The politics of the UK/Ireland Planning Res Conf
I was perturbed to read this CFP for the UK/Ireland Planning Research Conference
in Sept 2011. Whatever the possible analytical meanings of 'resilient
communities', the conept is clearly being used here in an extraordinarily
rightwing way, exactly in line with the politics, PR and mystifications of the
British and Irish governments. Job loss, unemployment, huge cuts to and
privatisation of the welfare state are referred to simply as 'economic
uncertainty' (since in the resilience framework, risk hardship replaces actual
hardship as the problem). All this austerity is accepted as a given fact
(justified presumably by 'global factors' and the 'need for fiscal balance').
'Communities' are expected to pick up the pieces in a Big Society fashion - the
social capital fix; there is no suggestion that workers, residents and citizens
might need to COLLECTIVELY STRUGGLE AGAINST this austerity.
Does anyone have the heart (and the time) to organise an alternative voice at
We are very pleased to announce that the 2011 UK/Ireland Planning Research
Conference “Planning Resilient Communities in Challenging Times” will be held
at the University of Birmingham, 12-14 September 2011.
The challenging times we face expose communities to a range of risks, hazards
and perceived threats which have direct implications for planning: climate
change and associated environmental issues; financial constraints, access to
credit and economic uncertainty; political and security disorders; the effects
of social polarisation and migration upon community cohesion; and, challenges
to existing patterns of governance and leadership styles. But what is the role
and remit of planning in these challenging times when places and communities
will need to be increasingly resilient? Here resilience is increasingly being
focused, not upon state institutions but upon citizen and community responses.
But do communities have the skills to make effective decisions affecting their
resilience and will all voices be heard equally? Moreover, how is planning
reconciling the challenge of finding solutions and spatial strategies that will
deliver ‘more for less’ whilst balancing future needs and resources?
Keynote speakers will include: Lord Richard Rogers (inaugural Brian Anson
Memorial lecture series); Professor Simin Davoudi, Keiran Rose and Kelvin
We invite suggestions for thematic sessions addressing ‘resilient
communities’ by 28 January 2011 and abstracts of papers by 25 March 2011.
For more information, details of requirements for abstracts and on-line
registration visit our website:
The Organising Committee
Dr. Lauren Andres
Lecturer in Spatial Planning
Centre for Urban and Regional Studies
Room 234 - GEES Building
University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK
Office : +44 (0)121 414 5021
Fax : +44 (0) 121 414 3279
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Dr Jamie Gough,
Department of Town and Regional Planning,
0114 222 6909 (direct line)