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National Capital Region Highlights

Director of Metropolitan Institute and UAP grad student will present papers at international geography of governance conference

Kevin Desouza, director of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech, and Lauren Bulka, a graduate student in the Urban Affairs and Planning program, will present papers at the International Geographic Union (IGU) Commission on Geography of Governance Annual Conference 2012. The conference will be held at the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning at the University of Lisbon, Portugal, April 12 to 14.

Kevin Desouza

Lauren Bulka

The IGU is a network of scholars that focuses on the relationship between geography and governance, particularly in government/administration structures and processes. The 2012 conference will focus on two main themes: “Citizen e-Participation in Urban Governance” and “Impact of Economic and Financial Crisis on Local Governance.”

Desouza’s presentation, “Citizen Apps and Urban Governance: Understanding the Landscape of Apps and their Impacts” is from the paper he co-authored with Akshay Bhagwatwar, a doctoral student at Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, Bloomington. The paper examines the range of citizen applications (citizen apps) targeted at solving urban issues and their ensuing impacts on planning, decision making, problem solving, and urban governance. The citizen apps address a wide range of urban issues ranging from public transportation challenges to advanced management of public utilities and services to concerns about public safety.

Bulka’s paper, “Impacts of Inter-Municipality Cooperation on Small City Regeneration,” focuses on the impact of economic and financial crises on urban regeneration in small deindustrialized cities and looks specifically at the role inter-municipal cooperation could play in mitigating negative effects. The paper includes an in-depth case study of Clarksburg, W. Va., to analyze and propose innovative solutions for alleviating and addressing these impacts.

Posted 3/8/2012