6th Urban and Regional Research Network (URRN) Symposium

Rethinking Urban and Regional Development

17-19 September, 2015
Izmir, Turkey
Triggered by financialisation processes in the course of the globalisation of the world economy, urban and regional development discourses over the last couple of decades have been dominated by discussions of territorial competitiveness, and of services and real-estate as its major drivers. The emphasis on the dynamics of territorial competitiveness is accompanied by debates on the emerging entrepreneurial forms of governance in urban land and property markets, giving way to the identification of spatial interventions (projects or property-led developments) and attraction of global finance capital as policy instruments for social and economic development and redevelopment.

The recent crisis and the subsequent projections for a slowdown in the growth of the global economy signal the limits to the sustainability of the financial economy and realestate-driven urban and regional development. Evidence from cities and regions which proved to be the hotspots of global finance and real-estate driven growth signals the limits to such growth. It seems particularly impossible for cities and regions which lagged behind in attracting global finance and real estate investments to sustain such real estate driven urban developments. It has been increasingly acknowledged that the sustainability of demand in the real estate market is not possible unless growth in production and increase in manufacturing value added is maintained.

Evidence from many countries supports these emerging debates which call for a paradigm shift that involves new objectives, new geographical scope, new governance and new policy instruments. However, the newly emerging paradigm is not clear and the factual implications of this search for new models of urban and regional development are not pronounced. Therefore, it is the right time to rethink the production-driven real economy as well as the macro-economic policies, reforms and smart public investments required for an innovative restructuring of the economy.  A significant concern for the profound thinker should be what new roles cities and regions will take on in this new phase of development.

It is in this context that the 2015 Symposium of the Urban and Regional Research Network calls for papers that seek to look into the challenges of the real estate driven economic development, the conditions which force a transition from a real estate- to a production-driven economy as well as the spatial implications of these changes. The Symposium also welcomes discussions on the emerging economic configuration after the 2008 crisis, its possible impacts on spatial organisation and implications for national, regional and urban policies and planning.

We invite theoretical and empirical research papers across a range of disciplines and fields to contribute to the symposium. Potential topics of interest might include, but are not limited to papers that seek to investigate the following questions:

  • What are/should be the characteristics of the emerging economy after the 2008 global crisis?

  • How can/will the entrepreneurial state transform into one which supports production driven economic development? What are the different ways this could be achieved?

  • What are the drivers and dynamics of moving from real estate- to production-driven economy?

  • What should be the new industrialisation and specialisation strategies that can contribute to growth not only in core but also in peripheral regions?

  • What have been the impacts on the economic, social and environmental structure of cities and regions of real estate-driven economic development? What have been the consequences on the centres and peripheries of urban areas?

  • What are/should be the main principles of a production-driven urban and regional development?

  • What will/should be the role of the state and different institutions in this emerging economy? Which institutional transformations are required to facilitate this transformation and the sustainability of the emerging economy?

  • What changes in urban, regional and rural development policies are required for such a transformation?


Please send 400 word abstracts to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.whichshould include:  

  • Title of the abstract/paper
  • Keywords
  • Name(s) of the author(s)
  • Academic title of the author(s)
  • Affiliation(s)
  • Complete mail address(es)
  • E-mail address(es)
  • Corresponding author

 The deadline for submitting abstracts is 2 February 2015. Authors will be informed of the results of the review process by February 24th, 2015. The deadline for the submission of full papers is 29th June, 2015.


The Urban and Regional Research Network (URRN) is a voluntary network. It is established in 2004 by a group of volunteers in Middle East Technical University, Ankara as an independent platform for cooperation and knowledge dissemination among researchers and practitioners who are actively engaged in urban and regional research. The major missions of the network have been identified as bringing new issues on the national agenda (Turkey), dealing with problems of significant importance to the home country and to act as a bridge with the outside world, especially with the EU. Since its establishment in 2004, URRN has been expanded to include more than 600 members all over Turkey and has initiated nationwide activities. One of the regular activities that the URRN holds is the Urban and Regional Research Network Symposiumwhich aimstoprovide a platform for senior and junior academic researchers, practitioners as well as PhD students to come together and discuss research findings and ideas on a specific topic.

Following the successful fulfilment of its missions over the last 10 years, the URRN has made a decision to extend its activities beyond Turkey and hence welcomes researchers engaged in urban and regional research worldwide and across a range of disciplines to contribute to its 2015 Symposium on ‘Rethinking Urban and Regional Development’


The symposium is refereed and edited papers will be published in a Symposium Proceedings Book (unless the authors have other publication plans), the printed copies of which will be available at the Symposium.


URRN is a voluntary network with no external financial support. There is no participation fee for the symposium and participants are required to cover their own travel, board and lodging.