Urban Transitions and Transformations: Science, Synthesis and Policy - 2nd International Conference

Nov 2014
until Nov 8, 2014
Taipei, China

With more than half of the world’s population living in cities, we’ve moved into the Century of the City, where urbanization will continue to be a defining social, economic, and environmental trend. Despite the fact that cities have been loci for a number of environmental problems such as air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and clean water accessibility, cities are also centers for innovation, education and opportunity. With the majority of future growth expected to take place in smaller to medium-sized cities, particularly in the developing world, how can we capture the benefits and opportunities of urbanization, whilst mitigating the negative effects, in order to sustainably transform our urban future?

Cities are a critical component in transformations towards global sustainability, as well as for the agenda of ‘Future Earth’, and that of the international policy community. Over the last ten years, research in the field of urbanization and global environmental change as part of the UGEC project has expanded knowledge and understanding of the interactions and feedbacks between urbanization processes and global environmental change at local to global scales.

The aim of the 2nd International UGEC Conference is two-fold:

1.) To synthesize knowledge of the bidirectional interactions between urbanization and global environmental changes, and reflect on the key lessons learned.
2.) To identify transformative pathways for a future urban world that is increasingly complex and uncertain.

The study and understanding of current urban transitions and transformations requires multidimensional approaches that explore human behaviour including lifestyle changes, political and economic agendas, and the adequacy of governance structures to deliver urban sustainability – particularly in a time of uncertainty where biophysical tipping points and thresholds have the potential to curb human progress and well-being. In order to facilitate this analysis, the conference has been divided into four integrative themes that are intended to bring together perspectives from across the social and natural sciences and humanities, to better understand urban environmental issues in a more integrated, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary way.

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