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IGU - Urban Geography Commission
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January 2011

January 2011

C08.33 IGU Commission on Urban Geography: Emerging Urban Transformations


Report for 2010


1. Complete list of the commission’s current steering committee members (mailing address, e-mail address):

President: professor Christian Matthiessen (Denmark).
Institute of Geography and Geology – University of Copenhagen
Oster Voldgade 10
1350 Copenhagen K

Associate Chair: professor Adrian G. Aguilar (Mexico)
Instituto de Geografia UNAM
Circuito Exterior, Ciudad
04510 D. F.

Associate Chair: professor Celine Rozenblat (Switzerland)
Universite de Lausanne
Institut de Géographie - Faculté des Géosciences

Bâtiment Anthropole - Bureau 4064
Quartier Dorigny
CH - 1015 Lausanne

Professor Lilian Barakat (Lebanon)
Geography Department – Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences
St. Joseph Unicversity

Professor Kam-Wing Chan (USA)
Dept. of geography
Univ. of Washington, Box 353550
WA 98195-3550

Professor Guoqing Du (Japan)
Rikkyo (St. Paul) University
College of Tourism

Niza Campus
1-2-26 Kitano
Niiza City
Saitama 352-8558

Professor Andre Horn (South Africa)
Department of Geography and Geoinformatics
Univ. of Pretoria
Pretoria 0002
South Africa

Professor Lienhard.Loetscher (Germany)
Department of Geography
Ruhr-University Bochum
Universitetsstrasse 150
D-44780 Bochum

Professor Jose Somoza Medina (Spain)
Dept. de Geografia
Facultad de Filosofia y Letras
24071 Leon

Professor Michael Pacione (United Kingdom)
Department of Geography
Univ. of Strathclyde
26 Richmond Street
United kingdom G1 1XH

Professor Petros Petsimeris (France)
Institut de Géographie
191 rue St Jacques
75005 Paris


2. Number of members of the commission as of 31 December 2010:

the address list counts many hundreds. Around 100 are active in contributing papers.



3. Meeting activity 2010:

The commissions 36th meeting was hold in Tel Aviv July 6. - 17. 2010 consisting of a preconference working tour in northern Israel July 6. - 11. and regular session activities at the IGU regional conference in Tel Aviv July 12.- 17. Plus one business meeting. Urban Geography sessions counted 43 papers.



4. Forthcoming meetings:

2011 (1). The next commission meeting (37. meeting) is planned to be at Canterbury Christ Church University, United Kingdom August 14-18. Local organiser: Dan Donoghue. Estimated number of participants: 60. All details regarding the conference are on the igu urban webpages:


“Urban Transformations: Exploring Local, Regional and Global City Regions” encompasses a wide range of research currently undertaken by members of the Commission and provides a framework within which the three main issues identified above can be explored. The City region concept allows researchers to investigate not just the immediate area of ‘the city’ but to expand their horizons at a range of geographical scales to look at the vast network of interactions that occur within and between settlements of all sizes within the wider hinterlands of urban places. As such this theme keeps in mind the rationale of the Commission to explore the emerging trends that are rapidly transforming the character of cities and their hinterlands. Although the various processes causing urban transformations are common to many countries, changes in urban systems and the internal geography of cities as well as concerns regarding sustainability, take different forms in different places. This is particularly true for city regions where one can find evidence for remoteness, peripherality and even exclusion among smaller centres despite their immediate locations within spheres of influence of larger metropolitan centres.

2011 (2). The commission also accepted the invitation to join the IGU Regional conference in Santiago, Chile November 14.-18. Estimated participation: unknown. (www.ugi2011.cl). We expect urban geography sessions, and will provide chairmen if requested. We also ask for one pre- or postconference fieldtrip. Liaison officer is Adrian G. Aguilar (Adrian@servidor.unam.mx).

26. – 30. August 2012 is the time for the next large IGU congress. The 32nd International Geographical Congress in Cologne focuses scientific attention on the core themes of humanity (www.igc2012.org) and with four sub-themes:

• Global Change and Globalisation
• Society and Environment
• Risks and Conflicts
• Urbanisation and Demographic Change

The commission has decided that professors Ludger Basten and Lienhard Lötscher will be local organisers of the commissions meeting, which combines independent activities before the main congress and which also allows members to join urban geography sessions at the congress itself.


5. Plans for co-work with the Megacities Commission and with the Transport Geography Commission in Cologne 2012.


6. Publications issued since July 2009:

IGU Urban Commission 2008-2012 (2009): Emerging urban transformations: International Conference. 66 pages contained 59 presentations, which with a few exceptions were presented at the Hyderabad conference 2009.

IGU Urban Commission 2008-2012 (2009). Editor Geetha Reddy Ananth: Emerging urban transformations: Multilayered Cities and Urban Systems. 857 pages. Comprise 44 full papers.

Members of the commission are planning for five collective books concerning several people participating to the commission:

• Book on different types of cities (Wayne Davies).
• Book on world urbanization: theoretical, empirical (Petros Petsimeris)
• Book on comparative urban systems (Petros Petsimeris, Celine Rozenblat).
• Epistemology of the former members of the commission (Petros Petsimeris).
• Book on the geography of crime (Andre Horn).

For the commission meeting in Tel Aviv Izhak Schnell and Celine Rozenblat have taken responsibility to edit a special issue of Urban Studies Journal.

The Urban Geography Commission has since its establishment 1976 produced 22 books.

Christian Matthiessen, January 2011

Institute of Geography - University of Lausanne - CH-1015 Lausanne  - Switzerland  -  Tel. +41 21 692 30 70
Swiss University