Call for papers: Climate Change and Urban Design

Science, Policy, Education and Best Practice

The Third International C.E.U. Congress, Oslo, Norway, 14 – 16 September 2008

ABSTRACTS DUE Febru­a­ry 1, 2008
ANNOUNCEMENTS of Accep­ted Papers March 1, 2008

The Topic

Fol­lowing suc­cess­ful Con­gres­ses in Ber­lin 2005 and Leeds 2006, the Coun­cil for Euro­pean Urba­nism will hold its third inter­na­tio­nal con­gress in Oslo, Nor­way from the 14th to 16th Sep­tem­ber 2008.
The con­gress will dis­cuss the rapidly-evol­ving topic of “Cli­ma­te Chan­ge and Urban Design”. Papers are invi­ted on the latest impli­ca­ti­ons in sci­ence, poli­cy, edu­ca­ti­on and best prac­ti­ce. What is the latest sci­ence tel­ling us? What are the con­se­quen­ces for urban deve­lo­p­ment inter­na­tio­nal­ly? What are the prac­ti­cal solu­ti­ons avail­ab­le to redu­ce cli­ma­te gas emis­si­ons from urban sett­le­ments and trans­por­ta­ti­on? What stra­te­gies are avail­ab­le to adapt to chan­ging con­di­ti­ons?
The con­gress will wel­co­me government offi­cials, plan­ners, archi­tects, social sci­en­tists, eco­lo­gists, deve­lo­pers, local com­mu­ni­ty acti­vists, and all other deve­lo­p­ment sta­ke­hol­ders who feel a respon­si­bi­li­ty to con­tri­bu­te to more sus­tainab­le urban deve­lo­p­ment.
We invi­te aut­hors enga­ged in urban deve­lo­p­ment and cli­ma­te chan­ge topics from all parts of the world to sub­mit paper pro­po­sals with abs­tracts by Febru­a­ry 1, 2008.
Announ­ce­ments of accep­ted pro­po­sals will be on March 1, 2008. Com­ple­ted drafts of papers will be due by June 1, 2008.
The cli­ma­te chan­ge agen­da has clear­ly reached a world-wide tip­ping point. Yet while the­re is gro­wing con­sen­sus that the phe­no­me­non poses a major thre­at to future human well-being, legi­ti­ma­te deba­te remains about what is to be done to redu­ce atmo­s­phe­ric car­bon levels, as well as to adapt to chan­ges that alrea­dy appe­ar likely. In par­ti­cu­lar the­re is ongo­ing deba­te about how the cost of various opti­ons cor­re­la­tes to poten­ti­al bene­fits. Deba­te also con­ti­nues about how the issue of cli­ma­te chan­ge rela­tes to the lar­ger agen­da of sus­tainab­le deve­lo­p­ment.
The built envi­ron­ment is well known to be one of the lar­gest cur­rent con­tri­bu­tors to green­house gases. The­re­fo­re tho­se who work in the plan­ning, design and buil­ding pro­fes­si­ons have a key role in working to redu­ce atmo­s­phe­ric car­bon dioxi­de. While much work has been done to decre­a­se con­tri­bu­ti­ons from indi­vi­du­al buil­dings, the role of urban design in addres­sing cli­ma­te chan­ge remains more obscu­re, and more con­ten­tious.
To be sure, buil­dings are not pas­si­ve emit­ters of green­house gases. They shape the pat­terns of acti­vi­ty and con­sump­ti­on of their occup­ants, which in turn pro­found­ly affect emis­si­ons. Must occup­ants dri­ve bet­ween scat­te­red loca­ti­ons, perhaps for long distan­ces? Do they spend lar­ge per­cen­ta­ges of time in buil­dings iso­la­ted from a func­tio­n­al public realm, with high pat­terns of con­sump­ti­on and emis­si­ons? Are tho­se buil­dings sited in remo­te new deve­lo­p­ments whe­re signi­fi­cant are­as of exis­ting vege­ta­ti­on have been repla­ced with paved or reflec­ti­ve sur­faces? How does the urban street and block pat­tern con­tri­bu­te? What about the mix of uses, and the dis­tri­bu­ti­on of dai­ly acti­vi­ties and needs?
