New urban leadership in the era of de-globalisation?

New urban leadership in the era of de-globalisation?

Between 9-12 October 2017 European Commission headquarters hosted a series of activities within the framework of the European Week of Regions and Cities as an annual event devoted to discuss contemporary challenges and opportunities of cities and regions. I was invited to give a talk by Regional Science Association in an interesting session on new urban leadership, chaired by Prof. Andrew Beer, University of South Australia, along with Prof. Markku Sotarauta of University of Tampere and Dr. Igor Calzada of University of Oxford. Igor, in his passionate talk covering the recent referendum on Catalonian independence and turmoil in Spain invited the policy makers to focus on the process of voicing democratic regional representation. Markku, using metaphors of football and Santa Claus, explained how entrepreneurial leadership may give places new identitiy. My stand point was to invite new urban leaders to focus on constructive diversity policy, especially at the local level in cities, neighbourhoods and communities. Based on DIVERCITIES project’s outcomes collected in the Handbook for Governing Hyper-diverse Cities we recently published, I invited the new urban leaders to aware of policy outcomes we elaborated in the Handbook to deal with diversity in cities in the era of fear and paranoia:

More information on this event can be seen at http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/regions-and-cities/2017/index.cfm

Meaningful Encounters

Meaningful Encounters

Meaningful Encounters is an exploratory research project attempting to understand the relationship between meaningful encounters in public spaces and place making activities in the city. Together with Sara Ozogul, I organised an event at Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam on 25 October 2016 titled The City as a Lab #2: Creating Meaningful Encounters in Cities of Diversity. We had several questions: When do encounters become meaningful? When do they bring diverse people together and provide new ways of relating beyond presumptions and stereotypes? And can we plan for those encounters? We held a ‘mobile urban lab experiment’ in Amsterdam Oost with a small group of participants from different disciplinary and professional backgrounds. During an organised walk they explored different spaces and initiatives in order to gain insight into the practices, challenges and opportunities of creating meaningful encounters. You can read a report on the DIVERCITIES website.

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