Planning for Urban Regions in Transition, Growth and Shrinkage
AESOP Co-Chair : Maros Finka,Bratislava University, Slovakia
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ACSP Co-Chair : David Lewis, University at Albany, USA
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21st century societal development may be characterized by accelerated transformation towards knowledge based society, wider and deeper integration, demographic shifts and globalisation. The contradictions between the different dynamics that regulate social development and the development of spatial systems have exasperated social and economic imbalances both across and within regions. The transformation processes concern most (if not all) regions, although with different intensity, depending on the specific societal conditions, effects of transformation, structural sensitivity, capacity to absorb the disturbances and adaptability. Urban and regional growth and shrinkage are directly related to these general and local dynamics.
The ongoing global financial crisis reveals the selective processes of economic and spatial development and their obscured imbalances, resulting from the short-term (and shortsighted) development policies focused on GDP growth at the expense of sustainable development. Spatial transformation and development processes are under increased pressure. The potential solutions to these problems concerns substantive as well as process-related aspects of planning theory and practice looking for optimal spatial patterns and organisational models of spatial systems in the regions as well as for new efficient planning modes and instruments.