Call for papers for the Regions and the Environment Conference

As the global economy seeks to move out of a period of recession and great uncertainty, it is timely to ask some searching questions about the achievements of recent environmental policy approaches and the prospects for the new approaches.

At first glance, 2010 has not so far been an auspicious year for regional environmental policy. Global recession has put pressure on politicians to ensure economic growth. Copenhagen failed to live up to expectations, putting off hard decisions till a later date.

In the UK, public scepticism about those wishing to press for stronger environmental policies was fuelled by the adverse publicity surrounding the illegal hacking of the so-called Climategate emails. But this tells only part of the story – an altogether more positive outlook is painted by political pronouncements in the US, China, UK and elsewhere on green jobs and a Green New Deal, the promotion of environmental technologies, policies to address fuel poverty and energy savings, plus clear commitment to policies such as improved eco-standards for new housing, including the stretching targets for zero carbon housing. This political climate is guiding unprecedented levels of investment in developing new environmental technologies, products and services, bringing with it challenges of ensuring this money is used wisely and careful evaluation undertaken of the outcomes, both positive and negative.

The Regional Studies Association Winter Conference 2010 on Regions and the Environment presents an opportunity to discuss and debate these issues, to establish the research requirements and to address the concerns of practitioners and policymakers. The conference organisers are keen to attract papers and sessions which address a broad active research and policy agenda, including contributions from any discipline which can offer insights at local and regional levels. Papers which are collaborative, international or multi-disciplinary are especially welcome. We plan to prompt important questions about the future of environmental policy at all geographical scales, not least the regional and local level.

Contributions are welcomed on the following themes:
* Climate change as a driver of regional policy
* The challenges of low carbon economies
* Developing and evaluating sub-national policies for adaptation and mitigation
* Post-Copenhagen challenges for taking forward international and sub-national environmental policy
* Post Climategate challenges for public engagement in regional environmental policies
* Planning, postpolitics and the limits of consensus
* Green infrastructure and the problems of town cramming
* Regional and urban planning for the environment
* Strategies for local and regional resilience
* Evaluation Urban Renaissance, Smart Growth
* Alternative approaches – transitions towns, low impact development zones, local food initiatives
* Low carbon zones
* Environmental risk and public understanding of science
* New sectoral approaches – regions and transport, environmental protection, health, education…
* Planning, postpolitics and the challenges of consensus
* Critical analysis of tools for environmental policy
* Ecological and carbon footprints – challenges for their regional and local usage
Please submit offers of papers in the form of 400 word abstracts through the Regional Studies Association on-line conference portal by 30th
June 2010. Your MS Word file should contain your name, telephone, fax and e-mail details. To submit go to www.regional-studies-assoc.ac.uk and follow the Winter Conference Call 2010 for Papers link.
Proposals will be considered by the Conference Programme Committee against the criteria of originality and interest, subject balance and geographical spread.

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