City locked in networks Host University of Warsaw Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies contents

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Application to host the 2017 EURA conference

City locked in networks


University of Warsaw

Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies


Description of the applicant 3

Grounds 4

Proposed topic 4

Conference tracks 5

Mobile workshops 7

Other events 8

committees 8

Time frame 9

Dissemination of information 10

Preliminary Budget and administrative aspects 10

Conference venue, transport to Warsaw and Accommodation 11

Tentative calendar 13

Description of the applicant

University of Warsaw, Faculty of Geography and Regional Science, Department of Local Development and Policy

The University of Warsaw is the largest and one of the best universities in Poland. Celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2016, the University of Warsaw is the oldest of the capital’s colleges.

Nearly 60,000 people study at the University of Warsaw every year. The candidates are offered a very broad range of courses in the fields of humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, as well as many interdisciplinary courses combining knowledge and skills of many disciplines. In addition to the modern languages curriculum, the University of Warsaw offers twenty study programmes in English.

The University is located in the capital of Poland, one of the most dynamically developing European cities. Warsaw is the centre of political and economic life and has a lively social and cultural scene. It is climbing steadily in world rankings of the most attractive places to live; it is in the top fifty of the City Brand Index and ranks 19th in the UN prosperity ranking. Warsaw is also an unchallenged leader considering Poland’s academic life: it is host to more than 200,000 students per year.

The University’s historical Main Campus, located in the very heart of Warsaw, is renowned for its splendid architecture. Its imposing buildings, some going back to the 17th century, are one of the city’s main tourist attractions. The opening of the nearby University Library building, which took place at the very end of the millennium, marked a new chapter in the history of the University’s architecture.

The Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies was founded in 1977 but the department of geography has existed at the University of Warsaw since 1918. Today the Faculty employs nearly 100 academic staff and educates nearly 1000 students in two programmes: Geography and Spatial Management. Graduates are prepared to work in state and local government administration, regional and local development agencies, consulting companies, spatial management institutions and institutions and enterprises which collect and process environmental data.

Research projects conducted at the Faculty are focused on landscape ecology, remote sensing and cartographic methods, modelling of hydrological processes, urban climate and global climate changes, local and regional development.

The Department of Local Development and Policy is a dynamic research and teaching centre conducting interdisciplinary studies on regional and local development, as well as politics and policy-making processes. Currently our team consists of 12 researchers and academic teachers (including 3 Ph.D. students). During last years our staff participated in many research projects, including two projects financed within the 6th Framework Programme. We are authors of numerous expert reports prepared for the Polish government, regional and local authorities, as well as international organizations such as The World Bank, Council of Europe, Open Society Institute, and British Department for International development (DFID).

In May 2006 we organized the Bi-Annual Conference of European Urban Research Association (EURA) “Cities in City Regions" in Warsaw. The conference gathered over 120 participants from 26 countries. Between January 2005 and 2011 Paweł Swianiewicz, Head of the Department, was the Chair of EURA Executive Board.


The proposed theme relates to the wide discussed in urban science issue of networks. Network is a general notion used in many context – spatial, economic, social, political. We propose to look at the network through the lens of institutions which is expressed in the title by the lock-in concept. It brings to the discussion a historical perspective and tends to enquire on a sustainability as well as the mechanisms of changes.

Organising the EURA conference in 2017 in Warsaw by the Department of Local Development and Policy will coincide with Department’s 10th anniversary. It will be a great occasion to celebrate both events – conference and anniversary.

We hope the conference will give us an opportunity to promote urban studies and local government studies among Polish scholars and students. We also plan to include practitioners – local politicians, managers and official to the both events.

The city of Warsaw is a dynamically changing place. In recent years a lot of new investments were completed and a lot of new important cultural places were created. There is new infrastructure which was built on the occasion of EURO UEFA 2012, there are new important for Poland and Central Europe Museums like Warsaw Raising Museum (since 2004), Museum of the History of Polish Jews (new building and expositions since 2014) and there are new popularizing science investments like Copernicus Science Centre (since 2010). This year (2014) in Warsaw the first tools for metropolitan governance have been established. Polish Capital is also a place of divers Europeanisation processes. Warsaw is an exciting place for urban researchers interesting in various dimensions of urban development.

