Ever wanted to know what night scholars and practitioners talk when they meet in conferences? We, Stadtnachacht, were at the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2021 organised by Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers. The urban night was a key theme with 18 international academics and practitioners showing that the urban night has become a research theme in human geography, sociology, urban planning, arts and culture, and governance. This post highlights research and best practices around the night-time economy from the session „Nightlife recoveries: Where do we go from here? (1)“. First, it offers an overview of the presentations by Lutz Leichsenring, Riccardo Ramello, Pia Steinhardt, and Alessia Cibin. Second, it reminds the next conferences about the urban night.


Nightlife recoveries: Where do we go from here? (1)

“Nightlife Recoveries: Where do we go from here?” was a session chaired by Alicia Souter and Robert Shaw during RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2021. The primary question was: Where nightlife and the urban governance of the night go after Covid-19?


Lutz Leichsenring, partner at VibeLab and spokesman for Berlin Cubcommission, introduced the Global Nighttime Recovery Plan (GNRP). The GNRP is a practical and collaborative guide for cities to design and implement feasible and safe strategies to support the night-time economy during and post-Covid-19. In addition, it also supports the night-time economy as it has been a vulnerable sector during the pandemic. The GNRP is a joint effort of academics, night business owners, the creative community, and policy practitioners. 

«When we talk about night-time advocacy there are many different topics and stakeholders. covid-19 pandemic is the right time to establish a nocturnal governance. In this momentum we need night and creative people to get involved in the upcoming years.«

Lutz Leichsenring
Mirik Milan
Germany VibeLab
Introducing the Global Night-Time Recovery Plan
RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2021, 2nd September 2021

Riccardo Ramello, a PhD Fellow at Nottingham Trent University UK, presented his ongoing research on the night-time economy and its connection with crime. His research aims at identifying night-time economy clusters, experiences, and perceptions of night users, and whether online reviews of night venues can show crime activities. Riccardo has been conducting his research during Covid-19 pandemic, therefore he had to adapt his research methodology accordingly. He adopted digital and statistical techniques such as spatial cluster analysis to quantify the spatial autocorrelation over a night-time economy cluster and hot spot analysis. He also developed a dataset of points of interest including night venues, pubs, restaurants, live music venues in night-time economy clusters in Manchester (UK). His findings show that topics like “music” and “alcohol” appear in good online reviews, while a topic like “food” is more frequent and relevant in bad reviews.

«Digital and statistical techniques help policy makers to understand nightlife clusters, and the perception of night-time users. these tools support a more diverse night-time economy. These techniques can also help night businesses in adding cultural value and improving their work environment.«

Riccardo Ramello
James Hunter, Andromachi Tseloni, Andy Newton
United Kingdom – Nottingham Trent University
Spotting, Understanding and fostering diverse Night-Time Economies
RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2021, 2nd September 2021

Pia Steinhardt, interior designer who graduated a Master of Art at the Royal College of Art in London, presented “A nocturnal cultural program”. Her master thesis addresses the visual and aesthetics dimension of the night by considering the club as a space of play, social contact, and experimentation. 

«The night is a territory of possibilities, where colour and light can shape our experience of the space. The night has the potential for designers where you can play with the perceptions of 5 senses. I hope to create appreciation of citizens, state and organisations for the night as a fascinating time space, that shall be developed into a space of exploration.«

«Value free spaces should be given back to the local community for and inclusive experimentation. Everybody, even those who do not go clubbing, can enjoy the cultural expression.«

Pia Steinhardt
A Nocturnal Cultural Program
RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2021, 2nd September 2021

Alessia Cibin, an expert member at Stadtnachacht and PhD Fellow at University of Technology Sydney, presented her study on night-time economy governance. She identified and defined six models: night mayor, night city manager, public-private partnership, night lobby group, night advocacy group, night-time commission. Alessia reviewed the scientific literature around local government, governance and economic development, she also reviewed existing governance practices around the night-time economy. The Covid-19 pandemic has posed great challenges: preserving nighttime employment and adapting night business models. It is here that night-time economy governance can address Covid-19 challenges by adopting an entrepreneurial spirit and flexibility. Alternatively, the implementation of nightlife governance models may fail. Her research supports the implementation of night-time economy policies from governments, practitioners, and industry associations. A preview of her publication is available from IGI Global publisher.

«WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO SUPPORT THE NIGHT-TIME ECONOMY during covid-19 crisis? DO WE REALLY NEED A NIGHT MAYOR? DO WE AIM AT TOP-DOWN (MANAGER, MAYORS), BOTTOM UP (ADVOCATE GROUPS) OR HYBRID FORMS (PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS) OF POLICYMAKING?«

Alessia Cibin
Stadtnachachat
University of Technology Sydney
Nightlife governance modes: clarification and discussion for nightlife recovery
RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2021, 2nd September 2021

Future conferences

  • 2nd International Conference on Night Studies ICNSLX 6-8 October 2021

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  • Stadt Nach Acht Resurrection 2021 25-27 November 2021 Berlin

Stadt Nach Acht Website
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Stadt Nach Acht Facebook

  • RGS-IBG International Annual Conference 2022 at Newcastle University, UK.
    Announcements from RGS-IBG website.

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