Between 31st August and 2nd September the Urban Institute took part in no less than four sessions at the Royal Geographical Society’s Annual International Conference.

Dr. Rachel Macrorie chaired an RGS-IBG convened session on ‘Urban Spaces (2): Planning, Modelling & Development’, in which she presented a paper co-authored with Prof. Simon Marvin entitled ‘Repackaging the city: A critical appraisal of three urban integration techniques’. The panel led to some lively and constructive discussion between disciplinary perspectives, as to how the reconfiguration of urban spaces, places and processes might be conceptualised and researched. It also raised questions as to the role of interstitial spaces & intermediary actors as a means to enable transformations.

Professor Beth Perry chaired two sessions on ‘Cities as Nodes in the Food Nexus: Learning from the Global South and North’, which was sponsored jointly by the Food Geographies Working Group and Mistra Urban Futures. The first session included five contributions which mapped food landscapes in Cape Town, Gothenburg, Greater Manchester, Ouagadougou and Toronto. Her contribution, with Dr Mike Hardman, consisted of presenting Greater Manchester’s foodscape through a participatory board game. The second session took on a World Café Style and was facilitated by practitioner-collaborator, Louise Marix Evans. Participants developed themes and questions from the presentations and then co-designed potential collaborative projects which resonated across the Global South and North.

Finally, Dr Nick Taylor Buck took part in a session on ‘Data, GIS and Technology’ where he presented a paper co-written with Dr Aidan While entitled ‘Positioning the Urban within Innovation and Research Policy’. This lively session resulted in links being made with Dr Dermott McMeel (University of Auckland, New Zealand) regarding his work on public information, social networks and the material impact of urban data, as well as Chris Sheldrick of innovative mapping company what3words.

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