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3rd International Urban Research Symposium

The 3rd International Urban Research Symposium at the ICLEI World Congress 2012 brought together researchers from around the globe who focus on urban sustainability, sustainability cities, eco-cities and sustainable communities. The symposium convened researchers to exchange their concepts, studies, findings and ideas for future research, and to enable them to exchange with local government practitioners in order to strengthen the link between research and practice.

The International Urban Research Symposium was an event complementary to and integrated with the ICLEI World Congress 2012. The symposium combined interaction with the core program of the ICLEI World Congress 2012, in which the researchers were invited to play a key role, as well as dedicated time slots with agendas focused on the needs and interests of researchers. Two principle opportunities existed:

1. World Congress Research Symposium Parallel Sessions (Sat 16 June):
Exploring experiences with researchers and city practitioners/city governments’ interaction.

2. "Researchers' Own": Closed researcher sessions in parallel (only for researchers)




Across disciplinary boundaries and along the ICLEI World Congress themes, the symposium: 

  • Addressed the existing gaps, opportunities and challenges between research and practice.
  • Used the expertise available at the conference to identify success factors and barriers for sustainable communities, and to develop local strategies that can be used by many communities around the world. 
  • Enriched the ICLEI World Congress program with findings, challenges and benchmarking activities.


Specific Aims

Parallel Session:

  • Explored how research and local decision makers can better interact.
  • Identified needs of and opportunities for interaction between researchers and local decision makers.
  • Discussed tools, knowledge, and challenges for more effective interaction.
  • Improved municipal sustainability capacity by increasing collaboration between researchers and local authorities.  
  • Established a basis for future cooperation among researchers and local government practitioners and develop an international research network consisting of academic researchers, research consultants and local government practitioners focused on local sustainability issues.
  • Provided opportunities for municipal officials to interact with researchers to jointly identify research needs and to share local case study knowledge and examples.

“Researchers' Own”:

  • Enabled collaboration among researchers committed to comprehensive approaches to sustainability at the municipal level. 
  • Developed a research agenda that supports a (local government) movement towards sustainable communities.