan implementation.
    The law of the market is unrelenting in current strategic spatial plan implementation practice.
    Spatial governance in contemporary urban regions is increasingly being co-opted into the dominant neoliberal agendas.

    Implementing strategic spatial plans is a complex task. The process involves strategy formation, institutional capacity building, funding mechanism establishment and governance arrangements, which take shape within complex power configurations. Based on empirical evidence gathered by interviewing regional planning experts, this paper focuses on the role of governance arrangements and funding mechanisms in current practices of strategic plan implementation in 14 European urban regions. This investigation was completed bearing in mind power configurations, which shape and frame governance arrangements and funding mechanism in planning practice. A cross-case comparison provides evidence that, among the governance arrangements influencing plan implementation, negotiation and interest groups involvement are pivotal. Negotiation involves private interest groups, such as real estate agencies and environmental non-governmental organizations. The paper shows that in some case studies private interest groups have a substantial bargaining power to negotiate, for example, the development of a new housing settlement or a retail facility, while other groups struggle to safeguard natural areas. It is also during negotiations that plan implementation intentions are prioritized, strategic urban projects are formulated and funding mechanisms are established. The paper demonstrates that to truly grasp plan implementation praxis it is necessary to go beyond multi-actor involvement and inter-scalar government cooperation. It is necessary to scrutinize the funding sources, investigate who wins and who loses while negotiations are happening, and how plan implementation decisions are actually made.
    Open access

    Second International Conference for Sustainable Design of the Built Environment: Research in Practice (SDBE 2018) at the Crystal, London, UK

    Open call for papers to the Second International Conference for Sustainable Design of the Built Environment: Research in Practice (SDBE 2018) at the Crystal, London, UK on 12th -13th September 2018.

    The conference focuses on Research in Practice in sustainable design and planning, building energy performance, education for sustainability with an emphasis on a balanced approach to environmental, and socio-economic sustainability in research and practice.

    SDBE conference is a unique opportunity for researchers, academics, architects, urban designers, engineers, building consultants and professionals to share the latest knowledge, research and innovations in sustainable building design, building performance, simulation tools and low carbon building related technologies. The conference includes prominent keynote speakers from academia and practice to maximize opportunities for knowledge exchange.

    Conference Themes:

    1.      Education for sustainability
    2.      Energy efficiency in buildings
    3.      Low and zero carbon design strategies
    4.      Environmental design strategies in practice
    5.      Building performance evaluation and optimisation
    6.      Thermal comfort, health and wellbeing
    7.      Building performance simulation
    8.      Building Information Modelling (BIM)
    9.      Sustainable construction technologies
    10.     Renewable energy and green technologies
    11.     Sustainable urban design
    12.     Resource efficiency

    Keynote Speakers:
    Philip Jones, Professor, Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University
    Bruno Moser, Head of Urban Design, Foster and Partners
    Ashraf Salama, Professor, Head of School, University of Strathclyde
    Patrik Schumacher, Director, Zaha Hadid Architects

    Key dates:
    Abstract submission deadline (extended): 5th March 2018
    Abstract acceptance notification with comments: 19th March 2018
    Full paper submission deadline: 1st June 2018
    Full paper acceptance notification with comments: 2nd July 2018
    Deadline for full paper submission: 3rd August  2018
    Free conference registration for accepted papers [funded by the British Council]: 10th August 2018

    To submit a paper abstract: http://newton-sdbe.uk/conferences/sdbe-2018/
    For information on SDBE 2017 conference: http://newton-sdbe.uk/conferences/sdbe-conference-2017/
    For inquiries please contact: newton.SDBE@uel.ac.uk

    22 February 2018

    25th APDR Congress, to be held at the Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade NOVA de Lisboa

    Call for Papers and Special Session Proposals

    It is our pleasure to announce the 25th APDR Congress, to be held at the Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal, from July 5 to July 6, 2018.

    Theme of the Conference:
    Circular Economy, Urban Metabolism and Regional Development: Challenges for a Sustainable Future

    The call for papers and Special Session Proposals is open and your participation is very welcome!

