Inter­na­tional Conference of Urban Climate ICUC11: A perspective towards climate-conscious construction for building resilience in cities

The ICUC meetings are preem­inent events for the presen­tation of research on urban climate, at all scales. This conference brings together a diverse inter­na­tional community of researchers, urban planners, designers, and policymakers.

The World Meteo­ro­logical Organi­zation (WMO) and the Inter­na­tional Feder­ation for Housing and Planning (IFHP) both ran successful inter­na­tional confer­ences on urban climate between the 1960s-80s. In 1989, these endeavours came together in the form of joint meetings under the name Inter­na­tional Conference on Urban Clima­tology (ICUC). ICUC confer­ences are now held every 3 years and bring together more than 600 delegates from 55 countries.

This year the 11th ICUC conference was held in Sydney, Australia, and success­fully brought together delegates from more than 60 nation­al­ities. Shammi Keya from Karelia UAS presented research findings supported by the ‘Sustainable Building Technologies- Community of Practice’ (SBTCP) project titled ‘Built Environment and Urban Micro-climate: Integrating Urban Built Environment and Micro-Climatic Effect Analysis for Energy Planning in Cities’. 

Two photos form UNSW campus, with auditorium full on people and hallway
ICUC11 conference was held in The University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney, Australia.

Karelia UAS’s research presen­tation in the ICUC11

The conference activ­ities started on the 27th of August with a workshop on data visual­ization, which was then followed by five days of infor­mative sessions on topics addressing climate change, adaptation, mitigation, and resilience in building and urban scale. 

The wide range of topics started from sessions on ‘Multi­scale modeling techniques to document and respond to urban climate change’, ‘Urban climate methods: Cities in global and regional scale climate models’, ‘Integrated assess­ments of urban climate: Urban climate vulner­a­bility in devel­oping countries’, ‘Urban climate processes: Extreme weather and disasters in the urban environment’, ‘Climate change, Built Environment and Aging Society’, ‘Biome­te­o­rology & health: Indoor/Outdoor Thermal comfort’, ‘The cooling benefits of blue and green infra­structure in cities’, ‘Extreme weather and climate in urban areas, their social impacts, and mitigation’, ‘Climate-conscious urban design and planning for adaptation’, ‘Australian stories: Urban heat- Supercool materials for urban overheating mitigation’- research perspective. ‘Local government and urban climate management/ Exploring co-benefits of integrated low-carbon urban planning initia­tives’, ‘Urban climate and air pollution’, ‘Physi­o­logical impacts of urban heat’, and ‘Climate-conscious design and sustainable devel­opment: Building climates & performance’.

The author of the article standing in a lecture room giving a presentation
Research outputs presen­tation from the SBTCP project.

The topics presented/discussed addressed the urban heat islands; as with the changing climatic condi­tions, the excessive heat waves in the urban areas are the most alarming and noticeable phenomena, especially in warmer climate countries. The profes­sionals and researchers addressed several questions: Are some areas within cities becoming unliveable? What solutions are viable? What is the heat mitigation and adaptation in the built environment? What are the imple­men­tation possi­bil­ities of these techniques? How to ensure thermal comfort both indoors and outdoors? How to reduce GHG emissions through policy-making, building design adaptation, and energy planning in cities? – were asked. The sessions explored these questions from research and imple­men­tation perspective, focusing on the status of adaptation, mitigation, and heat-related health outcomes and preparedness in different cities worldwide.

However, the need for zero energy devel­opment is crucial in cold and warm climate countries; resulting in more emphasis on systematic district heating and cooling on a city scale. Analyzing how different built environ­ments can react to respective external climatic condi­tions holds immense potential to develop resilience for potential extreme weather events. A better under­standing of the micro-climate, socio-demographic condi­tions, and the system’s ability to withstand and adapt can poten­tially contribute to better climate-conscious design and planning in cities.


Shammi Akter Keya, Project Researcher, Karelia University of Applied Sciences

Cover photo: wirestock on Freepik