Territorial uncertainty and vulnerability as a challenge for urban and regional policy

The organizers invite submission of papers concerning different understanding in various countries of the concept of territorial capital, based on a foundation of different sciences across multiple disciplines (geography, economy, sociology, etc.) as well as on the basis of political documents of varied level. Certainly, as a complementary result of this discussion, articles will be particularly welcome referring to concrete and tangible cases regarding dynamics and structure of territorial capital of European regions, including the results of research projects touching upon the aforesaid subject matter (e.g. ESPON).

In particular, the Forum 2013 sessions will be built upon the discussions on the following dilemmas:

  • According to the contemporary concepts of regional development, the quality of human resources and cooperation skills are perceived as the most significant factors behind socio-economicdevelopment. Depending on their magnitude and quality, these factors can be either an essential barrier or a stimulus for development. In particular, education and constant expanding one’s qualifications are extremely important factors, becoming a driving force behind regional and national development. Usually with an increase in a share of population with a higher education, there is also an increase in an economic potential of rural areas – better-educated areas are characterized by a larger number of economic entities, lower rate of  unemployment and higher revenues for local authorities. Also, the active involvement of local communities is regarded today as one of the principal factors behind economic development, as well as actually  contributing to building up bonds and trust between members of social groups. Regions having rich citizenship traditions are doing better in economic growth and are enjoying better local governance. Inhabitants of such regions through engagement in different local affairs tend to believe that everyone else is willing to comply with social rules and act honestly. The organizers invite presentations concerning these issues, which provide effective solutions as to the transfer of knowledge into the areas characterised by low human capital resources, as well as which present proposals how to stimulate orgenerate initiatives for cooperation and involvement.
  • Territorial capital will be looked also at through the prism of discussion on the shape of cohesion policy as well as on directions of utilizing European funds in the new financial perspective 2014-2020. In this context, the concept of territorial capital can be identified with regional endogenous resources, providing the support for which is one of the major premises of the territorial cohesion policy. Among the goals of discussion can be mentioned an attempt to answer the following questions: a) what policy can lead to strengthening of territorial capital; b) whether territorial capital can influence the effectiveness of the implemented intervention (including investment measures); c) whether support provided via the European Union assistance funds determines the vulnerability of local economies to the effects of global economic problems; what indicators best illustrate the level of territorial capital, and thus can be employed in evaluation of the implemented policies.
  • In the discussions concerning the functioning of institutional system, increasing attention is being given to the issues of public governance. Particularly in Central-East European countries this is the subject of topical interest, because there is still so much to be done in that area, and attempts to change that situation are frequently met with stubborn resistance. The organizers express hope that during the conference such issues are going to be raised as: the role of public governance in socio-economic development, a relationship between territorial capital and quality of public governance, new forms of public governance (e.g. multilevel governance), factors facilitating and hindering the introduction of the new forms of governance, specificity of governance at different territorial levels and their coordination.
  • One of the chief elements of territorial capital is environmental potential understood as endogenous resource, which can generate trajectories of regional development. In this aspect the issues of identification and evaluation will be discussed, inter alia eco-system services, analysis of improving regional stickiness based on evaluation of investment attractiveness that follow from environmental and landscape potential as well as from taking advantage of ecological and economic models, including inputoutput (IOM) and total requirement (TMR) models utilized to optimize the regional governance.
  • Public Capital and Regional Development – the purpose of the session is to show the theoretical and empirical findings on the role of public capital (infrastructure) in regional development. The main emphasis will be put on technical infrastructure (transport, energy, waste and water systems and communication). Spatial context will be considered in terms of corridor effect and spatial spillovers. Papers on regional accessibility and its impact on socio-economic regional development are warmly welcomed. Papers concerning social infrastructure (health, education etc.) are also acceptable.