International Conference on Evolving Cities

University of Southampton, 22 – 24 September 2021

Hybrid conference associated with the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26)

Thank you to all the delegates who participated in the conference, online and in-person, for helping make the conference a success. In the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, ICEC 2021 brought together leading academics, policy-makers, regional and non-governmental organisations and the private sector to debate the role of cities in addressing climate change and accelerating the transition to net-zero carbon. This is reflected in the highlighted conference themes and topics.

Over the course of the three-day conference, there were 11 keynote, 49 oral presentations and 9 posters by delegates from 38 organisations situated within 19 countries. Session topics included planning and policy, thermal comfort, artificial intelligence, modelling and local/community/municipal responses and solutions to sustainability targets. Participants were able to discuss ways to develop multi-stakeholder partnerships and implement innovative solutions to propel cities towards low carbon pathways.

Alongside the main conference sessions, there were three special sessions with a range of invited speakers/panellists from local authorities, charities and industry. The Fuel Poverty and Energy Access special session at midday on Wednesday, compared fuel poverty in the South of England with issues around energy access in Africa. This was followed by the Showcasing Fawley Waterside session with the Project Director providing a detailed overview of the project goals and objectives. The third special session took place on Thursday evening, concerning ‘unlocking Southampton’s potential’ and discussed by a panel representing Paris Smith LLP, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Hammerson West Quay and Omega RE.

MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton provided an excellent space for the conference with the facilities allowing for the successful real-time filming, production and broadcast of the proceedings online through our virtual event platform. A separate studio provided space for the poster exhibition and for delegates to network.

Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Prof Brian Collins CB

‘A system of systems view of the evolution of cities – being inclusive’

Emeritus Professor of Engineering Policy, University College London

Prof Rachel Cooper OBE

‘Creating healthy cities’

Professor of Design Management and Policy, Lancaster University

Sir Ian Diamond

‘The role of statistical analyitical insights to help cities’ address climate change’

UK’s National Statistician

Cllr  Daniel Fitzhenry

‘ Southampton, a City of Opportunities’

Leader of Southampton City Council

Dr Hidab Hamwi

‘An assessment of electric vehicles technology in Kuwait by using renewable energy charging stations’ 

Assistant Professor, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR)

Prof Yanfeng Liu

‘Solar district heating systems based on multi-source multi-demand networks in cities’ 

Changjiang Distinguished Professor, Xi’an University of Architecture & Technology

Anne-Marie Mountifield

‘Accelerating Net Zero and pioneering approaches to climate change adaptation and decarbonisation in the Solent’

Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Executive Director

Chris Nicholls

‘Evaluating Energy Use for Net Zero’

Senior Economist, Home Energy Analysis and Research Team, BEIS

Prof Alan Penn

‘City structure, space and socio-economic function’

Chief Scientific Adviser at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, University College London

Prof Nick Tyler CBE

“Putting people at the centre of post-pandemic city design”

Director of UCL Centre for Transport Studies, University College London

Dr Alan Whitehead MP

‘Energy and cities from a policy point of view’

Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

Conference awards

A closing award ceremony took place with five sponsored awards. The gold rating for the best presentation award (sponsored by the Open access Journal Energies) was awarded to Lauren McMillan, from University College London, for her presentation ‘Self-healing in water infrastructure systems’. The silver and bronze rating awards, sponsored by the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Energy, were awarded to Matt Roberts from Bath University for his presentation on ‘Does design-for-deconstruction increase upfront embodied carbon?’ and Ainhoa Arriazu Ramos, University of Navarra for her presentation on ‘Assessment of Environmental Comfort in Educational Buildings’. Two poster prizes, Best Poster and Best Poster Pitch Video, also sponsored by the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Energy, were awarded to Muhammad Shariq, University of Hull for ‘Automatic building inspection techniques through drones and transfer learning on fused thermal and colour imagery of building facades’ and to Johannes Hjalmarsson, Uppsala University for his poster pitch entitled ‘Large scale energy storage in Uppsala Sweden’.

Message from the Chairs

Prof AbuBakr Bahaj

Dr Stephanie Gauthier

Due to Covid 19, we were very apprehensive about the conference and also how a mixed mode event of in-person and online could be delivered proficiently. We are pleased that in the feedback we received plenty of positive responses with encouragements to sustain the conference in the years to come. We thank all those that contributed to the Conference, either virtually or in person and we look forward to welcoming you to the next International Conference on Evolving Cities in the near future. 

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