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12 June 2003

Economic Development: Why Some Places Keep Developing and Others Become Blocked

The Hettner Lecture 2003 in Heidelberg discusses the causes of unequal economic development — General public very welcome to attend — Opening event 23 June 2003, 6.15 p.m., Great Hall of the Old University (Grabengasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg)

Current globalisation tendencies represent the background to the Seventh Hettner Lecture, taking place at the University of Heidelberg and the Villa Bosch. The guest scholar of this year's series of lectures and seminars is Michael Storper, Professor of Geography at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). At 6.15 p.m. on 23 June 2003 in the Great Hall of the Old University, Professor Storper will be discussing the reasons why certain locations develop economically and attract more and more jobs for the highly qualified, while other locations and regions stagnate or even wither. This lecture, which the general public is cordially invited to attend, is the opening event of the Hettner Lecture 2003, organised by the Institute of Geography of the University of Heidelberg and the Klaus Tschira Foundation.

Professor Storper is one of the world's most prominent economic geographers. His pioneering research work on the socio-economic and political reasons for unequal economic development processes in cities and regions have attracted a major international response. One of the things Storper's work has emphasised is the significance of face-to-face contact for the intensification of geographic concentration processes. Study of the changing forms of concentration and dispersal opens up a new perspective for understanding the growth of cities and metropolises and the attendant consequences for the economic situation in poorer countries and regions.

Alongside his professorship at the Department of Urban Planning of the University of California in Los Angeles, Michael Storper is also professor of economic sociology at the renowned Institut d'Études Politiques in Paris and Centennial Professor of Economic Geography at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Michael Storper is the seventh outstanding scholar invited by the Institute of Geography of the University of Heidelberg and the Klaus Tschira Foundation to speak on the connections between economics, society and information. The purpose of the Hettner Lecture is to inform the public about a topic of essential academic significance. Also, this series of lectures and discussions offers students and budding scholars and scientists from various disciplines the opportunity for face-to-face discussion of contemporary research issues with prominent and pioneering representatives of their respective subjects.

In the last few years, the Hettner Lecture has developed into one of the most interesting events in the field of human geography anywhere in the world. The Hettner Lecture was initiated by Peter Meusburger, professor of geography at the University of Heidelberg. The lecture is named after Alfred Hettner (1859-1941), the first incumbent of a chair of geography in Heidelberg. Hettner was one of Germany's most influential geographers and ranks as one of the founders of geography as an academic subject.

The Klaus Tschira Foundation dedicates itself first and foremost to promoting research projects in the field of information science, the natural sciences and mathematics, encouraging the interest of school pupils in these topics, supporting teaching at state and private institutions of higher learning and projects concerned with the preservation of the national heritage and the arts. The offices of the Foundation are located at the Villa Bosch in Heidelberg, the former residence of Carl Bosch (1874-1940), Nobel Prize laureate for chemistry.

All those interested are cordially invited to attend the public lectures by Michael Storper. They will be delivered in English.

Monday, 23 June 2003, 6.15 p.m.: Society, Community and Economic Development: Why Some Places Keep Developing and Others Become Blocked
Great Hall of the Old University, Grabengasse 1

Tuesday, 24 June 2003, 3.15 p.m.: Buzz: Face-to-Face Contact and the Urban Economy
Lecture Hall, Institute of Geography, Berliner Strasse 48

Michael Storper's second lecture will be transmitted live on the internet. For more information go to From 25 to 27 June, Michael Storper will be at the Villa Bosch, the headquarters of the Klaus Tschira Foundation, to discuss other topics centring on the connections between society, economics and geography with young scholars from Germany and elsewhere.

Please address any inquiries to
Prof. Dr. Peter Meusburger and Tim Freytag
Institute of Geography
University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/544581 or 544573, fax: 545556

Renate Ries
Klaus Tschira Foundation
Public Relations
Villa Bosch
Schloss-Wolfsbrunnenweg 33
69118 Heidelberg
phone: 06221/533214, fax: 533198

Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 54317

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