Smart regions – theoretical, empirical and conceptual perspectives

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM (MDT)
Room: Marriott Ballroom Salon 1, Marriott, Lobby Level
Organizers: Julia Binder
Chairs: Julia Binder

Call for Submissions


Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words along with a short author(s) biography in a single pdf document by email to Antje Matern ( before October 21st 2018. Please direct any inquiries to Julia Binder (

Successful submissions will be contacted by October 24th 2018. Please note a range of registration fees will apply and must be paid before the submission of abstracts.


In the last years, the discourse on urban development and planning has shifted its emphasis from sustainability to smartness. However, contributions on smartness concentrate on cities and urban areas, while largely ignoring other spatial contexts. Recent contributions on smart cities narrowly examine urban cores, selected neighbourhoods or the administrative boundaries of cities. There is only very little research on smartness in the regional context, for instance in debates regarding smart countries or smart regions. These studies emphasise that digitalisation processes, which are typical for approaches towards enhancing smartness, differ depending on respective spatial forms.

Our paper session aims to generate a deeper theoretical and empirical understanding of smart regions. Scholars following research approaches of sustainability, transition management, STS and governance research are invited to join our debates with a critical engagement towards smartness. By merging different disciplinary perspectives, the paper session seeks to analyse smart regions as a relational phenomena and social construct, examining concomitant implications for digital infrastructures, services and changing behavioural patterns.

As such, the papers may address the following questions: How to categorize and conceptualize smartness for regional development? In which ways do governance processes and social discourses shape the digital transformation of regions? How can empirical work contribute to a better understanding of smart regions? We are particularly interested in papers which consider comparative methodological approaches to constitute a different range of disciplinary perspectives on the spatial implications of digitalization.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Ariane Sept*, Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS), Figurations of rural smartness: Smart villagers as drivers of rural digitalization processes 20 1:10 PM
Presenter Antje Matern*, , Julia Binder, Brandenburg University of Technology, Smart regions: insights from hybridization and peripheralization research 20 1:30 PM
Discussant Julia Binder BTU Cottbus 20 1:50 PM
Presenter Tommi Inkinen*, University of Turku, Innovative Northern European Smart Cities and Regions 20 2:10 PM
Presenter Maura Farrell*, National University of Ireland, Galway, Rural Volunteerism: Impacting Development and Sustainability 20 2:30 PM

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