Border Regions in Transition 15 Conference
@Hamburg, Germany and Sonderburg, Denmark
The 15th Border Regions in Transition (BRIT), "Cities, States and Borders: From the Local to the Global" took place in cooperation with the University of Southern Denmark and the University of Hamburg and the HafenCity University Hamburg. One of the objectives of the conference was to rethink the complicated relationships that bind cities and state borders, and promoted the unique opportunity to explore the collaborative or competitive strategies of this odd couple under the current circumstances of globalization.
UBRJ members including Akihiro Iwashita, David Wolff and Testuro Chida attended the conference, along with Yasunori Hanamatsu (Kyushu Univ.) and Takuo Iwata (Ritsumeikan Univ.) from Japan.
On the first day of the panel, Akihiro Iwashita presented at a panel titled, "Perspective on Japanese Cities and Border Politics" where he introduced the border tourism project between Wakkanai City, Japan and Sakhalin, Russia. David Wolff also participated in this panel and presented his work on the history of urban planning of Harbin, China as the "Paris of the East", while Yasunori Hanamatsu presented his work on the border tourism project between Tsushima, Japan and Pusan, South Korea.
On the second day, Testuro Chida presented his work on the disaster of the Aral Sea and how the various actors that represent the geographical scale of the Aral Sea are hindering the resolution of this serious environmental issue.
The conference invited Tony Payan (Rice Univ.), Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly (Univ. of Victoria) and Beatrice Heissenberger (Univ. of Vienna) as keynote speakers of the conference.
On the third day as tradition has it, the participants crossed the physical border between Germany and Denmark and moved the venue to the Univ. of Southern Denmark, where participants enjoyed an excursion to the local communities at the border.
It was announced that BRIT 16 (2018) will be held in Nigeria at University of Ibadan (150km from Lagos) and participants will be crossing the Nigerian- Benin border, the first ever BRIT conference to take place in Africa.