Issue 13 Editorial: Sustainable Regional Futures – Pathways to a regional circular economy

Issue 13

Editorial Issue 13

By Robert Bowen, Stefania Fiorentino, Eduardo Oliveira

In the second issue within the 2022 theme of Sustainable Regional Futures, Issue 13 of Regions presents articles on the topic: Pathways to a regional circular economy. Research on the circular economy has gained traction in recent years, coinciding with an increasing emphasis on sustainability. This issue of Regions contains 7 articles that relate to the circular economy topic. This includes 3 articles in the Regional Insights section, 2 Research Hacks articles, and 3 articles in the RSA Highlights section.

In the Regional Insights section, firstly, Janne Klahn discusses circular business models in the fashion industry in the article Towards circular business models in the fashion industry: Entry barriers and drivers. The article points out that the industry is historically a significant polluter through its linear ‘take-make-waste’ model; however, the article outlines the advantages of applying circular models to the fashion industry, particularly in relation to supply chain, production and consumption activities. The second article in this section sees Ian Merrell discuss What makes Rural Enterprise Hubs and Coworking Spaces different to their urban equivalents? Enterprise hubs are considered to be crucial for rural development, even though they tend to have heterogenous tenant bases that would not benefit from clustering. However, the community of like-minded businesses is a vital source of knowledge exchange, social interactions and collaborations that can foster growth of the creative sector in these places. The third Regional Insights article by Simón Sánchez-Moral, Alfonso Arellano and David Martinez-Turegano looks at Firms responding to the shortage of essential COVID-19 products: readings from economic geography. The authors propose an exploratory analysis of business dynamics and strategies within medical and dental equipment manufacture in Spain, seen in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. They point out that the success of these strategies may be connected to benefits for firms located in dense and diversified urban areas for firms participating in innovation networks with peers and institutions.

The two Research Hacks articles provide insightful knowledge on research grants and engaging with policymakers. Firstly, Dariusz Wójcik provides experiential knowledge on Managing Research Grants. The article provides advice on setting up projects, managing money, managing people and managing research outputs. The second article in this section by Mariachiara Barzotto and Phil Tomlinson provides advice on Engaging with and Writing for Policymaker Audiences, which they note is an essential skill for researchers to develop. The article outlines the need to understand the audience and the prior engagements, know how to write policy and engaging policymaking audiences through disseminating research to policymakers and other interested parties.

The RSA Highlights section presents three book reviews. The first by Ignazio Cabras is on Levelling-Up and Inclusive Growth: Perspectives from the North-East. This article discusses an event hosted by Regional Studies North East on how national levelling up policy might promote inclusive growth for the region. The second article by Peter Karl Kresl reviews Urban Competitiveness and Developing Economies. The book aims to present and discuss examples of developing world places achieving progress in economic and social development, which should act to inspire cities and regions still seeking a successful course. The third article by Ilaria Mariotti, Mina Di Marino and Pavel Bednář review The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Future of Working Spaces. This edited volume presents a compendium of emerging and innovative studies on the proliferation of  New Working Spaces, both formal and informal (such as coworking spaces, maker spaces, fab labs, public libraries, and coffee shops), and their role during and following the COVID-19 pandemic in urban and regional development and planning.

The next issue of Regions, Issue 14, takes up the topic of Smart regions, sustainability-driven regional policies, and the use of technology and concludes the 2022 theme of Sustainable Regional Futures. The submission deadline for Issue 14 is Monday 21st November 2022, with publication scheduled for early December 2022.

If you are interested in writing a contribution to Regions ezine, please email your idea (i.e., tentative title) and desired section (see below) to

Editorial team

Eduardo Oliveira | Stefania Fiorentino | Robert Bowen

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