28 December 2015

Season’s Greetings from RSA Chair Andrew Beer

Dear RSA members and supporters,
It is pleasing to look back on this 50th year of the Association and reflect on the number of “firsts”, “bests” and “highests” that I can count. We have had a very high performing year to celebrate our anniversary and I would like to begin by thanking all those who have contributed to it – the RSA Board, the many members of our Committees, all those who have competed for and won grants or awards, and especially those individuals and groups who are contributing to the growth of our community through their work on research networks.  I especially want to thank our marvellous staff team who have out done themselves this year.
Membership is at an all-time high in absolute terms and is also the most international and the most spread across our membership categories. Professor Brian Robson, University of Manchester and the winner of our Sir Peter Hall Contribution to the Field award observed that the members demonstrate a real buzz about the Association – they are proud to be part of what is going on.
Conference activity has also raised the bar. In 2015 we held our first conference in Australasia and our second in mainland China, in the beautiful city of Hangzhou. The Annual Conference was large and held in Piacenza, Italy with busy Winter, Early Career and Policy events too. Over 2,500 people attended RSA events in 2015 – a record.
The RSA continued to internationalise during the year with membership in China exceeding its target and a new Division being opened in June in Latin America led by Marco Crocco, the President of the Minais Gerais Development Bank. Expansion in Eastern Europe is proceeding at pace, and a conference is planned there for the near future.
Our new start journal (2016) came to life in 2015. Led by Coordinating Editors, Professor Weidong Liu and Mick Dunford of the Chinese Academy of Science, this international effort has now commissioned articles and is ending the year with a growing number of unsolicited papers being submitted. This is a great start to a journal which will allow authors to write in their own research traditions where refereeing will largely be local. The Association values hearing new voices and acknowledges their important contribution to the field.  We also value the vital role they play in helping us find answers to the wicked societal problems that we face.
 This year the Regional Studies 2 year impact factor rose majestically, Spatial Economic Analysis appointed a new Editor in Chief – it’s hello to Paul Elhorst, Groningen and good bye and massive thank you to founding editor Bernie Fingleton for 10 years hard work. Territory, Politics, Governance enters the Web of Science Expanded Index after only 3 years and Regional Studies, Regional Science continues to publish gold open access articles from around the world with a mightily impressive 77,000 downloads in under 2 years.
On policy there has been a substantial leap forward. We have established a Policy Committee led by Paul Hildreth and we are looking to develop a series of fully-funded Policy Expos in early 2016.  These Expos will include a number of elements, including a short form policy book which will be distributed to all members as well as the subscribers to our journals.  We anticipate a massive footprint supported by a policy launch orchestrated by the Association andoffering the chance to prompt real change. 
Finally it is pleasing to announce that we have appointed a new President with Professor Ron Martin, Cambridge University taking the helm, supported by six Vice-Presidents – Dadao Lu, China; Ann Markusen, USA; Dirk Ahner, Belgium; Allen Scott, France; Flavia Martinelli, Italy and Clelio Campolina, Brazil. They will be helping us to build our strategy and our global presence going forward.
Ideas for development next year include a Network of Centres and further international expansion – see our Development Plan (also published during the year) for more details about what is emerging within your Association.
I look forward to talking with you at Graz, Austria in April or in Georgia, Atlanta in June  or even one of our many  other events in 2016.  Finally may I extend season’s greetings to you and wish you a happy and successful new year.
Andrew Beer

21 December 2015

Propositions belonging to the PhD thesis (updated version)

Propositions belonging to the PhD thesis

Place Branding in Strategic Spatial Planning
An Analysis at the Regional Scale with Special Reference to Northern Portugal

By Eduardo Henrique da Silva Oliveira

1)   People mistakenly think they know what place branding means because we are confronted daily with brands in shopping centres, grocery stores and through a variety of media channels. Place branding is a rather complex phenomenon.

2)   Place branding is an increasingly appealing topic for academic research and has proven to be a popular practice, while the debate on place branding too often lacks any intellectual grounding or even positioning within wider spatial planning strategies.

3)   There is a need for ways of thinking and for tools, concepts and instruments that help governments, citizens and spatial planners to cope better with the challenges that arise in dynamic and complex environments: strategic spatial planning is such an approach - able to deal with these social, economic and spatial challenges places are facing.

4)   Place managers, spatial planners and policy-makers have been embracing place branding as a possible solution for a bewildering assortment of deep-seated socio-spatial and spatial-economic issues. It is, however, important to realize that place branding is neither a magic solution nor a one-size-fits-all approach.

5)   Place branding aims to identify common ideas and directions for the future of the community, and to produce collectively generated place stories and visions.

6)   Place branding must be primarily oriented towards the support of local business, the improvement of infrastructures and the physical condition of the territory, the provision of health and educational services, and contribute towards job creation as well as job maintenance and talent retention - rather than focus mainly on attracting investment, tourists, new residents and highly qualified workers.

7)   As a strategic spatial planning instrument, place branding focuses on a limited number of strategic key issues and focuses on place-specific qualities, assets (whether tangible or intangible), and involves relevant place actors and the specific activities of citizens, politicians and spatial planners.

8)   Place branding, integrated as an instrument in strategic spatial planning, supports visionary realignments and structural change, fosters economic restructuring, social inclusion and cohesion, encourages political engagement and civic participation, in addition to reinforcing place identification and the general well-being of communities.

