September 2016

Newsletter - September 2016

Dear members,

We are very pleased to announce that our Urban Commission was renewed with a great success during the IGU General Assembly of the IGC in Beijing, August 2016.  This success comes not only from the huge size of our commission’s contributions, and our range of edited books, but rather on the quality of our members (You!!!), that continues to improve year after year.

However, we must go further in the animation of our community, fostering much stronger debates on urban issues, organizing events that provide more opportunities to present and disseminate research that explores critically the fundamental contemporary theoretical and practical aspects of urban geography today.
The name and number of our renewed Commission is:
“C16-37: Urban Challenges in a complex world”.

The aims remain to increase exchanges between the different strands of urban research, with a strong emphasis on inter-national variation and comparison. This year we adopted a new approach in order to engage with and promote some key debates, inviting two prestigious keynote speakers: Allen Scott and Fulong Wu. Thanks to the wonderful local organization by Yuemin Ning and Yue Shen, from Shanghai’s East China Normal University, aided Shenjing He from Hong-Kong University and Werner Breitung (Hong-Kong Baptist University) the meeting was a great success. The Commission’s participation at the Beijing IGC meeting was much appreciated with numerous high quality papers presented. Many thanks for all contributors, chairs, and co-chairs, but also to the kind and very professional organization by the Geographical Society of China.

Please note the date of our next meeting in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, 2017:
6th to 13th of August 2017

Next year in Salvador de Bahia, we will continue to invite well known and highly regarded international and national keynote speakers, while expanding the number of panel sessions and debates around critical urban questions. We plan to develop new activities for young scholars with the new Young Scholar Committee (see below the composition of the committees, point 5). The Young scholar prize for best academic paper will continue and we hope to have even more applicants to this competition. But we will work also to strength their mutual networks, their engagement in the scientific community and above all the exchanges between senior and junior researchers: 1 or 2 days before the conference, some of the senior academics will organize workshops for transmitting their knowledge and know how to the new generation.

Your participation is important and we hope to welcome your students (PhD, Masters, Post-docs) and look forward to receiving your proposals for other exciting activities.
Wishing you all a nice academic year,

Celine Rozenblat
Chair of the IGU Urban Commission 2016-2020

In this newsletter you will find information on the following points:

1- Commission meeting in Shanghai 2016
2- Our Commission at the IGC Beijing 2016
3- Young Scholars Prize 2016
4- Future meetings
5- Renewal of our commission
6- Last publications of the commission

1- Shanghai IGU Urban Commission meeting 2016

16th to 20th August 2016

For this meeting we introduced a new procedure asking for extended abstracts (3 pages) and evaluating them with 2 reviewers. The result was highly appreciated, improving the quality of papers. We will continue to improve this procedure over the coming years.

Quantitative aspects: 24 Thematic Sessions / 115 papers + 2 keynote speeches

Number of papers by thematic:

nb of paper.png

=> 129 participants - 31 COUNTRIES

People by origin in Shanghai meeting:


2- Beijing IGU General Conference 2016

21st to 25th August 2016

The presence of our commission was unmistakable given our huge number, but recognition must also be given to the high quality of papers presented. I would like to thanks all the participants, but especially the chairs and co-chairs who put in great work, from reviewing to managing all these sessions. During the meeting, thanks to lists circulating in sessions, we added more than 200 new addresses in our mailing list.

Participation of our commission - Papers by thematic sessions in Beijing meeting:

Participation of our commission - Papers by thematic sessions in Beijing...

Participation of our commission - Papers by thematic sessi-1.png

3- Prize for the Young Scholar competition

7 Candidates

Young Scholar competition.png

1st price to Jiang Chao

Runner-up Yunjun Cai

The prize was delivered at the beginning of the Gala Dinner and the $1,000 US were
transferred to the winners bank account at the beginning of September.
We hope next year to have more candidates who are obliged to attend the meeting (it is one
of the sine qua non conditions of participation). We will organize specific activities for all of
them before the meeting (even for young scholars not participating to the competition) and
their scientific contributions will be placed into the regular sessions.

4- Future meetings

2017: Salvador de Bahia: 6th to 13th August 2017
Special Thematic: Digital cities and spatial justice

Local host: Prof. Antonio Angelo Martins Da Fonseca
Organization: Ruben Lois Gonzalez, Celine Rozenblat
=> visit of Celine Rozenblat & Ruben Lois Gonzalez: beginning of October 2016
2 first days: workshop
100 maximum papers (80 seniors, 20 juniors)
Conference fees: US$ 400 for academics, US$ 200 for Ph.D. Students

Other Congress 2017: Official Urban Commission participation in the advisory committee

(Scientific committee member): IGU India Hyderabad Conference on URBANIZATION,

2018: Quebec

- Regional IGU Meeting: 6th to 10th August 2018
Local host: University Laval
- Our own commission meeting:
To be confirmed: Contacts are being explored to organize our meeting in either Montreal or
in Quebec before or after the regional meeting.

Expected congresses in the future (last update from the IGU Newletter July 2016 + Beijing

2019: Commission meeting - Luxembourg (Markus Hesse)
2020: Istanbul IGU General Congress
2022: Paris IGU Regional Congress
2024: Dublin IGU General Congress (voted during the Beijing meeting 2016)

5- Renewal of the commission - New project (2016-2020)

The IGU Executive accepted the renewal. The program was revised as follow.

The extended rationale 2016-2020 is available on the commission website (

Eleven specific Urban Challenges

1- Complex Urban Systems and processes of cities’ transformation
2- Technological innovations, creative activities in cities,
3- Innovative and smart building and transportation in cities
4- Polycentrism, small and medium size cities
5- Sustainable to resilient cities
6- Shrinking and aging Cities
7- Urban Governance, planning and participative democracy
8- Contested Social Spaces
9- Subjective/objective Well-Being in cities
10- Urban Heritage and Conservation
11- New concepts and methods in urban studies

Membership of the continuing Urban commission 2016-2020

Gender issues of the steering Committee: 5 women, 5 men + Chair (woman)

Membership of the continuing Urban commission 2016-2020.png

6- Last publications from the commission

Moore-Cherry N (Ed.). (2016). Proceedings of the IGU Urban Commission Annual Meeting 2015 University College Dublin, Ireland Urban challenges in a complex world: Resilience, governance and changing urban systems

Knowles Richard, Rozenblat Celine (Ed.) (2015). Sir Peter Hall - Pioneer in Regional Planning, Transport and Urban Geography, Springer

Follow us:  
Institute of Geography - University of Lausanne - CH-1015 Lausanne
Tel. +41 21 692 30 70