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Workshop NECTAR 

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CLUSTER 1 OF NECTAR FOCUSES ON NETWORKSIt is pleasure to announce the NECTAR Cluster 1 Workshop in Angra do Heroísmo, with the theme Crucial Networks for Peripheral Territories, to be held at the University of Azores, Portugal, from 16 to 17 September 2011.

Cluster 1: Networks
Networks are a fundamental element in the research that is at the heart of NECTAR (Network of European Communications and Transport Activity Research) and Cluster 1 addresses any research matter and research method related to networks. In particular, Cluster 1 activities are concerned with infrastructure networks (transport and communications), social networks, and network theory and approaches more generally. These are mainly addressed in the context of, and their relation to, transport networks and their mobility implications.
The Cluster activities are taking place in the form of “Cluster meetings” which are arranged 2-3 times per year in different locations where a group of 15-25 cluster members are meeting to present and discuss related research work and findings. In addition to the Cluster meetings, Cluster 1 activities mainly include the production of various academic publications (e.g. edited books, special issues of scientific journals, etc.) which are the result of the Cluster meetings.

Cluster 1 Meeting in Angra do Heroísmo 
Crucial Networks for Peripheral Territories 
Although their function remains the same, the importance of networks and their characteristics becomes different in the context of peripheral territories. With long distance travel being increasingly available and affordable (for example through the construction of motorways, deregulation of air transport and the emergence of low-cost airlines, as well as the development of High-Speed Rail) the core-periphery relations might need to be re-thought. Similarly, and in the same context, the widespread use of the internet and other wireless communication networks might raise questions on the need for physical transport infrastructure to ‘connect’ the periphery. Revisiting this traditional subject is required even more so considering the prospects for an energy crisis and (particularly for some areas) climate change. It is especially in such future scenarios that the relations between physical and virtual transport/communication networks are important to rethink.

Papers and research work pertaining to the above subject are invited to be presented and discussed in the forthcoming Cluster 1 meeting. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to: 
  • Changes in core-periphery relations over time
  • Transport and its role in forming social networks in peripheral territories
  • Network accessibility in archipelago settings
  • Physical vs. virtual connectivity for peripheral territories
  • Long-distance tourism and climate change
  • The pros and cons of being far and the implications for improved accessibility
  • Policy implications for peripherality
  • Peripherality and equity