In the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, UK, the Energy and Climate Change Division at the University of Southampton will host the International Conference on Evolving Cities (ICEC) to debate the role of cities in addressing climate change and accelerating the transition to net-zero carbon. The Conference brings together global experts to discuss the future of cities in the context of the COP26 campaigns, for example: energy transition, clean road transport, climate adaptation and resilience, and natural resource use.
Cities consume around 75% of our energy with a similar value for emissions. The provision of services and infrastructure within cities directly impacts both the built environment as well as the quality of life of residents and visitors. Human activities also have widespread impacts on ecology within and surrounding the city. Safeguarding citizens, nature, and economies within our cities from the impacts of climate change is also important for the sustainability of cities.
Cities of the future will be expected to meet new demands, reflected in their form and function. In the transition to net-zero carbon, cities will need to provide healthy, liveable spaces, the development of which will require consideration of more than just the provision of services, e.g. energy, water, communications and other utilities. To address these complex and interwoven challenges, the previous Energy and Cities conference is transitioning to become the International Conference of Evolving Cities (ICEC2021) to reflect the broader range of challenges and changes that will occur in diverse and interconnecting aspects of the urban environment.
ICEC 2021 brings world-leading academic research together with policymakers, regional and non-governmental organisations, and the private sector to discuss and debate the challenges faced by cities. This is reflected in the highlighted conference themes and topics.