Report on the 46th Urban Affairs Association Conference

Between March 15 and March 19 Serghei Golunov took part in the 46th Urban Affairs Asssociation Conference held in the Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel in San Diego (USA). Over 900 participants from various countries discussed a wide range of urban issues including issues of border sities (such as the city of San Diego itself).

Serghei Golunov contributed to the session “Urban Change and Social Transformation in Four Asian Cities” by his presentation “The Other in Cities of the Japan-Russia Borderland: Order vs Deviance, Legality vs Illegality, and Inclusion vs Exclusion”. In this presentation he took six small and medium Russian and Japanese cities (Yuzhno-Kurilsk, Korsakov, and Nakhodka on the Russian side and Nemuro, Wakkanai, and Otaru on the Japanese side) as cases. The presentation was focused on ways in which cross-border flows of visitors influenced these cities’ development and on the range of practices employed by these cities to deal with these flows. The presenter argued that the range of attracting/discouraging or including/excluding practices employed by the considered cities towards visitors varied in specific cases and towards particular categories of visitors. He also concluded that Japanese visits seriously influenced regeneration of Korsakov and Yuzhno-Kurilsk by nearly opposite reasons: while the city of Korsakov tried to make itself more attractive and familiar to tourists and thus renovation and restoration works were launched in the center, federal investing to renovation of Yuzhno-Kurilsk was aimed inter alia to show Japan and Japanese exchange visitors the futility of their hopes to get back the disputed Southern Kuril/Habomai Islands.

The next Urban Affairs Association conference to be held in April 2017 in Minneapolis.

See the Conference Program here