International Conference on Evolving Cities

University of Southampton, 22 – 24 September 2021

Hybrid – face-to-face and online contributions (depending on regulations at the time)

In the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, the Energy and Climate Change Division at the University of Southampton will host the International Conference on Evolving Cities (ICEC) to debate the role of cities in addressing climate change and accelerating the transition to net-zero carbon. The Conference brings together global experts to discuss the future of cities in the context of the COP26 campaigns, for example: energy transition, clean road transport, climate adaptation and resilience, and natural resource use.

Cities consume around 75% of our energy with a similar value for emissions. The provision of services and infrastructure within cities directly impacts both the built environment as well as the quality of life of residents and visitors. Human activities also have widespread impacts on ecology within and surrounding the city. Safeguarding citizens, nature, and economies within our cities from the impacts of climate change is also important for the sustainability of cities.

Cities of the future will be expected to meet new demands, reflected in their form and function. In the transition to net-zero carbon, cities will need to provide healthy, liveable spaces, the development of which will require consideration of more than just the provision of services, e.g. energy, water, communications and other utilities. To address these complex and interwoven challenges, the previous Energy and Cities conference is transitioning to become the International Conference of Evolving Cities (ICEC2021) to reflect the broader range of challenges and changes that will occur in diverse and interconnecting aspects of the urban environment.

ICEC 2021 brings world-leading academic research together with policymakers, regional and non-governmental organisations, and the private sector to discuss and debate the challenges faced by cities. This is reflected in the highlighted conference themes and topics.

Message from the chairs

Prof AbuBakr Bahaj

Dr Stephanie Gauthier

We look forward to welcoming new and returning delegates to Southampton for ICEC 2021. We will build on the successful conference in 2019 to further develop the dialogue between stakeholders. In addition ICEC 2021 aims to provide a platform to bring younger researchers and policymakers together to address the challenges faced by cities.

ICEC 2021 will include three forums:

Policy zone discuss policies/frameworks to transition cities to net zero.

Cllr Chris Hammond

What are the main aspirations of the Green City Charter?

Solutions zone highlights implementation of technology/interventions.

Professor Brian Collins

What role does academia play in achieving net zero?

The engagement zone tackles citizen-centric questions on evolving cities.

Professor Rachel Cooper

How can science impact the way we live in future cities?

Themes and topics

Themes and topics

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Prof Brian Collins CB

Professor of Engineering Policy, University College London

Prof Rachel Cooper OBE

Professor of Design Management and Policy, Lancaster University

Sir Ian Diamond

UK’s National Statistician

Cllr Chris Hammond

Leader of Southampton City Council

Prof Borong Lin

Assistant Dean, School of Architecture, Tsinghua University

Prof Jiaping Liu

Academician, Chinese Academy of Engineering, Xi’an University of Architecture & Technology

Chris Nicholls

Senior Economist, Home Energy Analysis and Research Team, BEIS

Prof Alan Penn

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

Prof Nick Tyler CBE

Director of UCL Centre for Transport Studies, University College London 

Dr Alan Whitehead MP

Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Climate Change)

This section will be updated with new speakers as they are confirmed.

Best presentation award

Sponsored by leading stakeholders and academic journals, awards are given for students delivering outstanding presentations.

Special issue

ICEC 2021 in collaboration with peer-reviewed, open access journals, is currently in discussion with such journals for special issues.

International audience

The previous conference attracted researchers from 22 countries and included exhibitors and engagement with industry and civil society.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to submit a full paper?

The ICEC 2021 conference only requires an abstract to be submitted prior to the conference. The abstract, however, will be peer reviewed by the Scientific Panel. After the conference, presenters will be invited to submit a full paper to the special issue by the conference based on the relevance of their topic.

Will there be conference proceedings?

ICEC 2021 is supported by several peer-reviewed academic journals, please watch this space.

Is financial support available for international students?

The conference is run on a non-profit basis and therefore we cannot offer financial support to attendees, please check the rates for the early bird registration period.

What accommodation is available?

There are many hotels in Southampton which are listed on the website. The University of Southampton have a small number of rooms available for conference attendees at reasonable rates. You will be able to book accommodation on the conference registration page.

Will the conference provide a letter of invitation for visa applications?

The ICEC 2021 management committee will provide a letter of invitation once you have confirmed your registration. We strongly recommend that you apply for a visa at least two months before your planned travel date to the UK. Please check with your local British High Commission or Embassy for visa processing times and other requirements.

Will the cost of virtual and in-person attendance differ

This is still to be determined as we trial and pilot various digital meeting software , with an announcement on pricing due closer to the event.