Cañada Blanch Forum 2021: Cities and regions in a post-Covid world
Richard Florida – May, 4th – 17:00 h
Eveline Van Leeuwen – May, 11th – 17:00 h
Paolo Veneri – May, 18th – 17:00 h
The pandemic is changing how and where we live. People moving from large cities to towns and rural areas has normalized. Many see this as a reversal of the trend towards greater polarization and territorial inequality that prevailed in the past. But is this the case? Are we witnessing the decline of the big cities in favor of a more equitable distribution of activity in the territory?
Hosted by Fundación Cañada Blanch, the Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies and the London School of Economics (LSE), in collaboration with Aspen Institute España, the Cañada Blanch Forum 2021 hosted internationally acclaimed experts to analyze the possible post-Covid implications in our cities and regions.
This year’s edition was held online, via Zoom, on May 4th, 11th and 18th under the academic supervision of Professor Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, Director, Cañada Blanch for Contemporary Spanish Studies and Princesa de Asturias Chair and Professor of Economic Geography at the Londo School of Economisc (LSE).
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the movement of people and economic activities from large cities -the most dynamic places in recent decades- to towns and rural areas has been a constant. Work from home and online shopping and interaction allow, in theory, to live and operate from anywhere in the world.
Many see this as a reversal of the trend towards greater polarization and territorial inequality that prevailed in the past. But is this the case? Are we witnessing the decline of the big cities in favor of a more equitable distribution of activity in the territory? Cañada Blanch Forum 2021 on “Cities and regions in a post-Covid world” addressed these questions and also analyzed the possible implications of the pandemic for the future of our cities and regions.
The event was led by the new director of the Cañada Blanch Center and Princesa de Asturias Chair, Professor of Economic Geography at the London School of Economisc (LSE), Professor Andrés Rodríguez-Pose.
Rodríguez-Pose will be the moderator of the sessions, that will host international experts such as Richard Florida, Eveline van Leeuwen or Paolo Veneri. All the sessions were held in English and lasted one and a half hours. Participants had the opportunity to ask questions to the speakers at the end of every session.
Richard Florida is an American urban studies theorist focusing on social and economic theory. He is a professor and head of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and a Distinguished Fellow at NYU’s School of Professional Studies. Florida received a PhD from Columbia University in 1986. Prior to joining George Mason University’s School of Public Policy, where he spent two years, he taught at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College in Pittsburgh from 1987 to 2005. He was named a Senior Editor at The Atlantic in March 2011 after serving as a correspondent for TheAtlantic.com for a year.
Florida’s participation in the Cañada Blanch Forum 2021 aims to offer a rigorous and well-founded look at “Cities in a post-Covid world“.
Eveline Van Leeuwen (1978) graduated in Land Use Planning (MSc) at the Wageningen University in 2002 and obtained a PhD in Economics at VU Amsterdam on the thesis entitled “Towns today : Contemporary Functions of Small and Medium-sized Towns in the Rural Economy” in 2008. She is now affiliated to Wageningen University as professor and chairholder of the Urban Economics group. Eveline has a broad interest in economic and social interactions between places at the regioal and urban level and how these interactions impact wellbeing/happiness; economic activities and participation. In her research, she focusses on the integration of micro- and macro approaches in the field of regional science. Linking agent-based modelling and microsimulation, with macro models is an important common thread. This novel approach was rewarded with two best paper awards and resulted in several invited presentations.
Her research focus on urban-rural interactions, concretely on well-being, circularity, energy transition, and regional food systems.
Paolo Veneri is an economist, Head of the Regional Analysis and Statistics Unit in the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities. He co-ordinates a number of projects on urban and regional issues, which include migration, well-being, city definitions, inequality, and entrepreneurship. He is one of the lead authors of several OECD flagship publications, including “The Geography of Firm Dynamics” (2017), “Making cities work for all” (2016), “Regions at a Glance” (2016), “How’s Life in your Region?” (2014) and “Rural-urban partnerships: an integrated approach to economic development” (2013). He has published several papers in academic journals within the field of urban economics and regional science. He holds a PhD in Economics.