RGS-IBG 2012: Call for papers

December 19, 2011

Abstracts are invited for a session from the Adaptable Suburbs team and held by the GIScience Research Group (GIScRG) at the Royal Geographical Society – Institute of British Geographers International Conference 2012. The conference runs between 3rd – 5th July 2012.

Session Conveners:

David Jeevendrampillai , PhD candidate, UCL Department of Anthropology

Ashley Dhanani, PhD candidate, UCL Bartlett School of Graduate Studies

Prof. Mordechai (Muki) Haklay, UCL Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering

Prof. Laura Vaughan, UCL Bartlett School of Graduate Studies


Call for papers for a session on sub/urban adaptability, continuity and change

In December 2011 The Portas Review put forward 28 recommendations to the UK government regarding ‘the future of our high streets’. The report and its surrounding publicity give a sense of an apparent crisis associated with such spaces and by implication with the future of key concepts such as the local, community and sense of belonging, associated with the high street.  Such approaches show that attention needs to be paid to the spaces of everyday life in places such as the UK high street in order to understand what these spaces do in an economic, social and cultural sense and how changes to such spaces affect not only economic stability but the ordering and understanding of the aforementioned concepts.


Authors such as Ingold (2007) and Massey (2005)[1] are part of a growing trend within the social sciences to consider these ideas from the perspective of the role of materiality and spatial practices in everyday social life. There is still scope for more analysis of the relationship between the built environment and the social organisation of everyday life, particularly in the under-researched suburban realm. We invite proposals for papers that present critical work on change or continuity of the ‘public spaces of the everyday’, such as the suburban high street. We encourage contributions that use collaborative and mixed methods across a range of disciplines including GIS, architecture, anthropology and sociology. We particularly welcome papers which combine quantitative and qualitative approaches and work that takes a historical approach.


Participants are asked to use an innovative style of presentation; to prepare a presentation with full-slide images, with a maximum of ten words per slide. We intend to accept only four presentations to allow for discussion time. The abstracts will be circulated to presenters and they will be asked to prepare responses to key ideas from all the abstracts in order to enable a useful discussion at the end of the session. Proposals for papers with up to a 500 word abstract for this session should be sent to either of (or both) the addresses below by 9th January. The session will be of interest to geographers, architects, anthropologists and historians. The conveners are members of the Adaptable Suburbs project team at UCL.


Addresses for submission: David Jeevendrampillai: david.jeevendrampillai.10@ucl.ac.uk; Ashley Dhanani: ashley.dhanani@ucl.ac.uk.

[1]Ingold, T. 2007. Materials against materiality. Archaeological Dialogues 14 (01):1-16;

Massey, D.. 2005. For space. London: Sage.


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