9 de abril de 2015

“Local Government and Urban Governance: Citizen Responsive Innovations in Europe and in Africa”


April, 9-10 2015

University of Lisbon, Portugal

Quem promove:
International Geographical Union &
Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning

The 2015 Annual Conference of the IGU Commission on ‘Geography of Governance’ aims to explore recent developments in local government and urban governance in Europe and in Africa, challenges and opportunities confronting local government, and the recent reforms and institutional experiments on both continents. It is organized in three main themes:

Theme 1 - Local Government and Urban Governance in Europe: the impact of austerity, recent reforms and the role of local government in an 'EU Urban Agenda'

Local government in Europe has been unevenly affected by the economic and financial crisis and as a consequence of that has been subjected, across Europe, to an intense and diverse reform activity. Despite numerous reports on the state of Local Government in Europe and in other parts of the world, knowledge about the current institutional reforms and urban policy innovation in Europe is highly fragmented and often not directly comparable.

While local governments in some European countries are faced with severe restrictions, in particular in those countries of the Euro zone that are or have been under full or partial bailout, in other countries these constraints are less important and local governments do not seem to have been affected in the same way. Some of these countries face short term challenges but they also need to address long term societal challenges. Fiscal consolidation and structural reform are necessary but not enough to secure economic competitiveness, social cohesion and environmental sustainability. Public action is also needed in other fields in order to achieve the objectives of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

By proposing this theme, the Conference aims to explore and compare current challenges and opportunities confronting local government in Europe, to learn from the reforms and institutional experiments carried out in different parts of Europe, and to benchmark European local government. It aims to address different dimensions of local government, in particular those affected by recent reforms:
  • Local government territorial organization
  • Local democracy and citizen participation
  • Local government finance systems
  • Local public service provision
  • Local public sector: municipal and inter-municipal enterprises
  • Local public-private partnerships
  • Alternatives to delivering local public goods
  • Privatization of local public service
  • Re-municipalization of local public services
  • Inter-municipal cooperation
  • Metropolitan government reforms
  • Local government, employment and economic development
  • Local government, the urban dimension of EU policies and the new 'EU Urban Agenda'
  • Local government and the Habitat III New Urban Agenda
  • Local e-government: digital divide, key success factors, opportunities and challenges

Theme 2 - Local Government and Urban Governance in Africa: democratic decentralization, good governance and the role of local government in the ‘Post-2015 Agenda

Research concerning local government in Africa is fragmented, often incomparable, scattered along linguistic areas, or simple absent for numerous countries, notwithstanding the claims made by international organizations, in recent decades, in favor of a true administrative and territorial decentralization in Africa.

The Conference will provide the opportunity to explore and compare the existing knowledge about local government in Africa and the reforms needed, providing also a platform for the development of comparative research focused on Africa and Europe. As the evidence available suggests, some of the problems and challenges confronting local government in Africa have much in common with those local government is confronted with in Europe, notwithstanding the historical specificities of the African continent. The long colonial period and the multiple forms of institutional cooperation developed in the post-independence period have been responsible for a local government culture that in some way reflects some of the similarities and differences found in Europe, when the former colonial countries are compared.

By including this theme in its working program the Conference aims to explore and to compare the different colonial and postcolonial cultures of local government in Africa. While we are open to consider a wide variety of issues, the conference aims to address the following topics:
  • Local government in Africa: institutional models, practices, outcomes
  • Local government and the Post-2015 Development Agenda
  • Local government and the Habitat III New Urban Agenda in Africa
  • New developments in democratic decentralization in Africa
  • Central-local government relations in Africa
  • Local government in unitary and in federal states in Africa: a comparison
  • Local government finance in Africa
  • The impact of structural adjustment programs on local government in Africa
  • Metropolitan government in Africa
  • Urban governance in Africa: problems, challenges and recent reforms
  • The role of local government in urban governance in Africa
  • The role of citizens in local government / urban governance in Africa
  • Participatory budgeting in local government in Africa
  • The role of traditional authorities in local government and in urban governance in Africa
  • Colonialism and its impact on local governance in Africa
  • Benchmarking local government in Africa
  • Local e-government in Africa: from the constraints of the digital divide to the opportunities of mobile technologies for the transformation of local government organizations

Theme 3 – The use of ICT to expand the role of citizens in Urban Governance: national cases and international comparisons

Citizen participation in urban governance has been influenced, in different ways and with different outcomes, by the increasing and widespread use of information and communication technologies. With the advent of these new tools, a whole range of new possibilities emerged in the field of citizen participation in urban governance, although a number of barriers, including traditional policy approaches, tend to prevent local government to take full advantage of the concept and tools of open government. To what extent are local policy-makers implementing open government policies and how far are they taking advantage of social media to influence citizen participation in local policy issues are just some of the questions the Conference seeks to address.

The conference aims to discuss the different and innovative approaches, methods, and tools that have been employed to inform, engage and increase citizen participation in local government policy-making, in particular in the field of urban planning. While we are open to consider a wide variety of issues, the conference aims to address the following topics:
  • Theories, models and methods of citizen participation in urban governance
  • Innovations in Citizen Participation
  • From Citizen Participation to Open Local Government
  • Open Source Local Policies
  • Crowdsourcing in Urban Governance
  • Citizen Science in Urban Governance
  • Citizens as Voluntary Sensors in Urban Governance
  • Volunteered Geographic Information for Urban Governance
  • Neo-Geography and Urban Governance
  • Urban Governance 3.0
  • Online civic engagement platforms in Urban Governance
  • Municipal e-Democracy

Ver mais:
* https://sites.google.com/site/locgovgeo2015/home
* http://www.ulisboa.pt/wp-content/uploads/IGU-LISBON-2015_flyer.pdf
* http://www.ulisboa.pt/?portfolio=international-conference-local-government-and-urban-governance-citizen-responsive-innovations-in-europe-and-in-africa

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