Call for Participation: Urban Network Research

THE FUTURE OF URBAN NETWORK RESEARCH, September 18 – 20, 2017 at Ghent University (Belgium)

References to ‘urban networks’ in academic books and articles have grown dramatically since the 1950s, and research on the topic of urban networks now extends across many social and natural science disciplines (e.g. geography, sociology, engineering, physics) and over many scales of analysis from the local formation of social networks among neighbours in cities, to the regional formation of inter-city transportation networks, to the global formation of transnational urban-economic networks. This rapid growth in the size, scope, and scale of urban network research has left the area invigorated, but without a clear agenda for future work.

The goal of the 3-day symposium on “The Future of Urban Network Research,” to be hosted at Ghent University (Belgium) on September 18-20, 2017, is to take stock of the current state of research on urban networks, share new methods and data, develop an agenda for moving urban network research forward, and facilitate the formation of collaborative teams to do so. We are now accepting applications to participate from all scholars whose work is urban-focused and includes a network component, as well as those whose work is network science-focused and examines cities or urban contexts. Scholars from all disciplines are welcome to apply. We especially encourage applications from early-career scholars, scholars from under-represented groups, and scholars from developing countries. We envisage honouring about 30-35 applications, and will pursue a mix of attendants in terms of focus, approaches, background, and career stage.

Rather than the more traditional approach to symposia where attendants mainly present their research, we will seek innovative ways to exchange, learn and cooperate. In particular, the format of the symposium will facilitate frame-switching between urban scholars using network analysis and network scientists focusing on cities. Different important research foci will be supported by the presence of international experts in the field, including Aura Reggiani (Bologna), Marc Barthélémy (CEA – Paris), Jurgen Pfeffer (Munich) and David O’Sullivan (UC-Berkeley). With support from the Urban Studies Foundation, Ghent University, and Michigan State University, we are able to offer 4 nights of accommodation and meals during the symposium. In addition, a limited number of travel awards will be available for early-career participants. Participation in the symposium will not only provide opportunities to interact with leading urban network scholars, learn about new analysis methods, and shape the next stage of research on urban networks, but we also expect the symposium to lead to opportunities to publish in one or more books or journal special issues.

Interested scholars should send a single file containing a current CV and a 2-page statement of urban network research interests to zpneal@msu.edu and ben.derudder@ugent.be. Applications to participate are due no later than December 8, 2016 and invitations to participate will be announced by January 15, 2017, after which more details about format and participation will be provided. Early-career scholars (PhD researchers or post-docs with


Ben Derudder, Ghent University

Zachary Neal, Michigan State University

Renaud Lambiotte, University of Namur

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