Transitions and adaptations in selected city-rural regions

This work programme engages with current debates and theorising on city-region transition and adaptation. In particular our interest here is with the various spatial scales and functional sectors to which the term sustainable place-making can be applied, how sustainability is spatially conceptualised, planned for and managed, and by whom. 

Points of focus include how and why different stakeholders are becoming involved; the ways in which evidence of transition and adaptation is currently being measured and recorded and the implications of this for policy decision-making and academic research.

In reviewing current literature and thinking on urban planning and the related terms of sustainable regions, eco-cities and sustainable communities, we aim to identify core social, ecological, political and economic dimensions of sustainable place-making and consider how they can be brought together in a more integrated manner.

Drawing on a range of examples, and working with world-leading collaborators, the work programme directly supports the development of a comparative city-region research hub bringing together theory, empirical research and policy adaptations amongst a series of selected city regions. 

This includes studying city-region adaptation and transition in the Greater Helsinki City-Region (Finland) - working collaboratively with colleagues from the Swedish School of Social Sciences, Helsinki University; studying urban food planning and transition in Toronto, Ontario (Canada) – working collaboratively with colleagues in Wilfred-Laurier University and the University of Toronto; and studying both local government and community-led sustainability action in Cardiff city-region – working collaboratively with members of Cardiff Council and Welsh Government.

The research programme brings together researchers from the Schools of Planning and Geography, Architecture, Engineering and Law. In particular it will significantly develop and extend social science work on urban food systems and alternative food supply chains, urban-rural relations and community-led sustainability practice.

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