Regions in Recovery Building Sustainable Futures – Global e-Festival

Date 2 June 2021 09:00 - 18 June 2021 17:00
Venue Online
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Recent months have seen the exceptional become the ordinary. From social distancing to widespread travel restrictions, new quarantine rules to lockdowns and remote working, the significant shock of Covid-19 and its implications are becoming clearer for all to see. And yet, as attention switches to recovery, calls to pivot away from business-as-usual approaches are clashing with structural forces opposed to significant change. Add in the global climate and migration crises, rise in populism, racial tensions and the #blacklivesmatter movement, geopolitical manoeuvrings by the United States, Russia, China, EU, and the question on most people’s lips is: what happens next?
Against this backdrop, regional studies are more vital than ever to inform public debate and invoke appropriate policy responses. Indeed, regional studies has tools tailored to understanding the spatial impacts of significant shocks, be they economic, political, social or environmental. For this reason, regional research is once more spearheading major efforts to provide the type of reliable, robust knowledge necessary to support cities and regions in their recovery. 2020 has taught us that the greater the change the greater the disruption, but also the greater the disruption the greater the chance of change. As we look ahead though, it is critical that we consider fundamental questions about the significance of these changes. What changes will ultimately endure? Which changes will be short-lived and quickly fizzle away? Why is this and what are the implications for cities and regions? What does it tell us about the capacity for regional research to influence policy and affect meaningful change?
The Regions in Recovery Festival presents a timely opportunity to discuss and debate these important issues, to establish the need and nature of future research imperatives in the field, and to address the concerns and challenges confronting practitioners and policymakers. The focus on rapid change is an invitation to step outside the narrow confines of existing debate to address issues of profound relevance, significance and importance to the future of regions and cities. 

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