New Wave 2016
The 8th International Student and Early Career Conference NEW WAVE was held in Prague on 19th and 20th May 2016 and was organized by students of the Geographical Institute, Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Science, under the auspices of the Deputy Mayor of Prague, the Mayor of the Borough of Prague 2, and the Rector of the Charles University in Prague. During the two days, more than 40 speakers presented their research in different sessions or in the poster session. About 80 conference participants and attendees came from Great Britain, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, and Czechia, and debated about contemporary issues in the field of human and physical geography, as well as ecology, sociology, urban studies or demography.
The first day began with an opening ceremony and welcome speeches of Kamila Klingorová (Organizing Committee), Dušan Drbohlav (Geographical Institute) and Radim Perlín (Czech Geographical Society and the Borough of Prague 2). Afterwards, the first Keynote lecture was given by Francis Magilligan from the Dartmouth College in New Hampshire who presented his work aimed at river dams, their removal, as well as river restoration and discussed the different opinions of the concerned parties.
Afterwards, the conference was divided into sessions. Participants in the political geography session introduced different topics starting with Lenka Hellebrandová who concentrated on a political-geographic research of local governance. Nationalization of the political system was introduced by Martin Lepič; Martin Chochola talked about the Basque national movement and its reflection in poetry; Gustav Novotný spoke about the geographical imagination of Adventist believers, demonstrated in the city of Brno. The political geography session was later followed by a poster session.
The parallel session on urban studies was opened by Jaroslaw Kazimierczak who discussed demolition and brownfields in metropolitan areas in Poland; Marcel Tomášek gave a new insight into the gentrification process at Prague Letná and Peter Svoboda gave a lecture about the flexibility and localization of work in the Prague region.
The session dedicated to tourism and heritage was divided into two parts. Anna Čtvrtníková presented sustainable tourism and cooperation in East Giant Mountains; Adam Kobli and Zoltán Horváth pointed out the changing trends of demand in Hungarian spas; Veronika Dumbrovská’s topic was busking on the Royal Way in Prague and commercialization of cultural heritage. The unifying theme of the second part was industrial heritage. Tereza Vokurková opened the session with a talk on the sustainable relationship between industrial heritage and contemporary needs; Barbora Predanocyová talked about the functional transformation of mining settlements into tourist destinations and the session was concluded with a presentation about thematic routes based on industrial heritage held by Réka Pinter and Júlia Papp.
The parallel panel focused on development studies and consisted of four presentations. Lenka Voleníková showed a case study of initiatives in urban agriculture in Quezon City in the Philippines; Adam Čajka concentrated on village economies in India; František Ficek presented results from a survey among CLTS practitioners; and Helena Humňalová talked about latrine use among rural households in Walayta region, Ethiopia.
Panel discussions were followed by two field trips organised in cooperation with Pragulic, a social enterprise that enables people to experience the world from a homeless perspective, and participants could choose one of them. The first field trip was accompanied by Zuzka who gave insight into the history and present of the drug scene in Prague. The field trip with Robert followed railway sleepers to the Košíře squat. The first day of the conference ended with an informal dinner that took place in a pleasant atmosphere of a local restaurant.
The second day started with a keynote lecture by Marie Heřmanová who works as refugee support in European transit zones. She showed the migrant crisis from a volunteer’s perspective, referred to their work on Europe’s borders and their influence on the Czech society.
The conference continued with a session on migration challenges with three presentations. Lenka Pavelková made a contribution about migration statistics in the EU as a new topic for research on migration; Ivana Přidalová talked about ethnic segregation in contemporary Czechia; and “living with bias” was a topic discussed by Kristýna Peychlová.
Other conference participants discussed travelling images in a parallel session. Tomáš Mozr talked about the travelling concept of place on the example of bars; Hana Daňková provided insight into the land reclamation of a post-industrial landscape in the North Bohemian Basin; the phenomenon of microbreweries and multitap restaurants was the subject of Kryštof Materna’s presentation.
The final keynote lecture was given by Athziri Moreno Romo from the Central Bohemian Innovation Center in which she spoke about the internationalisation of local governments and the urban goal of the new U.N. Post-2015 Agenda.
The parallel session focused on regional development. Vendula Reichová investigated knowledge-bases and the location of services in Czechia; Magdalena Kašková discussed research focusing on the spatial aspects of corporate social responsibility in Czechia; Michal Šindelář discussed cross-border cooperation in the Czech-Austrian borderland.The keynote lecture was followed by a session targeted on the quality of life which comprised three contributions. Ladislav Kážmér summarised results from a sociological survey about house satisfaction in Czechia; Michal Pitoňák focused on a socio-demographic analysis of young people’s opinions on homosexuality; Aleš Urban examined and presented spatial patterns of heart-related mortality in Czechia.
Next four speakers presented different topics related to environmental studies. Selma Benyovszky spoke about water and oil in Saudi Arabia; a case study of changes in ecosystem services of pond systems in Svitavy region was presented by Marian Velešík; Zbyněk Janoušek gave a lecture about agricultural land use deintensification in Czechia after 1990; Veronika Eretová concluded the session with a presentation on the influence of farmers on the diversification of their business.
The last parallel session centred on transport geography. Veronika Zuskáčová started with a case study of the London Heathrow Airport in the context of transport nodes as places of arrival; Jiří Dujka discussed “Tha Baťa Railway” and the intersection of interwar ideas and temporal realities; Tomáš Merta analysed opportunities and barriers for sustainable transportation in the programming period 2014-2020; Jan Kučera continued with research on individual car mobility on the example of Brno; and the understanding of transport exclusion in Czechia was discussed by the final speaker Václav Jaroš.
The scientific program of the conference was completed with a closing ceremony, glass of wine and informal discussion.
The successful conference brought together many international students and early career academics. The organizers created an atmosphere conducive for sharing opinions and discussions about new research findings.
(Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Slovakia)
For more photographs from the conference see the photo gallery.
The conference was organized with the financial support of Specific university research project SVV no. 260309
We look forward to seeing you in Prague next year!