Posted on January 24, 2012 by Naomi Finseth

The Alberta Centre for Sutainable Rural Communities (ACSRC) Presents:
A free public talk with Dr. Rob Shields, Director, City-Region Studies Centre (CRSC) and Dr. Kevin Jones, Research Associate, CRSC entitled: “Exploring city-regions as innovative spaces between the local and the global” on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 12:30 PM in the Dr. Roger Epp Conference Room, University of Alberta – Augustana Campus.

The Alberta Centre for Sutainable Rural Communities (ACSRC) Presents:
A free public talk with Dr. Rob Shields, Director, City-Region Studies Centre (CRSC) and  Dr. Kevin Jones, Research Associate, CRSC entitled: “Exploring city-regions as innovative spaces between the local and the global” on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 12:30 PM in the Dr. Roger Epp Conference Room, University of Alberta – Augustana Campus.  Refreshments will be provided.

Abstract
Expanding urban spaces are increasingly imagined as central to the creation of prosperity and innovation in society.  These city-regions are seen to act as bridges between place and global networks of trade, consumption, and knowledge mobilisation.  In order to participate in these networks cities strive to achieve the conditions – including, for example, municipal policy develop (ie. amalgamation), urban aesthetics and liveability, and the creation of innovation hubs – which will enable integration within these networks, so as to achieve the greatest socio-economic benefit for all.

However, achieving the imagined benefits of the city-region is not as straightforward as is sometimes presumed.  Actions tend be motivated by an external gaze on what is desired, as opposed to understanding global participation from the point of understanding local contexts and cultures.  The result can be a sense of dissatisfaction or policy failure when achievements and benefits fall short of expectations.  Through an understanding of the challenges of bridging spaces at different scales this paper seeks to relocate the policy attention back to the situatedness of global interactions.  In doing so, recent research at the CRSC on the relationship between innovation clustering and city-regional development will be discussed.

Presenter Bios
Dr. Rob Shields work spans architecture and planning as well as media and cultural studies. His early career was in passive solar architectural design.  He founded  Space and Culture an international peer-refereed journal, and CURB planning magazine, has lectured in half a dozen countries and given numerous keynote and plenary talks on the identities of Places on the Margin (Outstanding Book of the Year 1991), on consumption and Lifestyle Shopping (ed. 1993), urban and architectural issues such as What is a City? Rethinking the Urban After Katrina (ed. 2008), and Building Tomorrow: Innovation in Construction (ed. 2005), as well as theorists such as Henri Lefebvre (1999), and the relevance of The Virtual (2003) and of Cultures of Internet (ed. 1996) to everyday urban life.   New work ranges from facilitating strategic thinking about Regions, the future of the strip mall,  to co-edited studies of Ecologies of Affect (2011), and a monograph on Topologies of Space (forthcoming).

Dr. Kevin Jones is cross-appointed as a Research Associate in the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology, and the City-Region Studies Centre.  Prior to joining the University of Alberta Dr. Jones was Lecturer in Science and Technology Policy at the University of Liverpool.  His research addresses the relationships between social publics and scientific expertise aournd issues of environmental risk and technological development.  A specific focus of this research has involved the examination of how policy practices and cultures can be adapted to account for uncertainty and the accommodation of multiple forms of expertise.  More recently, Dr. Jones has been researching how cities, and the local communities making-up these urban regions, can participate in science policy and clustering initiatives.  This research has focused on the designation of Edmonton as a hub for nanotechnology research and commercial development.  The aim of this project is to foster locally engaged and socially robust models of innovation and development.

Date: Friday, January 27, 2012
Time: 12:30 – 1:30 PM
Location: Dr. Roger Epp Conference Room

Contact the ACSRC for more info p: 780.679.1672 e: admin.acsrc@ualberta.ca


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