Proposed topic

The topic we propose for the 2017 EURA conference is City locked in networks. Following an often quoted Castells’s methaphor of space of flows we must recognize cities not only as nodes concentrating those flows, but also as political agents entangled into innumerable networks encompassing globalised world. Those networks may operate on various scales – from the very local one (like in case of local community or entrepreneurs engaged in public governance) to the regional (metropolitan cooperation) and international ones (twinning or urban organisations like Eurocities or Union of the Baltic Cities). As a result we face cities operating in multiscalar spaces. This gives room to look at the cities as political agents shaping their presence on the global political and economic arena. It also provides scope for dealing with inner urban politics and policies as signs of downscaling.

Lock-in concept was brought up not only to underline that the importance of network structure for contemporary development and policy can have positive and negative influence on different processes and places but first of all to enhance discussion about an origins and history of diverse sets of factors and difficulties in policy implementations with which cities struggle in the 21st century. Lock in concept brings to the discussion among others notions like sustainability, flexibility, incremental changes, evolution, durability, permanency, and self-reinforced mechanisms.

This perspective allows embracing all topics connected to relations constructed by cities and urban actors towards external actors. Proposed conference tracks encompass political, social, democratic, functional, economic and spatial relations, providing scope for participation of scholars dealing with cities from various perspectives.

Conference tracks

This description of the proposed tracks is preliminary.

Track 1. City locked in metropolitan regions

None of the urban conference these days can be complete without referring to metropolitan regions. They are considered as nodes in a global space of flows, as sites for innovation and growth, as complex and therefore often problematic socio-economic systems, as laboratories of local democracy as well as globalisation and Europeanisation processes. Being strong economic and political centres, they can be a source of advantages both for the core city and for suburban municipalities, but they can also pose a barrier for social, economic and political development. It depends on ability to collaborate and to cross borders – local and international once, physical and mental. As a result, multi-level governance becomes necessary to include different organisation located in urban region in public governance of a territory locked in multiple scalar realities.

Relations in metropolitan regions can be analysed from various perspectives. The track explores the networks created in the political, social and economic systems in the cities’ surroundings, especially issues of:

  • Metropolitan citizenship, the question of territorial identity and metropolitan solidarity among citizens

  • Democratic mechanisms in metropolitan multi-level systems

  • Intermunicipal cooperation and competition in metropolitan regions, specialisation and complementary offer (mechanisms of competitive advantage building)

  • Political relations between municipalities and institutional setting for metropolitan regions

  • Economic development of various parts of metropolitan regions

  • Social problems in various parts of metropolitan regions (social exclusion, pathologies, criminality, poverty)

  • Problems with coherent / complementary spatial planning in metropolitan regions

  • Service delivery in metropolitan regions

The main question is what are the barriers which contemporary cities have to overcome to build efficient networks in its’ metropolitan regions?

Track 2. Cities locked in economy

Economies of many cities become locked into development paths that lose dynamism, whilst other cities’ economies seem able to avoid this danger and in effect are able to ‘reinvent’ themselves through successive new paths or phases of development. City governments are increasingly taking an active role in economic development, working to attract and retain businesses and residents. What are strategies of urban leaders to enhance cities’ economic development and competitiveness?

The global financial crisis has had a significant impact on the situation of European cities. Cities are where austerity bites. However, never equally. A larger number of struggling cities have been attempting to manage, in the context of falling revenues and often structural deficits, step-change reductions in staffing and service levels. Other cities in such circumstances have been looking for the new solutions, have been trying to drive innovations in outsourcing and privatization. In addition, austerity policies pursued by governments across Europe have resulted in local government seeking new forms of service provision and new relationships with other potential providers. How cities react to economic/ financial crisis? In particular, to what extent they see cooperation with other actors as a way out?
New Public Management created vast range of new tools which improved effectiveness of political management in cities. On the other hand there are different threats for democracy resulted of this way of transforming local government. Especially the threats for accountability and public control are considered. One of the main questions posted in this track is: can we identify the local government reforms’ directions in which NPM coexists with efficient democracy in private-public networks? Some urban leaders are disappointed with NPM as a tool bringing cost savings and better economic performance. How cases of re-municipalization change dynamics of cooperation with businesses?

Track 3. Cities locked in Europeanisation

In the European context cities have become well tangled in processes of European integration and EU policies. Being actors of European multi-level governance system they are not only subject to top-down Europeanisation, but also agents of bottom-up initiatives. Recent decades have brought numerous tools for both strategies: EU funds with the new urban dimension of cohesion policy, URBAN and URBACT projects, European Capital of Culture, international urban networks like Eurocities or Union of the Baltic Cities to name just a few.