The­re has been much dis­cus­sion of the dra­ma­tic car­bon reduc­tions pos­si­ble per per­son in a hig­her-den­si­ty urban mor­pho­lo­gy, par­ti­cu­lar­ly in com­pa­ri­son to auto­mo­bi­le-domi­na­ted “sprawl” deve­lo­p­ment. But what are the fac­tors to be teased out? If we are to pur­sue such a goal, what are the issu­es to be addres­sed in eco­no­mics, mar­ket dyna­mics, pro­ject per­mit­ting, legal regu­la­ti­on? How are the­se issu­es being addres­sed suc­cess­ful­ly, and what fur­ther chal­len­ges and oppor­tu­nities remain?
What about the pre­fe­rence of some con­su­mers for lower den­si­ty neigh­bor­hoods, or the argu­ment that it is more sus­tainab­le to accom­mo­da­te a sett­le­ment dis­tri­bu­ti­on or “tran­sect” from the hig­hest human use to the most pris­ti­ne natu­ral envi­ron­ment, inclu­ding lower-den­si­ty agri­cul­tu­ral sett­le­ments? Does the new agen­da imply, as some argue, that only very high den­si­ties will be via­ble? Or can a mix­tu­re that inclu­des some lower-den­si­ty mor­pho­lo­gies be sus­tai­ned in com­bi­na­ti­on with other forms of miti­ga­ti­on? Is such a ran­ge of den­si­ties more eco­no­mi­c­al­ly sus­tainab­le, as some argue?
Even at high den­si­ties, a wide ran­ge of mor­pho­lo­gies is pos­si­ble. What are the bene­fits and tra­de­offs of the alter­na­ti­ves? For examp­le, are den­se high rise cities the ine­vi­ta­ble best opti­on? What about the nega­ti­ve ener­gy impacts of tall buil­dings that may fea­ture exten­si­ve curtain wall gla­zing, or requi­re other high-ener­gy con­di­tio­ning, main­ten­an­ce or repair? How do tall buil­dings per­form across socio-eco­no­mic clas­ses, or in pro­mo­ting social diver­si­ty and eco­no­mic sus­taina­bi­li­ty? How do they per­form in repai­ra­bi­li­ty, adap­ti­ve re-use, or typi­cal life-cycle?
What about the advan­ta­ges of “green” retro­fits of exis­ting buil­dings, in com­pa­ri­son to new green buil­dings? Sin­ce rough­ly half of the ener­gy use of a buil­ding is in its con­struc­tion, is the­re credi­ble evi­dence to sug­gest that adap­ti­ve re-use of heri­ta­ge buil­dings should be a grea­ter prio­ri­ty? Are the­re examp­les of tra­di­tio­nal urban fab­ric that offer bet­ter models of sus­tainab­le mor­pho­lo­gy, such as medi­um rise “liner” buil­dings, or high-den­si­ty ter­races? And do tra­di­tio­nal buil­dings offer any signi­fi­cant mor­pho­lo­gi­cal bene­fits for the sus­taina­bi­li­ty chal­len­ge?
The­se ques­ti­ons remind us that emis­si­ons are a cumu­la­ti­ve phe­no­me­non, and must be con­si­de­red over who­le sys­tems and who­le life cycles. Clear­ly a reduc­tion in one tar­ge­ted para­me­ter is of litt­le use if it results in the incre­a­se of ano­t­her para­me­ter by an equal or grea­ter amount. Moreo­ver, green­house gas emis­si­ons are only one para­me­ter of sus­taina­bi­li­ty that must be con­si­de­red in balan­ce with others.
We encou­ra­ge papers that dis­cuss the inter-disci­pli­na­ry natu­re of this chal­len­ge, and the need for a more “joi­ned-up” approach. We par­ti­cu­lar­ly encou­ra­ge dis­cus­sion of effec­ti­ve new dia­gnostic and pre­scrip­ti­ve tools to opti­mi­ze per­for­mance across who­le sys­tems and who­le life cycles.
The­mes Wit­hin the Topic
We wel­co­me your papers on one of the six the­mes below. Whe­re necessa­ry, a paper may com­bi­ne two or more the­mes.
THEME ONE: Cli­ma­te Chan­ge and Urban Mor­pho­lo­gy – The Evi­dence
