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International workshop to explore challenges of planning and governing cities and regions

Loughborough University will host an international workshop to discuss the challenges of planning and governing large city-regions which have multiple urban centres.

Organised by Dr John Harrison and Michael Hoyler, Readers in Human Geography in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities and Co-Directors of the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Research Network, the workshop brings together the latest insights into the benefits and challenges of strengthening planning and governance at the city-regional scale.

The workshop will explore Polycentric Urban Regions (PURs), which have been championed by advocates as an innovative way to manage urban-rural relations and framed by policymakers as a way of delivering sustainable spatially balanced development.

The workshop will be held at the University between 2-3 September and will see academics from four continents contribute to the sessions.

Keynote lectures will be given by Professor Nicholas Phelps, University of Melbourne; Professor Kathy Pain, University of Reading; and Dr Christophe Sohn, Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research.

Dr John Harrison said: “The development of polycentric urban regions is not a spatially and socially homogeneous process. It is important to identify people and places that are ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in city-regional processes. Our workshop will provide a platform to critically evaluate the PUR concept across a wide range of international examples.”

Michael Hoyler added: “We are delighted to be hosting this workshop at Loughborough, home to a vibrant tradition of research in urban and regional studies. Our very own polycentric urban region, the East Midlands, is an ideal location to discuss planning and governance challenges facing city-regions around the globe today.”

The workshop at Loughborough forms part of a programme of meetings brought together by the Regional Studies Association (RSA) Research Network on Polycentric Urban Regions.

More information can be found here