The changing role of cities
As the urban population continues to explode and we see unprecedented urban development, cities are growing in number and size. Large metropolitan areas and megacities of over 10 million people now host over half the world’s population, and represent increasingly large geographic territories, spreading past traditional municipal boundaries and challenging our existing structures of local governments, economies, and identities.
Cities are becoming the scale by which we plan neighbourhoods and structure our lives, leaving us with questions as to how we can best support the people living within and surrounding our cities:
- How should the metropolis be governed?
- What is the appropriate scale to consider and organize local governance and communities?
- How can we plan for sustainable economic and geographic development?
The “city-region” — the functional areas surrounding a city or cities, consisting of several areas of local government, but often representing shared services, community networks, and economies — has emerged as an important concept for answering some of these key questions.
The City-Region Studies Centre (CRSC) is pleased to announce City-Regions and Prospect? Exploring Points between Place and Practice, a collection of essays that contributes to the growing discourse on city-regionalism. City-Regions in Prospect? grew out of a workshop and conference hosted by the CRSC and Edmonton’s Capital Regional Board. Leading scholars came together to reflect on the value and applications of city-regional and metropolitan governance. According to Dr. Kevin Jones, director of the CRSC and co-editor of the book, “we realized during that conference that there was a need to keep the conversation growing, a need for a medium to continue this important and vibrant dialogue.”
The resulting volume brings together multiple perspectives from a range of disciplines, geographic areas, and frameworks. From London, England to Ottawa, Canada, from Foucault to urban planning and palliative care – the case studies presented in this book explore city-regionalism as a theoretical, practical, and political tool for researchers and planners alike.
“The future prospects of the city-region lie in reasserting an emphasis on emergence over imposition; focusing on community dynamics over boundaries; facilitating networks and relationships over bureaucracy; and facing up to the necessary political regeneration and settlements rather than masking stresses with rhetoric.”
Jones, Kevin Edson, Alex Lord and Rob Shields. 2015. City-Regions in Prospect? Exploring Points between Place and Practice. Montreal & Kingston, MQUP.