Tassilo Herrschel

2015 Visiting Research Fellow

Fellows Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunicaton (SMIT)

University of Westminster, United Kingdom / From May to July 2015 / Smart city regional governance and cities as international actors

Tassilo Herrschel is a Reader (Associate Professor) in Urban and Regional Development and Governance in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster. He previously worked at Brunel University, London, and the University of Bonn (Germany), and was a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Gdansk and Senior Research Fellow at the Leibniz Institute of Regional Development and Structural Planning (IRS) in Berlin.

Tassilo’s work is rooted in the wider field of urban geography, bringing together a spatial perspective and concepts of political economy, with a particular focus on relational and place-centric conceptualisations and analyses of economic processes and political and policy responses. This includes questions of the relationship between formally institutionalised (state) territory, and 'virtual' functional spaces as de facto ‘new’ geographies. This raises questions about the link between relational and situational geographies. How can state power and responsibility correspond with, and impact on, these informal, dynamic processes?  Answers involve moving between different scales of analysis, with a particular focus on the role of increasingly dominant, and independently acting,  large urban (metropolitan) areas and their function as interlocutors between the local and international spheres. This includes cities and regions acting internationally across borders, thus challenging the established view of this being the traditional role of ‘nation’-states.

During his 2015 visiting fellowship at the Brussels Centre for Urban Studies, Tassilo Herrschel worked on international urbanism and develop Brussels as a case study of ‘smart’ city-regional governance in an international comparison. He also used the fellowship period to prepare a workshop on Cities as international actors: urban competitiveness and/or state cohesiveness? Can smart-city regional governance square the circle?, which was held in Brussels in October 2015.