What is the sci­en­ti­fic evi­dence for or against par­ti­cu­lar links bet­ween urban form and con­tri­bu­ti­ons of green­house gases? What are the inter­re­la­ti­ons­hips? What are the pit­falls in rese­arch, and in its app­li­ca­ti­on? Papers may sur­vey pre­vious lite­ra­tu­re and/or pre­sent new rese­arch.
THEME TWO: Cli­ma­te Chan­ge and Best Prac­ti­ce in Urban Design
What are the impli­ca­ti­ons of cli­ma­te chan­ge rese­arch for stan­dards of best prac­ti­ce? What does the evol­ving evi­dence sug­gest about the rela­ti­ve impor­t­ance of such para­me­ters as den­si­ty, tran­sit modes, mixed use, buil­ding height, social diver­si­ty and others? What about the rela­ti­ve bene­fits of retro­fit ver­sus new con­struc­tion? How can best prac­ti­ce address issu­es of mar­ket accep­t­ance and con­su­mer choice?
THEME THREE: Cli­ma­te Chan­ge, Urban Design and Public Poli­cy
What are the steps being taken to address the con­tri­bu­ti­on of urban design on cli­ma­te chan­ge through public poli­cy, and how well are they suc­cee­ding? What steps are being taken to miti­ga­te initi­al dise­co­no­mies, crea­te new incen­ti­ves, ease regu­la­to­ry restric­tions, and shift mar­ket beha­viour?
THEME FOUR: Cli­ma­te Chan­ge, Edu­ca­ti­on and Rese­arch
How should aca­de­mic insti­tu­ti­ons respond to the cli­ma­te chan­ge agen­da? What are the impli­ca­ti­ons for inter-disci­pli­na­ry and inter-insti­tu­tio­nal rese­arch? How should design schools respond to the chal­len­ge? What alter­na­ti­ve cur­ri­cu­la are implied or requi­red?
THEME FIVE: Case Stu­dies of Urban Pro­jects and Their Impacts
Paper in this cate­go­ry should pre­sent one or more case stu­dies with detail­ed assess­ment of suc­cess in miti­ga­ting green­house gases, or adap­ting to the con­se­quen­ces of cli­ma­te chan­ge. They may dis­cuss chal­len­ges of enti­t­le­ment, mar­ket accep­t­ance, eco­no­mic per­for­mance, and other pro­ject requi­re­ments.
THEME SIX: Inno­va­ti­ve New Stra­te­gies
Papers in this cate­go­ry should dis­cuss new theo­re­ti­cal or prag­ma­tic approa­ches, such as cer­ti­fi­ca­ti­on sche­mes (LEED-ND in the USA, BREEAM in the UK, et al.), tra­ding sche­mes, new coding approa­ches, and other inno­va­tions.
If your paper does not fit wit­hin one of the six the­mes abo­ve, be advi­sed that we will accept a limi­ted num­ber of papers under gene­ral or alter­na­ti­ve topics.
The Papers
Papers should be at least 3,000 words and no more than 6,000. Bear in mind that spea­ker pre­sen­ta­ti­on time will be no more than 30 minu­tes, or about 3,600 words for most spea­kers. Papers should be writ­ten in 12 point Times Roman font, in Micro­soft Word or equi­va­lent for­mat. Foot­no­tes and/or refe­ren­ces should appe­ar at the end of papers. Aut­hors agree that papers may be publis­hed in the Con­gress pro­cee­dings. Full gui­de­li­nes will be sent to selec­ted aut­hors.
The Abs­tracts
Abs­tracts should be 12 point Times Roman font, in Micro­soft Word or equi­va­lent for­mat. Plea­se inclu­de your full name, full address and affi­lia­ti­on details with an abs­tract of your pre­sen­ta­ti­on of bet­ween 100 and 300 words. You may inclu­de a cover let­ter or email mes­sa­ge with addi­tio­nal comments.

C.E.U. – Coun­cil for Euro­pean Urba­nism
Nor­we­gi­an con­ta­ct address:
Audun Engh.
CEU Nor­way
St. Olavs gate 9, 0165 Oslo, Nor­way.
Tel. +47.92 62 26 26

Comments are closed.