Sustainable Cities

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Sustainable Resources Conference

Sustainable Resources for Sustainable Cities

from GCSC & Institute for Sustainable Resources

9.00 5th November to 12.00 6th November 2013

Location: UCL

Sustainable Resources for Sustainable Cities Conference Page

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Cities or, more broadly, urban areas - densely packed, complex, built systems - are home to over half the of world’s population. With this trend of increasing urbanisation worldwide, urban sustainability has been identified as a key area of societal relevance, an area in which a solid research base can inform policy and practice. 

The Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities (GCSC) exists to initiate and support cross-disciplinary research into urban sustainability. Sustainability in the urban context is inextricably linked to resource flows. Among the minimum requirements for a city’s population are housing, food, safe water, waste disposal, and energy for heating and cooling. 

Cities must draw on global resource networks to provide the raw materials to build new infrastructure, maintain current systems and retrofit existing buildings. Cities also generally rely on a ‘hinterland’ to supply the energy, food, water and other resources they require. Sustainable cities rely on the sustainable provision and use of resources, and this reliance provides a clear link between GCSC and the work of the Institute for Sustainable Resources. 

The symposium specifically looked to address the challenges around provision of resources for growing urban populations, with regard to the physical built environment, infrastructure, transport and water.  It aimed to address the question of how cities can continue to meet their present needs without compromising the future of the city, the region or the planet.


In addition to the symposium itself, a number of activities were funded to further research into sustainable cities across UCL. Details of these activities and outputs fro the symposium can be found below: