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Empty country lively cities 2009 : Empty country and lively cities - spatial differentiation in the face of demographic change


When May 7, 2009 - May 8, 2009
Where Berlin
Submission Deadline Oct 31, 2008
Notification Due Dec 12, 2008
Final Version Due May 7, 2009

Call For Papers

In recent times, headlines like Depopulation in Peripheral Regions, Rural Areas: Old People´s Homes of Our Society or Cities as Melting Pots? have been drawing attention to the demographic changes that are now affecting all European countries. Demographic change and its complex effects have been addressed for a number of years now as a challenge to urban and regional studies.

Shrinkage, ageing, and diversification of the population are not evenly distributed in space. Cities and regions follow different development paths. Increasingly, conditions of economic competitiveness, quality of life, ecological carrying capacity, technical and social infrastructures, and opportunities for political and societal participation differ between cities and regions. Social and spatial inequalities are to be seen not as exceptions to the rule but as the outcome of current demographic changes and key elements in spatial development. Polarisation and pluralisation possibly go hand in hand in urban and regional development.

The aim of the conference is to bring together current research on differentiation in urban and regional development and the resulting political requirements in the context of demographic change in Germany and Europe. The conference offers PhD students and senior researchers a platform to present the status of their theoretical and empirical research. Political decision-makers, representatives from administration, and NGOs are invited to report on the political challenges of increasing diversity in spatial development and to discuss possible strategies for action with the scientific community.

The key issues of the conference will be considered from three perspectives:

a comparative international, and especially European perspective,
a sectoral perspective on effects of demographic change (effects on housing, technical infrastructure systems, the educational system, public expenditures, etc.),
a planning and policy perspective in the context of regional and local governance and strategy development.

Please use the conference website ( and the available documents for submitting an abstract. The schedule is as follows:

Friday, October 31st, 2008: deadline for submission of abstracts (maximum of 500 words),
Friday, December 12th, 2008: information about acceptance of abstract (via e-mail),
Friday, January 9th, 2009: publication of programme and opening of registration.

On request, the organizers support PhD students from abroad ( Conference languages are English and German. During the conference, it is possible to present posters on the topic of the event. Further information can be found on the conference website.

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