AAG Annual Meeting – Retail aspects in Urban Geography and Urban Planning

8-12 April 2014
Tampa, Florida

Special Session 

Organiser: Dr Herman Kok MRE (Multi)

The relationships between retail development and urban development in contemporary cities remain under-researched in the academic and policy literature. While there is a lot of research and literature on urban planning and urban development, and also significant literature on retail trends and expansion, there is a limited amount of research and literature combining the two. This while retail developments are often a complex and emotional element in urban planning decisions, and retail development often shapes planning policies which in their turn affect retail development. Cities as places of consumption are increasingly competing to each other, and the position of retail, gastronomy and leisure integrated in market and meeting places plays a crucial role.

In many cases, retail as driver of meeting places and community centers, is an important trigger for urban revitalization, both from a functional point of view and a feasibility point of view. If well positioned and conceptualized, retail, gastronomy, and leisure can be an asset that can inspire innovation and creativity; create cities that are more liveable and harmonious; and make cities more competitive. On the other hand, retail development without vision and planning guidelines can pose significant challenges for the quality and functioning of cities, and can impact existing trade and social structures. At present, retail plays a limited role in academic discussions in urban geography and planning.

This session aims to bring together scholars from a variety of contexts who are working on these themes connected to retail in different parts of the world. The organizer himself is professional and scholar involved in urban geography and retail real estate. We expect to include not only theoretical and conceptual papers but also comparative case studies that show how policy-makers and planners are approaching retail and leisure in urban development and revitalization. Papers that examine the impacts of policy and planning on the function of cities as places of consumption are also welcomed.

Potential topics and themes of interest might include, but are not limited to:

· Case studies that examine conceptualisations of retail in urban geography and urban planning;
· Studies that look into the role of retail and leisure in urban development and urban revitalization;
· New theoretical approaches to retail geography and retail planning;
· Empirical and/or comparative studies that tackle diverse aspects of cities as places of consumption;
· Papers that look into diversity in urban planning and spatial policy with regard to retail development.

Expressions of interest should be sent to Herman Kok (hkok@multi.eu) in the form of a 200-250 word abstract by November 15th, 2013. We will finalise the sessions and inform all respondents of the outcome by November 18th 2013. Please note that December 3, 2013 is the AAG-deadline for abstracts, sessions, and early bird registrations.