In the beginning of the 21st century, Japan and Europe are confronted with quite similar challenges. Both expect and accept significant demographic decline. In the context of globalisation, they are both confronted with the territorial implications of global de-industrialisation processes. While metropolitan regions still benefit from economic concentration processes, regions and cities in the periphery or between such metropolitan regions are increasingly faced with the spatial implications of eroding social and cultural infrastructure and an aging population. In times of fierce regional competition such regions tend to become "forgotten territories", in a way uncharted territories of the post-industrial age. Their future remains blurred as the dismantling has already begun: The state reduces its public services, closes schools, hospitals and post offices, the private sector follows, or even takes the lead in closing supermarkets and banks, and the traditional civil society in such regions is weak. As a consequence, the regional economy can hardly survive, and young skilled labour is leaving due to a lack of jobs and options and dwindling access to leisure and urban entertainment. A vivcious circle!
The aim of the symposium is to explore the manifold cultural and political similarities and differences in addressing the challenges of forgotten territories in Japan and Europe. Environmental conditions, demographic and spatial trends in such regions will be described and assessed. In both regions best practice experience in tackling the economic and social erosion will be identified and assessed with respect to their potential transferability. The program of multidisciplinary lectures and debates will be complimented by field visits to "forgotten territories" in Brandenburg, to hear from local stakeholders how they are dealing with the challenges they face.
Language of the symposium is English.
The Asia-Pacific Weeks are supported by the foundation Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin (DLKB).