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About 8th Conference of the International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU)

True Smart & Green City?

True Smart & Green City? is the title of the 8th Conference of the International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU) that will take place from 22–24 June 2015 in the city of Incheon, Republic of Korea.

This inter- and multi-disciplinary conference aims to examine, explore and critically engage issues related to recent insights and advances in the 5 conference topics:

  1. True Smart & Green Urban Society
  2. True Smart & Green Urban Economies
  3. True Smart & Green Urban Planning and Governance
  4. True Smart & Green Urban Design and Visions
  5. True Smart & Green Urban Technologies and Infrastructure Systems

The conference will encourage both theoretical and practical debates surrounding environmental, economical, and social contexts.

Subject

Achieving sustainability and resilience of urban environments is a key challenge of our time. Limited availability of resources as well as the need for adaptation to the effects of a changing climate and urban environments are increasingly questioning the sustainability and resilience of urban environments and infrastructure systems.

The majority of the world cities are confronted with similar and comparable challenges, including for instance increases in resource consumption, mobility demand, pollution, urban sprawl, social inequities, erosion of fertile topsoil and depletion of ecosystems. However, specific basic conditions, as well as the individual context and level of urbanization and development require specific approaches and strategies to achieve sustainable urban (re)development, resilience and to cope with the problems encountered with the implementation of such strategies.

On the one hand, during the last decades many different approaches, methods, technologies and systems have been developed to facilitate the realization of true smart and green, thus sustainable and resilient urban environments. On the other hand, green and smart infrastructures and technologies applications are increasingly defined and controlled by powerful individual players, such as government institutions, developers, consultants, industries, NGOs, and academic institutions, using “green” and “smart” as marketing instruments, attributes, tools or masquerades to cover and “green wash” conventional development programs. Operations of green and smart projects are often partial organized, self-centered, and isolated. Accordingly, significant changes needed on macro levels can hardly be found. For examples in the academic area, knowledge about green is generally not integrated in the major courses but is understood as an "extra, additional matter", similar with other subjects of "Capita Selecta".

The conference True Smart & Green City? will focus on the question how smart and green concepts, systems and interventions could truly constitute to the construction, management, operation and maintenance of sustainable and resilient urbanities, in the framework of both new urban developments and the transformation of existing urban environments.

Questions to be discussed in the framework of the conference are also:

  • How to define and how to differentiate between real sustainable and fake green elements?
  • How can ‘smart’ concepts, systems and interventions really contribute to the improvement of quality of life, urban resilience and sustainability?
  • How can real and fake smart and green elements be differentiated on the levels of conception, design, and realized projects?
  • What should be done (e.g. politically, and institutionally) by the city or national government to promote truly smart and green transitions?
  • What could architects, planners and urbanists do to direct real smart and green processes to the right trajectories?
  • What should be done in order to foster truly smart and green education, research and development in specific academic disciplines and which essential cross-disciplinary collaboration should be enhanced?

Potential answers to the questions listed above could be found in strategies, approaches and methods aiming for high quality in the fields of Economy, Ecology, Sociology and Culture, Architectonic and Urban Design, Technologies and Systems for Urban Infrastructures (aiming for increased use of renewable resources and resource efficiency by integrated management of energy, water and waste), Participative and Integrative Planning, Management, Construction, Marketing, Quality Assurance, as well as Monitoring and Maintenance.

As with the conference theme, the metaphor of True Smart & Green should inspire our imagination and reflection toward sustainable and resilient urbanism.

Aims

This conference aims to generate a fruitful exchange between the academic and the professional debate, to investigate opportunities and challenges for the sustainable urban development of real smart and green cities. Causes, reasons and dependencies of urban transformation processes will be analyzed and planning strategies and design concepts for a more smart and green development of cities and regions will be explored by means of presentations and interdisciplinary scientific discussions of research results, design concepts, technical systems and solutions, theoretical approaches as well as professional experiences, and best practices.

Both research and design approaches are sought for this forum. For that purpose, differing specialties and scales will be integrated within the conference agenda: urban (and regional) planning and management, urban and architectural design, urban sociology, economics, geography and ecology.

Target Groups

During the conference, scientific results, as well as design concepts and technical solutions will be presented; theoretical approaches will be discussed as well as professional experiences and best practices. With this in mind, the target group would include a range of different backgrounds: architects and urban planners; policy makers, students and researchers from different disciplines; managers and politicians, all of whom are involved in or interested in design, planning and the management of the built environment.

Conference Subtopics

The conference will integrate two different elements:

  1. Keynote speeches about the major debates on smart and green urban development in theory and practice;
  2. The presentation and discussion of academic papers and posters, based on a worldwide call for papers.

The presentation of papers will be organized in 5 parallel sessions, assigned to the following sub-themes and issues:

  1. True Smart & Green Urban Society
  2. True Smart & Green Urban Economies
  3. True Smart & Green Urban Planning and Governance
  4. True Smart & Green Urban Design and Visions
  5. True Smart & Green Urban Technologies and Infrastructure Systems
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