IGU CDES Conference 2023: Rethinking the Economic Geography of Smaller Urban Places: Transformation and Well-Being in Small and Medium-Sized Towns.
13.09.2023 | 00:00 –
15.09.2023 | 23:59
13.09.2023 – 

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The conference is organized by the IGU Commission on “The Dynamics of Economic Spaces” in collaboration with the Institute of Geography & the Center for Regional Economic Development at the University of Bern, Switzerland, and the Anton Melik Geographical Institute, ZRC SAZU, in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Conceptual and empirical papers that cover the economic geography dimensions of transformation and well-being in small and medium-sized towns are invited. Papers are welcomed on the following topics, but not limited to:

  • Conceptualisation and assessment of economic transformation processes in SMSTs or small city-regions;
  • Displacement and discontent due to economic transformation and (negative and positive) economic development;
  • Resilience and adaptation to economic transformation strategies by local communities, economic actors such as firms, organisations, public sector, local leaders, etc.;
  • Embedding and disembedding of SMSTs in the global economy through global value chains, global production networks, local anchor firms such as so-called “hidden champions”;
  • Transformation of economic sectors such as manufacturing, retail, personalised services, tourism, creative industries, etc. in SMSTs;
  • Industrial culture: how it evolves and transforms SMSTs;
  • New innovation models and processes in response to multiple crises (COVID-19, climate crisis, economic crisis, etc.);
  • Strategies of actors in SMSTs to go beyond small size and to capitalise on concepts such as “borrowing size” or “agglomeration shadows”;
  • Emerging opportunities as a result of shifting housing demands, shifting work patterns (e.g. homeoffice), changing work culture, etc.;
  • The role of real estate investors in small and medium-sized towns;
  • New forms of urbanity and the changing role of residential economies and the foundational economy;
  • Rethinking economic growth paradigms and sufficiency/post-growth policies in SMSTs;
  • Planning and policy responses to respond or to foster economic transformation such as Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) or others.

Please send your abstract including 4 to 6 keywords (max. 250 words) to simon.kuenzi@giub.unibe.ch by 15 May 2023.

The MRI encourages and invites colleagues to participate with a “mountains-lens” to these key questions.

Key dates:

  • Deadline for Abstracts: 15 May 2023
  • Notification about acceptance: 1 June 2023
  • Registration closes: 1 July 2023
  • Preliminary Program: Mid July 2023
  • Final Program: Beginning of August 2023
  • Conference dates: 13-15 September 2023

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 Image source by Yura Lytkin.