Borderlands: Cultures, Communities, Design and Place

Joseph Reed's picture
Call for Publications
June 28, 2022
Alberta, Canada
Subject Fields: 
Area Studies, Anthropology, Geography, Cultural History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies

Cultures, Communities and Design connects issues of place, landscapes, cities and people.


It is concerned with a particular place and place types: citiies, rural areas and teh the borderlands between. It is particularly interetsed in these places in the context of Canada.  Canada and the relationship between the city and its surroundings, urban dwellers and first nation inhabitants.

It is concerned with the relations between people and place: Cultures –  How do first nation inhabitants negotiate rights to a place in now predominatly 'other' cultures. Society – What voice do ‘people’ and ‘cultures’ have in design and planning practices and how do mechanisms for participation function.

 It is concerned with global cross disciplinary issues: Design + Planning – how are we working in our individual fields and across disciplinary and geographical boundaries. Infrastructure + Building – how do the infrastructures we design and build impact people, habitation, sustainability and climate


The University of Calgary

June 28-30, 2022

Abstracts: 01 December, 2021

Publishers: Cambridge Scholars Publishing and Routledge.



‘The Countryside’ – a polemically generic term Rem Koolhaas has recently used to reposition debates about our cities to those of rural areas. While posited as ‘new’, it is, in reality, a well established mode of thinking. Through notions such as the peri-urban for example, geographers, sociologists, architects, urban designers and regional economists have all debated the urban-rural relationship for several decades. Under this framework we are obliged to consider the city and its architecture on its own terms, but also address the ‘rural’ in its particular context and, importantly, explore the parallels and mutual influences at play.


According to this logic, the social, cultural, planning and design issues relevant in our cities find parallels outside the city fringe. The Right to the City echoes concerns about land rights. Gentrification resembles the pressures on arable lands through urban expansion. The sustainability of our buildings and neighbourhoods is connected to debates on the sustainability of rural areas.

Calgary, the host city of this conference, is a perfect example of all of this. It has heavy industry, a thriving business economy and a growing tourist sector. However, pockets of the city contend with poverty and gentrification. Others suffer disinvestment and require regeneration. Its architecture and public spaces are a combination of the ‘spectacular’ and the mundane.

As a city, Calgary also ‘pressures’ its surrounding lands. These include the Rockies, the Banff nature reserve, and the First Nations lands of the Blackfoot, the Stoney Nakoda and the Tsuutʼina. As such, it is both a site of opportunity and development in its own right, and the cause of environmental concerns and social pressures, beyond its conceptual and geographic borders.


Other dates:

A final rounds of abstract submission will be opened in March 2022


Contact Info: 

Fabian Neuhaus, Lorraine Gess