Apologies for cross posting!
Abstract submission deadline coming up! (November 16)

Call for abstracts

Conceptualising, Identifying and Analysing Polycentric Urban Regions
Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
28-29 January, 2019

What could be a more inspiring location for the next event of the RSA Research 
Network on 'Polycentric Urban Regions' (PURs) than the Randstad, perhaps the 
most classic example of a Polycentric Urban Region and for decades a laboratory 
for analysis and policy-making on PURs?

We warmly invite scholars, early career researchers and PhD students to join us 
for a two-day workshop (January 28-29, 2019) on 'Conceptualising, Identifying 
and Analysing Polycentric Urban Regions' at the Faculty of Architecture and the 
Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands.

'Polycentric urban regions' (PURs) have become a key concept in urban and 
regional studies, both as an analytical framework to capture empirical 
realities as well as part of normative visions and goals in urban and regional 
development policies. In its most basic guise, the PUR notion - slightly 
different terms are used in the literature - applies to regions characterised 
by the presence of multiple, more-or-less proximate urban centres without 
pronounced hierarchical differentiation. The relevance of PUR research is 
premised on the observation that the concept captures an unfolding empirical 
reality. Indeed, PURs can be identified well beyond the intuitive examples such 
as the Randstad and the Rhein-Ruhr Area. In fact, PURs are increasingly 
becoming an empirical reality throughout Europe (Hoyler et al., 2008; Brezzi 
and Veneri, 2015), with 25% of the European population actually living in PURs 
(Meijers et al, 2018). Similar observations have been made for other world 
regions, including the U.S.A. where 22 out of 175 US metropolitan regions can 
be considered to be polycentric (Meijers and Lambregts, 2009). Research on 
urban and regional development in China has suggested that these can be 
fruitfully captured through the PUR notion as well. For example, large-scale 
regions such as the Yangtze and Pearl River Deltas are increasingly scrutinised 
through the PUR lens, as these megaregions are characterised by extensive 
series of more or less proximately located, significant cities (Li and Phelps, 
2017; Zhao et al., 2017).

To understand this emerging reality better, to develop a coherent theoretical 
framework on PURs and to offer an opportunity for the exchange and sharing of 
new conceptual approaches, methods and best practices in analytical studies of 
PURs, we would very much welcome contributions focusing on:

·         Conceptually defining PURs

·         Driving forces behind PUR-formation

·         Identification and delimitation of PURs around the world

·         The spatial organisation of PURs: functional relationships, 
hierarchies and complementarities

·         Network analysis to explore regional networks of cities

·         Micro-level spatial behaviour of households and firms in PURs

·         Linking polycentricity to economic competitiveness, environmental 
sustainability and social well-being

·         'Borrowed size' and 'agglomeration shadows' in PURs

·         'Big data' and new methods and analytical tools to understand PURs

·         Case study research on PURs versus comparative research: specifics 
versus general mechanisms

Obviously, this is a non-exclusive list of topics and we would be happy to 
accommodate papers (or works in progress) on related issues as long as these 
have a strong conceptual or methodological focus on PURs. Note that there will 
be another event in the context of the research network that is specifically 
devoted to governing the complexity of PURs in the Fall of 2018. We would be 
happy to discuss opportunities for a joint publication based on this workshop.

Keynote speakers
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Siedentop, TU Dortmund & scientific director ILS - 
Institut für Landes- und Stadtentwicklungsforschung, Germany
Dr. Michiel van Meeteren, Loughborough University, UK
Prof. Dr. Frank van Oort, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Dr.  Xingjian Liu, The University of Hong Kong, China

Workshop format
In addition to the keynote speakers, all participants will present their work 
in plenary sessions and the workshop will be organized in such a way that there 
is ample time for discussion, feedback and creative thinking on future research 

For enquiries, please contact:
- Evert Meijers (Delft University of Technology) 
- Ben Derudder (Ghent University) 

*             16 November 2018 - abstract submission deadline
*             20 November 2018 - notification of acceptance

Please send abstracts (or complete papers) to 
e.j.meij...@tudelft.nl<mailto:e.j.meij...@tudelft.nl> and 
ben.derud...@ugent.be<mailto:ben.derud...@ugent.be>.  Abstracts submitted will 
be reviewed by the organisers of the Regional Studies Network on Polycentric 
Urban Regions, as there is a maximum number of participants we can accommodate.

Travel bursary available for PhD student
We have a small budget to financially support travel and accommodation for PhD 
students that are willing to join the workshop and that do not have 
(sufficient) resources themselves in their project budget. If this is the case, 
please indicate in your submission email that you would like to be considered 
for this travel bursary.

Registration fee
Thanks to generous support by the Regional Studies Association, Delft 
University of Technology and Ghent University, workshop participation is free 
of charge and meals are included (including a conference dinner).

Travel and accomodation
We will provide an overview of travel options and accommodation options to the 
participants in a later stage.

RSA Research Network on Polycentric Urban Regions
The RSA Research Network on Polycentric Urban Regions was launched at the 
Regional Studies Association Annual conference in Lugano, Switzerland in June 
2018. The aim of the network is (1) to set a renewed agenda for PUR research 
within urban and regional studies, (2) to inform cutting-edge theoretical, 
methodological, and policy insights, (3) to cultivate synergies between 
researchers with different backgrounds and at different stages of their career, 
as well as (4) to  contribute to policy debates through impactful research and 
engagement. The initiators of the network are Ben Derudder, John Harrison, 
Michael Hoyler, Xingjian Liu and Evert Meijers. The network is open to all 
scholars with an interest in PURs!

Kind regards,

Evert Meijers & Ben Derudder

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