In this track we will discuss various forms of cities’ involvement in Europeanisation processes. We welcome both political perspective focused on EU policies and regulation as well as a more social one dealing with learning, modes of governance and changes in norms and values. The main question of the track is: Can cities be the powerful actors creating trans-European political, social and economic networks?

Track 4. Cities locked in physical space

Even in the era of virtual connections and de-localized communities, each city remains located in a particular physical space. The development of the information technology allowed citizens to work remotely and act politically on virtual arenas of public debate, but still physical distance, natural barriers and environmental hazards determine the development of urban spaces and cities’ manageability.

In this track we will discuss the limitations which are imposed on cities and city regions by the physical space. To what extent the development of infrastructure helps to overcome these limitations? What is the role of public investments in making new areas more available to human activities and more resilient to natural hazards? Whether the information technology developments have made contemporary cities less dependent on the physical distance? Whether the role of physical space has changed in urban planning?

Track 5. Cities locked in globalisation and global changes

Cities, as nodes of global networks, are particularly vulnerable to global challenges, related to the environmental changes, demographic processes, security or crises on international markets.

Obviously, one of the most discussed global challenge is the climate change. Many cities have already experienced negative consequences of extreme weather events or rising sea-level. In this track we would welcome papers describing to what extent cities and city regions are resilient to such a challenge. How can we assess properly the risk related to the climate change? How to manage that risk and act politically in extremely long – decennial, even centennial – perspective?

In this track we will also discuss what impact on cities and city regions have other global challenges. How they are defined? How city leaders and local communities perceive their responsibility of dealing with global issues? To what extent responses to global challenges are uniform (or different) across various cities?

It is particularly interesting to capture the new ways of managing global issues at local and regional level, assess the organizational innovations which occurred as a response to global problems, describe how different modes of governance perform in managing global challenges in cities and city regions.

Track 6. Cities locked in democratic institutions

Many scholars and activists look attentively at cities and urban leaders, searching institutional innovations which could renew contemporary democracy. As the diagnoses of democratic institutions at the national level are predominantly pessimistic (dropping rates of civic involvement, shrinking confidence in public authorities, inefficiency of public bureaucracy etc.), many cities are laboratories of inclusion, participatory democracy and deliberation. Urban movements experiment with new ways of defining politics and start to compete with well-established political parties and their leaders.

In this track we focus our attention on democratic institutions and political leadership: How did network structures influence urban politics and transforme classical democratic institutions? What are the tools used to renew urban democracy? How do the offer presented by new urban movements re-define urban politics?

Mobile workshops

We offer two types of „mobile” events during the conference.

First is a plenary session in a place of tourist interest in Warsaw. Here we consider three places:

  • The Warsaw Rising Museum – opened in 2004, on the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of fighting in Warsaw, as a Warsaw residents’ tribute to those who fought and died for free Poland and its capital. The Museum t is located in a former tram power station, it gathers over 30 000 exhibits, including touching personal stuff and short documentaries.

  • Museum of the History of Polish Jews – though opened in spring 2013, its main exhibition presenting the thousand-year history of Polish Jews, took place in autumn of 2014. The Museum stands in what was once the heart of Jewish Warsaw – an area which the Nazis turned into the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. The mere building, designed by the Finnish studio Lahdelma & Mahlamäki received the prestigious Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award in 2008 (so when it was still under construction).

  • National Stadium – built for EURO UEFA 2012 the Stadium stands on the site of the former 10th Anniversary Stadium (Anniversary of signing a political Manifesto of the Polish Committee of National Liberation, PKWN, a Soviet-backed provisional government, which operated in opposition to the London-based Polish government in exile). The National Stadium serves now as a leisure and cultural centrum on the East side of Warsaw.

All places have a proper infrastructure for plenary sessions. The session will be accompanied by circa one hour time either for individual sightseeing of an object or for a short organized tour (National Stadium offers a few kinds of such tours; Warsaw Rising Museum conducts “lessons”, which could be adjusted to foreign academics). Transfer to the University Campus will be provided.

Second type of mobile events is a selection of 2-3 short urban trips available for participants. We plan to offer:

  • Gastronomic tour of Warsaw with stories about traditional Polish cuisine and degustation (possibility of a small workshop)

  • “Under the bridges” bike tour along the East shore of Vistula River (Nature 2000 area with riparian forests, recently organized “wild” beaches) –

  • Warsaw in PRL – Warsaw before 1989: Tour organized by Adventure Warsaw company, showing places reminding socialist heritage (old bars, Koneser factory etc.)

