To strengthen the international collaboration in Urbanism, the International Forum on Urbanism develops international conferences to contribute to the international debate on Urbanism and to stimulate the exchange between academic and professional institutions.
The International Forum on Urbanism organizes at least once a year an international conference. The past few conferences in Beijing in 2006 on ‘Modernization and Regionalism’ and also the Permacity conference in 2007 were a great success.

Upcoming Conference

Past Conferences

2016, Buenos Aires University, Argentina
9th IFoU Conference in Buenos Aires from October 26 to 28 2016

The 9th Conference of the International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU) with the title From
Knowledge to Development: New university challenges for a contemporary urban
development will be organized by the School of Architecture, Design and Urbanism of Buenos
Aires University (FADU/UBA) at Buenos Aires, Argentina, from October 26th to 28th, 2016. The
aim of this scientific conference is to contribute and discuss new ways to integrate academic
knowledge and governmental practice.
For universities, this relationship is crucial because it extends their educational role to a new one
-as urban policy decision makers’ key reference. This is why universities have, within and beyond
their abilities to recognize new urban questions and to theorize on them, the power to elaborate
paradigmatic development strategies. The opportunity for our schools is then to recognize this
new challenge and to understand and discuss ways to promote their proficiency to define socioterritorial empowerment initiatives.

The event will then be focused on opportunities to improve, from academic approaches,
alternative models for urban and territorial development and management. It will be organized
on five parallel sessions that, on multidisciplinary discussions, will survey university/government
collaborative models on:

INTEGRATION - think the marginal/integrate the marginal
EFFICIENCY and EQUITY - think the infrastructural/manage the infrastructural
COMPACTNESS - think density/manage density
BELONGING - think identity/support identity
SCALES - think territory/manage territory

Conferences and dialogues between professionals, politicians and researchers will be held in
order to present paradigmatic cases of urban transformation/development, defined on an
academic/public management collaborative basis. On comparable urban challenges, the aim will
be to promote tactics and strategies that integrate research concepts and management actions,
including those referred to migration processes, violence, labor, and environmental risk.

22-24 June 2015, Incheon, Republic of Korea
8th Conference of the International Forum on Urbanism

True Smart and Green City?

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

2013, Taipei, Taiwan
Creative Renaissance

The 2013 Conference of the International Forum on Urbanism will be organized by the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan. More detailed information will be published soon on this website.

January 2012, Barcelona

TOURbanISM toURBANISM was the title of the 6th Conference of the International Forum on Urbanism that has been held on January 25th to 27th, 2012 at the Catalonian Politecnic University (UPC) in Barcelona. The Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB) and the Department of Urbanism and Regional Planning (DUOT) in collaboration with the Municipality of Barcelona, the Provincial Government of Barcelona and Casa Asia organized the conference within the framework of the International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU).With the title ‘TOURBANISM’ the conference addressed an even old as new issue: The development of tourism and its impact on the urban – the built – environment. The issue is old, because tourism is influencing already for centuries the development of cities and regions. At the same time it is new, because with the increasing participation of countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America tourism got a new scale. Tourists no longer are counted in millions, but in billions.
The change in scale generates new opportunities, but also new threats for the urban and regional development. On the one hand tourism became a powerful part of the economy, offering new jobs and new sources of income. On the other hand in particular the mass tourism became a threat for many people, destroying nature as well as local cultures and local economies.
The conference discussed the impact of tourism on cities and regions as well as new ideas and concepts that are able to combat the destructive tendencies of mass tourism and to generate conditions for a sustainable urban and regional development, integrating tourism in a harmonious and healthy way.

