Island Cities and Urban Archipelagos

Organization: Centre for Art, Architecture and Design, University of Portsmouth

Venue: Christianshavns Beboerhus

Location: Copenhagen K, Denmark

Event Date/Time: Oct 21, 2014 End Date/Time: Oct 25, 2014
Early Registration Date: May 31, 2014
Abstract Submission Date: Apr 30, 2014
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Island Cities and Urban Archipelagos

21-25 October 2014, Copenhagen, Denmark & Malmö, Sweden

A diversity of island cities.

Islands are often associated with peripherality, yet over the course of human history, they have also been important sites of urban development. Many important regional cities and global cities have developed wholly or partially on small islands or archipelagos. Physical separation from the mainland and spatial limitations along with a maritime tradition can encourage the transport of products and ideas, improved defence infrastructure, construction of social capital, consolidation of political power, formation of vibrant cultures, and concentration of population. Some such island-based cities were located on inland river islands and have since expanded far beyond their original borders (for example, Paris and Strasbourg) while others are still strongly associated with their island cores (for example, Hong Kong and New York City).

Major population centres located on larger, primarily rural islands and archipelagos represent another type of island city. Each of these cities is affected not just by the dynamics at work in urban areas in general but also by the special functions it gains from acting as a metropolis that provides goods and services to rural island hinterlands.

About the conference.

Island Cities and Urban Archipelagos is an international, interdisciplinary island studies conference exploring how island status influences urban development, common attributes of island cities worldwide, and the opportunities that islandness presents for developing urban cultures and economies. It will also consider how and why different island cities have developed in different ways.

The conference will feature presentations on a variety of subjects relating to urban island culture, government, and economy. A variety of fields and disciplines will be represented, including anthropology, archaeology, architecture, arts & design, business studies, film studies, folklore, history, literature, planning studies, political science, public administration, sociology, and tourism studies. Presentations may concern cases from individual cities or take a comparative approach to understanding what it means to be an urban island. To propose a presentation, visit the call for papers ( The deadline for abstracts is 31 May 2014.

Plenary Speakers

Saskia Sassen - Godfrey Baldacchino - Jon Pierre - Brenda S.A. Yeoh - Ilan Kelman - Jonathan Pugh


Dronningensgade 34
Copenhagen K


Centre for Art, Architecture and Design, University of Portsmouth
Department of Catalan Philology & General Linguistics, University of the Balearic Islands

International Geographical Union

Conference Speakers

Plenary Speakers

Saskia Sassen (Columbia University)

Godfrey Baldacchino (University of Malta)

Jon Pierre (University of Gothenburg)

Christian Wichmann Matthiessen (University of Copenhagen)

Brenda S.A. Yeoh (National University of Singapore)