Cook, I. R. and Ward, K. (2012) Conferences, informational infrastructures and mobile policies: The process of getting Sweden ‘BID ready’. European Urban and Regional Studies, 19 (2), 137-152.
Abstract: This paper makes a contribution to the fledgling literature on policy mobilities and mutations. Using the example of the internationalization of the Business Improvement District (BID) model, it argues that conferences constitute important arenas in and through which both the mobilizing and embedding of urban policies can occur. Focusing on a two-day conference that took place in Sweden in 2009, it uses the language of trans-urban policy pipelines in order to capture the formation of relationships over distance as a means of comparing, educating and learning about the experiences of other cities. Revealing the complex architectures and ecologies that have underpinned the movement of this model from one country to another and from one city to another over the last two decades or so, the paper uses a combination of ethnographic techniques together with semi-structured interviews and questionnaires with organizers and participants to produce a single-site but relationally thickened description of the place of conferences in facilitating the movement of policies across space.