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IPM Biennial Conference: Place leadership in a (post-) pandemic world?

Due to the continued uncertainty around large in-person events, we have taken the decision to deliver the conference in a fully online format. We intend to host the conference over a continuous 24-hour period, commencing on 9th September 2021, ensuring we deliver live content to each main time zone around the world.

This 24-hour, online, conference will bring together an international community of place managers, leaders and scholars, across time zones, to reflect on what is proving to be the most challenging period we have ever faced. It will seek to understand the evolving function and role of places during the pandemic and the need for effective place leadership in a post-pandemic world.

Leadership at all levels is under more scrutiny than ever before, with communities and stakeholders questioning whether they have the right people, policies, governance, partnerships and investment needed for ‘building back better’.

As usual, the conference will take a broad perspective on the topic, sharing cutting-edge research and new insight explaining how COVID-19 has impacted upon cities, towns and neighbourhoods around the world and how the processes of governing, evolving and empowering places are changing.

The conference will be delivered over a continuous 24-hour period, commencing 9 am BST on 9th September 2021. Delegates can join sessions live, hosted by international track chairs across the major time zones, but all sessions will be recorded for delegates to watch at their convenience.

If you are interested in presenting or speaking at our biennial conference, please click here to register your interest and let us know a bit more about your subject area. 

Conference themes

1. Governing Places

Key questions to consider within the theme

  1. How does localism deal with global shocks? Is there a need for a better model of resilient devolution?
  2. What is the local impact of national governance structures, policies and mechanisms?
  3. As COVID-19 puts a strain on local government across the world, how can places bridge the resource gap? Should they?
  4. How effective have different types of place management organisations been? How might councils, Business Improvement Districts and other governance structures need to evolve?
  5. What is the relationship between the public and private sectors in place management and development?

2. Evolving Places

Key questions to consider within the theme

  1. What are the longer-term, post-COVID behavioural changes that will shape places?
  2. Who pays for place management and development? How can investment be attracted that has a much more positive long-term impact on places and their communities?
  3. What are the hidden environmental costs of online retail and home working? How can citizens and organisations be activated as change agents for sustainability?
  4. How does bricks and mortar retailing evolve to become more flexible for consumers, tenants and landlords?
  5. How can places become more resilient?
  6. With the increasing use of technology in daily work and social life, is 'place' redundant? How do online businesses contribute to the places they are based in?
  7. How can place leaders and communities 'future-proof' their places?

3. Empowering Places

Key Questions to consider within the theme

  1. How can build back better improve lives and livelihoods?
  2. What is the role of a place leader in different place management structures (e.g. local authority, Business Improvement District, community group)?
  3. How does 'shop local' move from an advertising campaign and continue its momentum to become a national/global movement?
  4. How can technology improve and increase community engagement?
  5. How can participation in place management by citizens and other stakeholders be increased?
  6. What can places do to prosper in a post-pandemic spatial environment? What does prosper mean to place management practitioners and scholars now?
  7. How effective is the partnership model in place management?

In the coming weeks, we will release a specific academic call for papers and a practitioner call for participation, based on the three main conference themes above. The early bird cost to attend this event will be £99 or £150 for none members, the official booking will go live within the next month

If you are interested in presenting or speaking at our biennial conference, please click here to register your interest and let us know a bit more about your subject area. 



About the author


Formed in 2006, the Institute of Place Management is the international professional body that supports people committed to developing, managing and making places better.

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