9)   Place branding is thought of as a process of place re-imaging in order to correct a negative image or to increase awareness of the place.

10)             To be effective place branding should be narrowly defined, but to be possible it must be wide in scope.

Sobre uma marca territorial para a euroregião Galiza-Norte de Portugal

Sobre uma marca territorial para a euroregião Galiza-Norte de Portugal

"Constructing regional advantage in branding the cross-border Euroregion Galicia–northern Portugal" (acesso livre)
A Strategic Spatial Planning Approach to Cross-Border Place Branding with References to Galicia and Northern Portugal (capitulo em livro. posso enviar o PDF)

8 December 2015

RSA Annual Conference 2016 - Building Bridges: Cities and Regions in a Transnational World

RSA Annual Conference 2016 - Building Bridges: Cities and Regions in a Transnational World Karl-Franzen University, Graz, Austria
3rd - 6th April 2016

In light of ongoing demand, the deadline for abstract submission and the early bird registration fee for the RSA Annual Conference in Graz have been extended until Sunday 31st January 2016
If you are still unsure about attending the conference, you can find more information about the conference/themes/speakers and special sessions
click here to find out more about the hotels in Graz that are offering special rates for our delegates

7 December 2015

The Impacts of the Global Financial Crisis on EU Regions and Cities: Implications for the Challenges Faced by Cohesion Policy

The Impacts of the Global Financial Crisis on EU Regions and Cities: Implications for the Challenges Faced by Cohesion Policy
Prof. Philip McCann, University of Groningen 
Special Adviser to the Commissioner Corina Cretu 
Prof. Gunther Maier,
WU Vienna University of Economics and Business
at DG REGIO, BU-1 RDC/046 (Vip room) 
Avenue de Beaulieu 5, B-1160 Brussels

Send your request by email t
o info@ersa.org   or  
Participation is free but pre-registration is mandatory.   
Ongoing: 2016 Lecture Series programme is under preparation and will include  
Roberta Capello, Dominique Foray, Kevin Morgan in the first quarter of the year. More details on the topics and timeschedule early next year . 

3 December 2015

RSA Annual Conference Graz 2016 - plenary speakers announced

Call for Papers
Regional Studies Association Annual Conference 2016
Building Bridges: Cities and Regions in a Transnational World‘
3rd - 6th April 2016, Karl-Franzen- University, Graz, Austria
Plenary Speakers announced

Throughout history, cities and regions have been cornerstones of economic, social and cultural institution building and centres of communication and trade across borders of empires and nations. In a globalised world dominated by multi-level governance and declining economic and political significance of the nation-state, cities and regions are becoming ever more so important in building bridges across nations, supra-national unions, and even continents.
Confirmed Plenary Speakers
Prof. Iain Begg
, European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
Prof. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings
, Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Dr. Andrea Mairate
, Directorate for Territorial Cooperation, Macro-regions and North-West Europe, European Commission, Belgium
Prof. Philip McCann
, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
Prof. Jenny Phillimore
, University of Birmingham, UK
Dr. Martin Kahanec
, Central European University in Budapest, Hungary
Mag. Dr. Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell
, Austrian Institute of Economic Research, Austria
Prof. Dr. Ewald Engelen
, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Please click here to find out more about the Plenary Speakers.
Special Sessions Proposals
Please click
here to view submitted Special Sessions.
Besides paper presentations we also welcome Special Sessions. A Special Session could be a themed workshop or innovative forms of networking and collaboration. We are open to your ideas and happy to discuss these with you.
For more information please click
here or contact Wanda Miczorek at wanda.miczorek@regionalstudies.org
General Call for Papers
We welcome papers that address any of the following conference themes:

Austerity (Risk and Resilience)

Socio-Spatial inequalities, Aging, Knowledge Exchange,  Demography and Wellbeing

Urban and Regional Sustainability

Innovation, Agglomeration, Evolution

Leadership and Governance

Clusters, Competence Centres, Smart Specialisation and Global Production

Geo Economy and Geo Politics

Local and Regional Economic Development and Planning

City Region Building and Metropolitics

Identity, Citizenship and Lived Differences

Territorial Politics, Metropolitics and Federalism

Cohesion, Competition and Smart Cities

Urban and Regional Theory, Methodology and Data

Infrastructures and Built Environment

Developing Area Studies

Smart Rural Areas and Peri Urban Areas

Health and Wellbeing/Health Economics

Spa Tourism/Music Tourism/ Sports Tourism/Film Tourism

Climate Change, Sustainability and Mitigation

Federalism, Subsidiary and the Allocation of Competences
Submission of
Please submit your abstract (400-500 words, text only, no pictures, graphs or tables) through the Regional Studies Association online portal by Monday 7th December 2015. Proposals will be considered by the Conference Programming Committee against the criteria of originality, interest and subject balance.
Conference Bursaries
We have conference bursaries available for this conference.
For more details, go to www.regionalstudies.org/uploads/documents/Bursary_Guidelines_Graz.pdf.
Please contact Wanda Miczorek at
wanda.miczorek@regionalstudies.org for further details and questions regarding abstract submission.

Special issue in European Planning Studies Spatial planning and place branding: rethinking relations and synergies

Introduction:  Kristof Van Assche, Raoul Beunen and Eduardo Oliveira  Rethinking planning-branding relations: an introduction . https:...