Distressed Cities – Conference, Videos & Edited Volume (forthcoming)

 [This just in from Beth Offenbacker at Virginia Tech]

A progressive, generative, interdisciplinary exchange

SPIA initiates Ridenour Faculty Fellowship conference & research series.

A different conference format generating new approaches to the pressing problems of our time.

Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs initiates a conference and research series promoting interdisciplinary discussion.

The purpose is to push through disciplinary limitations in understanding social phenomena and to suggest solutions to problems.

 The first conference took place in April 2012 and focused on distressed cities.

Our approach is twofold.  First we advance a progressive, interdisciplinary exchange during each Ridenour Faculty Fellowship conference.  Second, we build a research network between scholars, artists, and practitioners aimed at generating insights for practice and publications from research inspired by the conferences.

Click here to watch brief videos highlighting our Distressed Cities conference speakers.

Robert Beauregard, Columbia University, Talks About Depopulation and the Promise of Growth

John Provo, Virginia Tech, Talks About Development and Density

Margaret Cowell, Virginia Tech, Talks About Resilience

Derek Hyra, Virginia Tech, Talks About Displacement, Development and Extrapolation

Yang Zhang, Virginia Tech, Talks About Urban Planning Solutions and Culture

…and others.

Visit our website to subscribe to updates,

including news about our forthcoming edited volume on Distressed Cities and also our next Ridenour conference in 2013.

Distressed Cities Conference [April 2012-Virginia Tech]: Volume Underway

[Reblogged from the Distressed Cities blog]

Communities of varied sizes across the United States are struggling with the loss of industry, growing unemployment, foreclosures and abandoned properties, fiscal crisis, and the resulting strains across the social fabric. Scholars and practitioners label large communities facing the most obvious and significant challenges as “distressed cities,” and tremendous energy, scholarship, and effort has gone into understanding the causes and dimensions of distress, and to identify possible ways to generate or restore community health and vibrancy.

SPIA’s Conference 2012
Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) took a deep, interdisciplinary look at the empirical and conceptual issues surrounding distressed cities in the Ridenour Faculty Fellowship Conference on April 12 and 13th 2012. Our method was free flowing multidisciplinary discussions focused on key concepts and resources related to distress, and the result was a critical yet generative examination of distress as condition and as concept. The role of art, public participation, planning, passion, policy, leadership, emergency response, and more were rubbed against each other during our conference, and both the sparks and the smoke of this action helped us draw a bigger picture, raising epistemological, political and practical questions.

We will now work together to develop a volume presenting and further developing the theoretical and practical ideas of the conference to contribute to and advance knowledge and action for this crucial public challenge. We’ll keep you posted on this site.