This international conference explores the changing face of regional urbanism, asking if the environmental, economic and social challenges facing many parts of the world will provide new opportunities for regional cities to develop alternative forms of urban living which are fundamentally different from those of the rapidly expanding metropolises.  Inspired by recent debates about the over-riding economic, political and cultural dominance of London in the United Kingdom, and the survival of regional cities in the north of the country, this conference will take place in a key regional town, Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, located along the ‘Trans-Pennine Corridor’ between Leeds and Manchester.

Through an examination of such issues as environmental sustainability, cultural/civic identity, transportation, health and well-being and social/economic development, the conference will offer a platform for multi-disciplinary debate between academics, policy-makers and practitioners. The conference, which will be hosted by the Centre for Urban Design, Architecture and Sustainability at the University of Huddersfield, is aimed at urban designers, planners, architects, geographers, sociologists, philosophers, policy makers, urban theorists, historians, landscape architects, economists, conservationists, educationalists, health specialists and politicians.

Submission of abstracts for paper presentations (400 words maximum) or posters (A3 size boards) are invited to address the overarching focus of regional urbanism in the era of globalisation. Themes may include, but are not limited to:       

The Challenges of Globalisation

  • Regionalism in the Shadow of Global Cities
  • Centre vs. Periphery
  • Relationships between the Metropolis and the Regional City Network
  • Emerging Geographies of Power: The Disappearance of Distance 
  • Re-inventing a Regional Identity
  • International Transferability of Urban Design Skills

Sustainability of the Urban Environment

  • Strategies for Sustainable Development
  • Improving Urban Infrastructure
  • Regional Planning Initiatives
  • Housing and Poverty
  • Designing for Rapid Urbanisation
  • Landscape and Topographical Relationships

Regional Geographies

  • Urban vs. Rural
  • Transport planning and infrastructure
  • Public Sector Role in Urban Design and Planning Challenges
  • Post-industrial Regeneration
  • Regional Planning Initiatives
  • Governance and Localism

Historical and Cultural Dimensions

  • Continuity and Change
  • Cultural Identity and Attachment to Place
  • Heritage and Local Histories
  • Civic and Participatory Space
  • Regional Architectural and Area Conservation
  • Urban Morphologies

Health and Well-Being

  • Future of Regional Health-Care
  • Enhancing Community Cohesion and Social Innovation
  • Impact of Ageing Population
  • Addressing Long Term Unemployment
  • Housing, Neighbourhoods, Communities and Safety
  • Case Studies of Participatory Urban Design

Managing Social and Economic Change

  • Competing with the Metropolis
  • Decline of the Commercial High-Street
  • Redefining the Work vs. Leisure Model
  • Future of Service and Manufacturing Sectors  
  • Cultural Exchanges, Social Innovation and Community Engagement
  • Role of the ‘Academy’ in Addressing Urban/Social Decline  
  • Urban Design Implementation in Regional and Global Contexts


  • Abstracts can be submitted.1
  • Please ensure you include on your submission your name, affiliation and email address.


  • Conference proceedings of abstracts will be published for the conference and an edited book of selected papers is planned after the conference.

Conference registration:

  • Early bird £200 (not including evening meal)
  • Full rates £250 (not including evening meal)
  • Student early bird rate £100 (not including evening meal)
  • Student full rate £150 (not including evening meal)
  • Student day rate (Thursday/Friday) £50
  • Day rate £150 (not including Wednesday evening meal)
  • Reception and Wednesday evening Key note £75

Scientific Committee:

  • Dr. Yasminah Beebeejaun, University College London
  • Dr. Katharina Borsi, University of Nottingham
  • Dr. Ben Clifford, University College London
  • Prof. Maria Luisa Cristina Dias, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)
  • Prof. Daniela Fialho, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)
  • Dr. Yun Gao, University of Huddersfield
  • Prof. Dean Hawkes, Cardiff School of Architecture, and Darwin College, Cambridge University
  • Dr. Caroline Newton, KU Leuven
  • Prof. Adrian Pitt, University of Huddersfield
  • Prof. Luigi Stendardo, University of Padova

Contact: regionalurbanismconference[at]

Keynote Speakers

Kenneth Frampton, Ware Professor of Architecture at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), Columbia University.

