Iaps 2017 Symposium Concept Note

Knowledge For Climate-Proof Urban Development In Rapidly Changing Environments

Contemporary cities in low-income countries have numerous social and economic development challenges as well as environmental issues that should be addressed. The “business as usual” development trajectory has serious implications for both current and future generations. Some cities will need to reassess their development goals and planning interventions to incorporate new challenges stemming from global change (climate change, migration flows, and land grabbing). Others will need to address questions of how to create safer and more equitable built environments.

Residents in peri-urban areas – already reliant on marginal and often hazardous land for their housing and livelihoods – are particularly vulnerable unless preventive actions can be taken to improve their quality of life. Despite the economic and social progress observed in the global south, there still is a series of discontinuities in terms of knowledge about the impacts of climate change, individual and collective pro-environmental behaviour, and the provision of services and infrastructure. Given that urban areas in Africa Asia and Latin America are progressively being configured over longer time periods through policies and land-use planning, the question of secure built environments will become even more relevant.

It is against this background that the IAPS 2017 Symposium will take place in Dar es Salaam. IAPS 2017 organizers argue that effective measures need foresight information about sustainable urban development, impacts of climate change on specific localities and possible strategies for creating adequate human habitats particularly in informal settlements. In this regard, urban scholars, local authorities and developers are asked to reconsider and/or to reconcile short- and long- term objectives for development and associated environmental and social costs.

The IAPS 2017 Symposium will take a pioneering look at urban development, people and environmental behaviour in Africa and Asia. It will debate the added value of explicitly relating scientific knowledge about climate change to pro-environmental behaviour and city planning. The symposium will address questions such as: What are the implications of global environmental changes for land use planning in coastal cities and inland states with low economies? What are the consequences in terms of global health challenges? And whose responsibility is it to prevent and reduce the negative impacts of climate change?


  • To learn about specific examples of the relations between people and the environment and the new climate related challenges in the Global South.
  • To foster a deeper understanding about the interconnection between land use development, pro-environmental behaviour, and new ways of constructing built environments within the frame of the SDGs.
  • To articulate the particularities found in African cities as well as approaches and implementations that influence urban development in other low-income urban areas.
  • To bridge the applicability gap between scientific knowledge, professional know-how and implementation


  1. Planning and design in disasters, multiple risks and climate change
  2. Housing, land use planning, informality and urban settlements
  3. Gender based experiences, behaviour, perceptions and environmental change
  4. Resilient urban infrastructure, transportation and energy
  5. Governance and management of the urban built environment
  6. Ecosystems services, green infrastructure, health and livelihoods
  7. Dissemination of knowledge, advocacy and communication


  • IAPS members focusing on urban studies and development
  • Researchers and teaching staff at universities and research centres.
  • Members of NGOs, social groups and movements
  • Representatives from international and national development and aid agencies working with climate change, land and settlements issues.


The IAPS 2017 Symposium Scientific Committee welcomes the submission of papers addressing the interrelations of people and the environment in time of global climate change. Selected papers will be peer-reviewed and the accepted ones will be published in E-book “Knowledge for Climate-Proof Urban Development in Rapidly Changing Environments” targeted as a UN-Habitat book series or similar.

In addition to the book, the organizers aimed at publishing the best papers in a Special Issue in a scientific journal. More details on the forthcoming publications will be uploaded on the Symposium website.

Selected educational Podcasts will be available on the website. These will be free audio materials to listen to or download on the topics addressed in IAPS 2017.