2 December: UrbanBuzz Conference and Exhibition on 'The reality of creating sustainable communities'
1 December 2008
This one-day conference and exhibition brings together senior policy makers, educators, designers and other agents of change who are working towards improving the way we shape our communities. The event is organised by 'UrbanBuzz', a two-year government-funded programme led by the UCL Bartlett School which brings together academics and practitioners in the built environment sector in order to 'link research results with practical tools and processes to help build sustainable communities'. The organisers of this event at the Institution of Civil Engineers, which marks the end of the programme, have described their goal as that of reaching beyond the 'rhetoric of well-intended commissions, white papers and quangos', and see the conference as a call for everyone to work together to secure 'real, sustainable progress':
'By working together to solve shared problems on projects, not only will academic disciplinary divisions be bridged, but so, too, will organisational fragmentation in the urban supply network. Ultimately, successful networks and projects will build belief that sustainable communities are possible.'
The keynote speakers, whose focus will be on the policy and regulatory framework needed to support developing sustainable communities, include UCL's President and Provost, Professor Malcolm Grant, Professor Alan Penn (UCL Bartlett School and lead academic of UrbanBuzz), Sir Bob Kerslake (Chief Executive of the new Homes and Communities Agency (HCA)), Sir Simon Milton (Deputy Mayor of London), and Sunand Prasad (President of RIBA).
Presentations and exhibits from some of the twenty-eight UrbanBuzz-funded projects will introduce new case studies and evidence-based tools, processes and training programmes necessary to support the creation of sustainable communities. Among the projects funded or sponsored by UrbanBuzz is the post-occupancy monitoring of the 'EcoHome'-refurbishment in Camden, which won the 2008 Sustainable Housing Award, and 'Metricity', a project about finding innovative methods of measuring city life which can help develop sustainable communities, which take account of social and demographic change.