  • Kenneth Frampton trained as an architect at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London. After practicing for a number of years in the United Kingdom and in Israel, he served as the editor of the British magazine Architectural Design. In 1972–73 he was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard Graduate School of Design. He has taught at a number of leading institutions, including the Royal College of Art, the ETH Zurich, EPFL Lausanne, the Accademia di Architettura in Mendrisio, and the Berlage Institute in The Netherlands.
  • He is currently the Ware Professor of Architecture at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, New York; and he is the author of Modern Architecture and the Critical Present (1980), Studies in Tectonic Culture (1995), American Masterworks (1995), Le Corbusier (2001), Labour, Work and Architecture (2005), and an updated fourth edition of Modern Architecture: A Critical History (2007). His latest book, forthcoming in Autumn 2015, is A Genealogy of Modern Architecture: A Comparative Critical Analysis of Built Form.

Saskia Sassen, Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and Centennial Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics.

  • Saskia Sassen is an internationally renowned sociologist and world authority on the impact of globalisation on cities and nations. In 2014 she was voted as one of the world’s leading thinkers by Prospect magazine. Sassen is Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology, Columbia University, Co-Chair Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University and Centennial Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics.
  • Her research examines the social, economic and political dimensions of globalisation, specifically in areas relating to immigration, the emergence of ‘global cities’ (a term first coined by Sassen), the development of networking technologies and terrorism. Sassen is a prolific writer and author of seminal texts that have received many awards and much critical acclaim. Her publications include The Mobility of Labor and Capital (Cambridge University Press, 1988), The Global City (Princeton University Press, 1991; 2nd ed 2002), Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages (Princeton University Press, 2006; 2nd ed. 2008) and most recently Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2014).

John Tomaney, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London.

  • John Tomaney is Professor of Urban and Regional Planning in the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences at Monash University, Melbourne; Visiting Professorial Fellow at the University of New South Wales, Sydney; Visiting Professor in CURDS, Newcastle University. He is also a Fellow of the Regional Australia Institute.
  • He has published over 100 books and articles on questions of local and regional development including Local and Regional Development (Routledge, 2006) and Handbook of Local and Regional Development (Routledge 2011). He has undertaken research projects for UK Research Councils, government departments in the UK and elsewhere, the European Commission, the OECD and local and regional development agencies and private sector and voluntary organizations and think tanks in the UK and abroad. He has given evidence to Royal Commissions and Parliamentary Committees in the UK regarding High Speed Rail 2 (HS2), and is a regular commentator in the UK media on matters of local and regional development.

Carlos Garcia Vazquez, Professor of Architectural History, Theory and Composition at the University of Seville.

  • Carlos García Vázquez is Full Professor at the University of Sevilla, Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Sevilla (ETSAS) and Director of the Research Group of the Universidad de Sevilla “Ciudad, Arquitectura y Patrimonio Contemporáneos”. He is Visiting Professor in Politecnico di Milano from 2010, and has been Visiting in a number of South America Universities in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Bolivia and Ecuador.
  • Already Member of Scientific Committees, and Editorial Advisor for a number of Journals, He authored Ciudad Hojaldre. Visiones urbanas del siglo XXI (Gustavo Gili, Barcelone, 2004), and Antípolis. El desvanecimiento de lo urbano en el Cinturón del Sol (Gustavo Gili, Barcelone, 2011).
  • He has been Principal Investigator in national and international research projects, on social housing neighbourhoods’ regeneration in Andalusia region (2011-2014); 20th century architecture across Spain, Gibraltar and France (2005-2007); Architecture, Cities and Territory of Costa del Sol (2007-2008).
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