UCL Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering


USAR conference series

The USAR conference series brings together international experts from industry, government and academia across a wide range of science, engineering and social science disciplines.

The series provides an opportunity to address some of the most significant issues faced by humanity in this Anthropocene period. Such challenges have to be resolved urgently in order to secure sustainable lifestyles and resilient urban systems for future generations. To date, there have been three conferences in this series, the most recent of which took place in 2017 at the Building Centre in London, UK.

2017 USAR conference themes

  • Achieving both sustainable and resilient cities.
  • Resilient infrastructure.
  • Green infrastructure.
  • Urban recovery post-disaster.
  • The circular economy.

2017 conference links 

2017 conference keynote speakers

  • Professor Jon Coaffee (Resilient Cities Lab, PAIS/WISC University of Warwick, CUSP New York University). 
  • Robert Muir-Wood MA Ph.D. (Chief Research Officer at Risk Management Solutions).

2017 conference panel debate 

How do we accommodate urban population growth in a sustainable and resilient way in future cities?

2017 conference panel debate abstract

Given current projections of an additional 2.5 billion people living in cities globally by 2050 (UN DESA, 2014), what does a sustainable and resilient future city look like?  Whose vision is the right one and how do we decide?  Is it a smart-city, an eco-city or a healthy city, for example?  How do these multiple visions of future cities combine to produce cities that are both sustainable and resilient?  How will this play out in the global south compared to the global north?  What do these visions of future cities mean with respect to poverty, inequality and informality?

2017 conference panel members
  • Mr Aaron Burton, Director of Policy and Innovation, Waterwise. 
  • Dr Tom Herbstein, Programme Manager, University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.
  • Mr Dan Ringelstein, Director of Urban Design and Planning, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Inc. 
  • Dr Jo Williams, Senior Lecturer, Bartlett School of Planning, UCL.
  • Chair: Professor Sarah Bell.