The AGS focused five seminars and its Annual Meeting on Urban Futures in 2008 and 2009. Watch the webcasts of the presentations and download the abstracts at the links below. You are welcome to contact the AGS faculty – you can find their biographies and links to their contact details on the websites, or you can reach them via the AGS contact listed below.


23-24 February 2009, Denpasar – Bali, Indonesia
International Workshop on Sustainable City Region

An international workshop was convened by the AGS at The University of Tokyo, by the Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science (IR3S), and Udayana University in Bali, concluded the AGS series of seminars on the Urban Futures initiative. The meeting brought together for the first time researchers in Asia interested in the interaction between urban and rural areas.

A mosaic of urban-rural land uses is a common phenomenon in the fringe areas of Asian large cities. Although current planning systems based on western models attempt to separate urban from rural, increased urban-rural interactions can contribute to establishing sustainable urban communities in Asia. Urban engineers, landscape planners, and agriculture researchers talked together about these issues for the first time, and this was exciting for the participating faculty and students.

Link to webcasts and presentations

Contact person: Dr. Kensuke Fukushi

26-29 January 2009, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
AGS Annual Meeting 2009: Urban Futures – the Challenge of Sustainability

This meeting offered a forum for all those concerned about our urban future, from academia, industry and public administration, in the spirit of the quote by Klaus Toepfer ‘The battle for sustainable development will be won or lost in the urban environment’.

Topics included energy governance, urban ecology, architecture for the open city, size, shape and sustainability of cities, options for pro-poor urban development, transforming the building stock for sustainability, and whether more mobility increases happiness.

Link to webcasts and presentations

21 November 2008, Cambridge, USA
MIT workshop on regional sustainability

A group of MIT faculty members from across the institute met to discuss the multi-disciplinary research projects on regional sustainability being developed at MIT. The objective was twofold:

  1. To develop a broader understanding of the regional sustainability projects at MIT
  2. To see if there is a synergy among the different projects that can be further explored or harnessed for the development of new initiatives

Contact person: Mr. Steven Connors

17 November 2008, Cape Town, South Africa
Integrating Sustainability into African Urban Growth

The AGS is keen to elicit views on sustainable urban futures. This seminar aimed at providing an African-focused view on urban futures.

Contact person: Dr. Sebastien Rauch

14 November 2008, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Urban Futures Research: Tackling Complex Reality

This seminar illustrated the dimensions of research that tackles the complex reality of urban futures, and aimed to achieve a better understanding of how interdisciplinary research must be designed and carried out, using examples from the ETH domain. It also reported on the results of the AGS workshop Interdisciplinary Dialogue on Urban Futures.

Link to webcasts and presentations

9-10 April 2008, Göteborg, Sweden
Evolution of Sustainable Human Settlements

An initiative seminar that focused on the exciting interconnections between scientific disciplines, subject areas and the surrounding world.
Contact person: Dr. Sebastien Rauch