February 2011, Singapore
Global Visions – Risks and Opportunities for the Urban Planet –

The 5th Conference of the International Forum on Urbanism has been held from 24th to 26th February 2011 at the National University of Singapore. The conference has been organized within the framework of the International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU) by the Department of Architecture and the Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities (CSAC) at the School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore (NUS) in collaboration with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Singapore as well as the participating universities of the IFoU network.Keynote speakers have been: Cheong Koon Hean, Kees Christiaanse, Jaques Ferrier, Liu Thai-Ker, Meng Yan, Sanjay Prakash and Edward Soja.
The major contributions of this conference have been published in: Gonzales Brun, Low, Rosemann, Widodo (edts.), Global Visions: Risks and Opportunities for the Global Planet. Singapore 2011 (ISBN 978-981-08-8159-7)

November 2009, The Netherlands
The New Urban Question – Urbanism beyond Neo-Liberalism

"The New Urban Question - Urbanism beyond Neo-liberalism" is the title of the 4th Conference of the International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU) that will take place from November 26th to 28th, 2009 at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). The theme of the conference is about the recovery of the discipline of Urbanism under the conditions of urbanization and urban transformation, ecological threats and economical crises.The conference will be organized in the framework of the International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU) by the Department of Urbanism, TU Delft and the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam in collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment and the Municipality of Amsterdam (to be confirmed) as well as other participating universities of the IFoU-network.

June 2008, Taipei
City and Water

Cities all over the world are simultaneously dealing with the issue of water. On the one hand cities make use of the potentiality of the water element to improve their accessibility, attractiveness and competitiveness (i.e. waterfront or seaport cities). On the other hand cities are limited in their development or even threatened by water problems. In this framework we can distinguish at least three different categories:
- Coastal cities, in particular cities in delta regions that are threatened by the rising sea level or by the tsunami;
- River bank cities that are threatened by floodings caused by excessive rainfalls or by smelting glaciers;
- Cities in so-called dry-zones whose major problem is the lack of water.
In collaboration with the Taipei County Government the Third IFoU Conference has been organized to analyze the problems of water regulation and water management in the framework of city planning and development in Asia and Europe. The potentiality of water in the city has been explored and new concepts for water related urban developments have been discussed. In this framework scientific results as well as design concepts and technical solutions from different regions in Asia and in Europe have been presented.
The Third IfoU Conference has been combined with the annual meeting of the scientific board of IFoU.

November 2007, Delft

When almost 30 years ago Bill Mollison and David Holmgren introduced the idea of Permaculture, they initially pointed at the development of a stable agriculture, based on the principles of sustainable ecological systems.
However, very soon the idea expanded into a more general approach for the design of human habitat and community building. In the meantime Permaculture has been elaborated into a complex design system, carefully observing the nature and natural systems, analyzing the ecological principles of sustainability in these systems and applying them in the design of human settlements and human societal systems.Permaculture became a worldwide movement, All over the world ecological settlement have been developed, eiher as new building construction or as renewal projects of existing settlements, where people live together in conformance with the principles of Permaculture. In these settlements, people not only apply sustainable environmental technologies to redue the exploitation of natural resources and to limit the pollution; they also try to develop sustainable sommunities and sutainable economies that can survive without exploitation of other societies or future generations. The idea is to create productive and sustainable ways of living that are based on the principles of global equiy; Every human being on earth has the same right for clean water, pure air and an adequate amount of energy, every human being has the right for stable ans sustainable living conditions.

October 2006, Beijing
Modernization and Regionalism

Urbanization is a key issue of our time. Never before in history has human society gone through a comparable process of urbanization. Never before have urban agglomerations expanded as today. New and transformed agglomerations of unprecedented dimensions are developing, giving rise to new urban cultures and economies, forming unknown challenges for the planning disciplines and unpredictable threats to the environment.The speed of these transformation processes is generating growing contradictions. On the one hand, there are the demands to modernize cities and societies, while on the other, there is the destruction of traditional ways of living, and generating fundamental threats for people and environment. The contradictions are appearing on different levels of scale: within the city, between rapidly developing new centralities and more traditional areas which have been home to local populations; between the core city and suburban areas; and between different regions. The results include increasing social conflicts, the disruption of living conditions of rural peoples, the exploitation and contamination of the environment, and, last but not least, the loss of cultural and social identity.