Some of these conferences workshops would involve additional fee. Their organization is conditioned by interest of participants

Other events

Plenary sessions

The keynote speakers will be proposed in line with the topic of the conference. We plan to invite researchers of different part of Europe who undertake their recent research in the field of urban and local studies and whose works are widely discussed.

Workshop for academics with politicians

We plan to organise workshop with academics, politicians and practitioners. We would like to invite local politicians and managers who agree to present the latest achievements of different Polish local governments. We also plan to ask some of them to present their opinion of Polish local government system and needed reforms. We hope they will agree to answer questions asked by academics participating in the conference.


Programme Committee

Prof. Paweł Swianiewicz, University of Warsaw

Prof. Andrzej Lisowski, Dean of the Faculty of Geography and Regional Science

Moreover we will take an attempt to invite these persons to join Programme Committee if our application was accepted:

Ján Buček – Head of Department of Human Geography and Demography, Comenius University, Slovakia

Prof. Colin Copus – Director of Local Governance Research Unit, Department of Politics and Public Policy, De Montfort University

Prof. Dr. Sabine Kuhlmann – Universität Potsdam, Department of Economic and Social Sciences, Chair of Political Science , Administration and Organisation II

Cristina Stănuş, PhD – Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities Department of International Relations, Political Science and Security Studies

Filipe Teles – Pro-rector University of Aveiro, Portugal

Prof. Dr. Karsten Zimmermann – Technical University of Dortmund, Faculty of Spatial Planning, European Planning Cultures

Member(s) delegated by the EURA board and others TBD.

Local organizing committee

Adam Gendzwiłł, PhD – Department of Local Development and Policy, Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Warsaw

Joanna Krukowska, PhD – Department of Local Development and Policy, Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Warsaw

Marta Lackowska, PhD – Department of Local Development and Policy, Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Warsaw

Julita Łukomska, PhD – Department of Local Development and Policy, Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Warsaw

Katarzyna Szmigiel-Rawska, PhD – Department of Local Development and Policy, Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Warsaw

Time frame

17-20 June 2017

Draft proposal – conference programme

Day one – Wednesday

EURA Board Meeting

18:00 -19:00 Registration of participants

19:00 Pre-conference reception

Day two – Thursday

Registration of participants – whole day long

9:00 – 12:00 Plenary session I – Warsaw Rising Museum

Transfer to the campus

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 16:00 Panel sessions in the various tracks (1)

16:00 – 16:30 Coffee break

16:30 – 18:30 Panel sessions in the various tracks (2) and/or meetings of special interest groups

Day three – Friday

9:00 – 11:00 Plenary session II – local politicians (National Stadium)

Transfer back to the Campus

11:30 – 12:00 Coffee break

12:00 – 14:00 Panel sessions in the various tracks (3)

14:00 – 15:00 Lunch

15:00 – 17:00 Panel sessions in the various tracks (4)

17:00 – 17:30 Coffee break

17:30 – 18:30 EURA General Assembly

19:00 Conference reception

Day four – Saturday

9:00 – 11:00 Panel sessions in the various tracks (5)

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee break, transfer to Museum the History of Polish Jews

12:30 – 14:30 Final plenary session, closing of the conference

Dissemination of information

All information about the conference will be available on the website and on the official Facebook profile of the conference ( Information will be also disseminated researchers’ profiles on Twitter by popularisation of hashtag proposed for the conference’s tweets (#eura2017). Electronic communication will be conducted through one single e-mail address

Other means of promotion and dissemination will include newsletters and mailing lists of global, European and Polish scientific organisations and associations such as: Regional Studies Association (RSA), European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), European Group for Public Administration (EGPA), International Sociological Association (ISA), European Sociological Association (ESA), Polish Foundation in Support of Local Democracy (FRDL) and others.

Preliminary Budget and administrative aspects

Conference fees paid by the participants will be administered through the UW bank account. Other financial resources (grants from other sources of funding) will have to be co-administered by the University of Warsaw.

The budget estimation below is for 150 participants plus 10 student volunteers and other guests, but we are able to organise an event for more participants if needed. The estimation is based on the assumption that 1/5 of all participants would use the ”late registration” option (this is a careful estimation, in practice we suppose that more participants will pay after the early bird registration deadline).

Using University building for most of the conference time will allow for a significant cost reduction, as special rates will apply for local organisers.

Additional sources of funding to be explored, among others Warsaw city hall, Museums and National Stadium (Warsaw city hall).


