7 – 8 September 2017
Special Stream: Museums & Places*
Conference Chairs: Dr Ares Kalandides, Dr Steve Millington and Professor Cathy Parker
The repercussions of the 2008 global financial crisis continue to reverberate across the world, presenting major challenges to local development. In many places, after decades of regeneration, the money has simply run out. This is an era of austerity, but one where responsibility for prosperity (or failure) is being devolved and localised through current political agendas. This coincides with calls to take back control, both in the UK and USA. However, the local capacity to transform places, to tackle serious issues such as income inequality and climate change is severely over-estimated, and brings into question the future of the current economic development mantra, inclusive growth.
Despite these broad economic and political uncertainties, places continue to evolve. In the absence of public or private funding there is a greater emphasis on communities to self-organise, through ordinary and neighbourhood placemaking. The stories of how people in places support the arts, the local heritage, the vulnerable, the young and the old can be an inspirational example of creativity and compassion. Nevertheless, the organisers of food banks, free after-school clubs, community litter-picks, and all the other people who attend neighbourhood gardens, produce local festivals and events, are under-resourced, under-supported, and under-valued.
In this context, we want to understand more about placemaking as a participatory and inclusive practice, which connects individuals into networks of place-based action and results in the context of austerity, devolution, and local responsibility. We are also interested in moving beyond the silos of academics disciplines or professional interventions, to consider the connection between business, community and policy.