    Themes of specific interest are:
     RS01 - Conceptualisation and models in regional development
     RS02 - Territorial development policies for circularity
     RS03 - Strategies of Circular Economy
     RS04 - Technological innovation, new products and business models
     RS05 - Regional innovation, clusters and ecosystems
     RS06 - Reverse cycles and innovation in logistics
     RS07 - Sectoral policies and circularity
     RS08 - Circular Economy and labour markets
     RS09 - Circular Economy and promotion of territories
     RS10 - Management of urban and peri-urban metabolism
     RS11 - Energy production and consumption for a sustainable fu-ture
     RS12 - Urban regeneration, real estate markets and Circular Economy
     RS13 - Cities and spatial planning in the Circular Economy
     RS14 - Management of resources and natural systems
     RS15 - Conserve and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources
     RS16 - Production, consumption and food waste in the context of the Circular Economy
     RS17 - Circular Economy and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

    Special Sessions already accepted!
    SS01 - BIM Technology in Resource Optimization
    Alcínia Zita Sampaio (Chair)
    SS02 - Waterfront Redevelopment Processes: New Issues and Challenges André Fernandes (Chair), João Figueira de Sousa, João Pedro Costa and Bruno Neves
    SS03 - Understanding Decision Making Processes in Wicked Problems: Conflicts and Collaboration in Urban Areas of Illegal Genesis
    Sara Encarnação (Chair) and Margarida Pereira

    Deadline for Special Session proposals: March 31th, 2018. Proposals should be sent by to the secretariat of the Congress (apdr@apdr.pt).

    Deadline for Abstracts submissions: May 6th, 2018. Abstracts should be submitted electronically, using the platform available on the Conference website: https://events.digitalpapers.org/apdr2018/

    All information at the congress website: http://www.apdr.pt/congresso/2018/

    Looking forward to meeting you in Lisbon!

    The Organizing Committee and the Board of APDR
    25th APDR Congress

    15 February 2018

    The Global Grid Twitter Chat: City Branding and Place Making

    If you are interested in learning more about City Branding and Place Making

    #join The Global Grid Twitter Chat using the # - #TheGlobalGrid
    Wednesday, 21st February @ 9pm (Zürich time)

    Who will be involved:

    The Institute of Place Management (IPM), with Louise Platt (Research Fellow at IPM) leading the conversation, and panel members:
          Malcolm Allan (PlaceMatters);
    ·         Eduardo Oliveira (Postdoc at WSL-Zürich);
    ·         Thorsten Kausch (Thorsten Kausch – Cities. Brands. Impulses)
    ·         The Global Grid team

    We will be discussing:

    ·         The most successful city brands around the world;

    ·         City brands and diversity;

    ·         City brand development processes;

    ·         The pre-requisites of a successful city branding process;

    ·         A framework for place making projects that bypasses community participation;

    ·         The influence of city branding processes on urban policies.

    29 Ways to Stay Creative

    With thanks to Professor Vasco Eiriz, EEG, Uni. Minho, Portugal


    30 January 2018

    Special Issue of Communication & Society: Place Branding. A Communication Perspective

    The journal Communication & Society announces the publication of a Special Issue in October 2018 focused on “Place Branding. A Communication Perspective” guest-edited by 

    Nigel Morgan (University of Swansea)

    Mihalis Kavaratzis (University of Leicester) 

    José Fernández-Cavia (Universitat Pompeu Fabra). 

    Although Place Branding is no longer an emerging field of study, it not yet established as a mature discipline. The valuable work of a number of scholars in recent years has advanced the theoretical background of the discipline. Furthermore, the application of branding strategies to a variety of places has greatly contributed to the popularization and professionalization of the field, something also verified by the founding of the International Place Branding Association.

    One of the prevailing qualities of place branding is that it critically affects people’s lives as residents and citizens. At the same time, one of its most problematic features is that the image and reputation of places depend heavily on factors that are complex and often impossible to control. Another fascinating characteristic of place branding is its interdisciplinary nature. In the study of place branding, theoretical underpinnings from many disciplines like economics, urban planning, geography, sociology, tourism, marketing, politics and so forth have all played an important role. This is, of course, particularly the case for the discipline of communication, whose links to place branding are indeed very strong. In a sense, it could be argued that branding is, in essence, a form of communication.

    This is why this special issue on place branding in a communication journal becomes timely and relevant. In this special issue, we encourage researchers to submit both conceptual and empirical contributions dealing with place branding from a communication perspective. Themes appropriate for this issue include but are not limited to: the contribution of communications to place branding; the use of social media in the promotion of cities, regions and nations; conceptual links between place branding and tourism or public diplomacy; the role of media practitioners in place branding; organizational challenges of public and private place branding institutions; comparative case studies with a particular focus on towns, regions or countries; methods to convey effective place images; and stakeholder engagement in place branding and communications processes. All submitted full papers will undertake a formal process of double-blind peer review by the Communication & Society editorial board.

    Submission date: Full papers must be submitted by February 28th, 2018. Contact: For queries, comments and submission, please email jose.fernandez@upf.edu

    Authors’ guidelines: http://www.unav.es/fcom/communication-society/en/envio_de_trabajos.php

    10 January 2018

    Call for Papers: RGS-IBG 2018 Annual International conference, Cardiff (UK), 28.31 August 2018

    Call for Papers: RGS-IBG 2018 Annual International conference, Cardiff (UK), 28.31 August 2018

    Cross-border areas, macro-regions: rethinking the EU spatiality? 