Revenues from the proposed conference fees

Early registration fees

230 Euro EURA members

300 Euro non-EURA members

170 Euro EURA members CEE

200 Euro non-EURA members CEE

200 Euro scholars from Latin America and Africa

120 Euro PhD students

Late registration – plus 70 Euro for each category

150 participants

Assumed structure

45 EURA members

20 non-EURA members

25 EURA members CEE

20 non-EURA members CEE

15 scholars from Latin America and Africa

25 PhD students

Late registration – 1/5 participants (30 persons)

32,700 Euro

Additional funding will be requested in various institutions

Costs (Euro)

A: 31,705

B: 32,405

Travel and accommodation for keynote/invited speakers

4 speakers * 1000 Euro


conference materials (conference bag, conference program, other prints, badge blanks and holders, etc. for participants, guests, local media)

150 conference packs *12 Euro;

cultural event



Pre-conference reception (registration of participants will be required)

120 participants * 9 Euro


Coffee breaks

(150 participants + 10 volunteers) * 4 coffee breaks * 3 Euro per participant



(150 participants + 10 volunteers) * 2 lunch breaks * 8 Euro per participant


Busses for city transfer for sessions outside University Campus

25 Euro per bus (3 times 3 buses will be needed)


Conference reception (registration of participants will be required)

150 participants * 17 Euro



Domain, programming, hosting


T-shirts for student volunteers

10 volunteers * 7 Euro


Conference secretariat, organisation costs (i.a. e-mail service for participants, accounting costs)


Conference rooms

Scenario A – all events in University building

Scenario B – three plenary sessions in Museums/National Stadium

A: 650

B: 1,350

University overheads

Flat-rate of 30% of all costs



Ca 10% of all costs


Costs to be covered by participants:

  • Mobile workshops: ca 15 euro (depending on the workshop and Conference budget it is possible that some of the events will be free of charge)

Conference venue, transport to Warsaw and Accommodation

Conference venue

The 2017 EURA Web would take place at the Central Campus of the University of Warsaw (mainly in the Old Library Building). The campus is located in downtown Warsaw, in the middle of historical part of the city. The sessions will take place in the Old Library building. It had been recently renovated and converted to a modern lecturing and conference centre. The Old Library Building is located in front of the main  gate of the University. Wireless internet access is available in all university buildings. The conference venue is fully accessible for disabled persons. The opening plenary session would be hosted by one of newly constructed city buildings or museums (i.e. Warsaw Uprising Museum, Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Copernicus Science Centre).

Transport to and within Warsaw

Warsaw is easily accessible by air, train or by car. There are many direct flight connections with most European capitals and bigger cities. There are two international airports located near Warsaw: one in Chopin airport (30 minutes by train or by bus form the city centre), the other is Modlin (60 minutes form the city centre, used almost exclusively by Ryan Air).

In Warsaw, there are three kinds of public transport: buses, trams and metro. In each case, we can use the same type of ticket which costs the same price (75-minutes ticket costs 4,40 PLN ≈ 1 €). You can buy it almost in every kiosk and many shops. Also, you can usually buy a ticket at the ticket machine or at the driver's. The average price of a kilometre by taxi is about 2-3 PLN (in city limits, by day or: day-time from 6 am till 10 pm).


The hosts would provide preferential accommodation prices for conference participants in Gromada and Ibis hotels. They are both located nearby the university and the conference venue. Gromada hotel offers standard single room for about 70 euros per night. Ibis normal rate is about 50 euro per night. Warsaw offers also a wide range of other hotels and apartments of various standard. There is also a possibility to book a room in one of Warsaw University hotels (about 25 € per night), that are located about 30 minutes form the conference venue, but the number of such rooms is limited.

A sustainable event

Local Organisers envisage to organise a sustainable event by emphasizing the procurement of sustainable and local goods, choice of sustainable venues (accessible by foot or public transport), minimising printing material and using recycled paper.

Tentative calendar

Drafted taking into account June 2017 as possible conference date

Feb. 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

Aug. 2016

Sept. 2016

Nov. 2016

Jan. 2017

Feb. 2017

Mar. 2017

May 2017

July 2017

Oct. 2017

Track convenors invited, work on tracks description

Descriptions of tracks finalised

Website (without registration module) and calls for papers finalised

Call for papers, dissemination

Invitations - keynote speakers

Registration module of the website

Deadline for abstracts submission

Deadline for acceptance of abstracts

Practical information for participants made available via website (travel, accommodation, local transport, etc.)

Early registration deadline

Late registration deadline


Post-conference assistance ends (invoices, reimbursements, etc.)

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