Saturday 30 May 2009

City Futures '09 in Madrid

I'm off to Madrid on Wednesday for the City Futures '09 conference, hosted by the European Urban Research Association (EURA) and the US-based Urban Affairs Association (UAA). I'm looking forward to the event and to seeing Madrid (but not the heat), pero mi espaƱol es no bueno! The variety of papers and presenters is quite an exciting prospect, and the conference is organised according to several themes, as below:

  • Climate change, resource use, and urban adaptation. How sustainable are modern cities? What policies are being introduced to tackle climate change

  • Knowledge and technology in urban development. How are cities harnessing knowledge and technology to increase the quality of life for their citizens? Whither local economic development in a rapidly changing world?

  • Community development, migration and integration in urban areas. How are cities coping with rapid population movements – both into and out of cities? What are the implications for housing, urban regeneration and community building of international population shifts?

  • Urban governance and city planning in an international era. Sound city governance and urban planning†are critical to urban success. What are the implications of current trends for political and managerial leadership? How should cities position themselves internationally? [I'm doing a paper here]

  • Architecture and the design of the public realm. The quality of architecture and urban design affects the quality of life in cities. What innovations are taking place in urban design and planning at street level? Are cities redesigning themselves to cope with new challenges relating to, for example, public safety?

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    I didn't manage to make the 2008 conference in Milan, but did go to the 2007 version in Glasgow where I presented work on migration and neighbourhood change with Kitty Lymperopoulou. In Madrid, I'm talking about area-based urban policies and the complications of this kind of spatial targeting. For more on Spanish urban policy, as opposed to urban policy being discussed in Spain, the European Urban Knowledge Network is a good place to start.