    Session sponsored by the Political Geography Research Group

    Conveyors: Estelle Evrard (University of Luxembourg) and Franziska Sielker (University of Cambridge) 

    Over the last few years, scholars have attempted to capture EU spatiality. The concept of territoriality was coined as a useful tool to examine the spatial significance of the EU as a political system transcending nation states (Moisio & Lukkonnen, 2014). The different accession phases (“widening”) and integration phases (“deepening”, e.g. Euro currency, Schengen Area) have been analysed as “differenciated integration” (Schimmelfenning, 2016). Over the last two decades, national political parties and public opinion have played a larger role in the integration process. This progressive shift towards the EU integration was described as a move from a “permissive consensus” to a “constraining dissensus” (Hooghe and Marks, 2008). “Disintegration” is part of the political science literature since about a decade (Bartolini, 2004). Brexit represents a direct manifestation of such a shift. The later geopolitical change influences how other member states position themselves within the EU and their respective neighborhood. 
    This session suggests taking territorial cooperation within the EU and with its periphery as the entry point to interrogate how EU spatiality is constructed. In this endeavor, cross-border cooperation areas and macro-regions are considered as examples of laboratories of cooperation across national and regional boundaries. These are horizontally at the crossroads of transnational flows and interdependencies fostered by the EU integration process. Vertically, they are often symptomatic to power shifts from the national level to the EU and subnational levels. They therefore allow reflecting on the challenges faced by diverging manifestations of territoriality, in an increasing differentiated integrated EU. 
    The RGS conference 2018 takes place while the Commission has released a White paper on the future of Europe suggesting different paths to pursue the EU integration. The overall ambition of this panel is to discuss the plasticity and meaning of EU territoriality against the backdrop of the wide ranging experiences from cross-border and macro-regional cooperation, and bottom-up initiatives without direct relation to EU cooperation formats. In our understanding, these forms of territorial cooperation question the concept of territoriality on the one hand and invite rethinking the EU integration on the other. We understand territoriality as a construction that can play different roles in different cooperation initiatives. We therefore seek both theoretical contributions questioning the core concepts as well as empirical contributions about regional experiences. The session conveyors intend to contribute to the overall reflection of EU spatiality.
    The selected research papers will be allocated a slot of 15-minutes.  

    Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to Estelle Evrard (estelle.evrard@uni.lu) and Franziska Sielker (fs421@cam.ac.uk) by 2nd February 2018 (5pm). This should include title (max. 15 words), author affiliation and email address.

    Bartolini, S. (2004): Political territoriality and European (dis)integration: https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/bitstream/handle/1887/13883/IChapter5pdf.pdf?sequence=12 
    Hooghe, L., & Marks, G. (2009). A Postfunctionalist Theory of European Integration: From Permissive Consensus to Constraining Dissensus. British Journal of Political Science, 39(1), 1-23. doi:10.1017/S0007123408000409
    Moisio, S. & Lukkonnen, J. (2014): European spatial planning as governmentality: an inquiry into rationalities, techniques, and manifestations, Environment and Planning C, 32, p.1-18
    Schimmelfenning, F. (2016): Good governance and differentiated integration: Graded membership in the European Union, European Journal of Political Research, 55, p.789-810

    8 January 2018

    Regional Governance, Industrial Restructuring and Sustainable Development

    We are pleased to annouce that registration is open for our forthcoming Global conference in China, this will take place between 29th June - 1st July 2018 at Peking University, Beijing, China. We have 3 confirmed plenary speakers with more names to follow shortly. Please see below for all the relevant information.

    Abstract submission deadline: 28th February 2018
    Special Session proposal deadline: 14th February 2018

    Confirmed plenary speakers (more to follow):Ron Boschma, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
    David Rigby, UCLA, USA
    Robert Hassink, Kiel University, Germany
    Submission Details
    Please submit your abstract (250 - 500 word abstracts) through the Regional Studies Association conference portal by 28th February 2017. Please
    click here to see the Call for Papers, to read more about the conference please click here.

    We welcome papers from all – academics, researchers, students and those working in policy and practice. The event is inclusive and offers networking opportunities for all in our field. The organisers welcome proposals for special sessions, themed workshops and innovative forms of networking and collaboration. If you would like to organise or offer a session to the conference or if you have any questions, please contact Lesa Reynolds: lesa.reynolds@regionalstudies.org

    Academic Organiser: Professor Canfei He, Peking University, China

    If you would like any further information please do not heistate to contact me.