Sustainable Development and PLanning 2017
9th International Conference on Sustainable Development & Planning
27 - 29 June, 2017
The 9th International Conference on Sustainable Development and Planning (SDP) 2017 recently took place at the University of the West of England (UWE) Bristol. The conference was organised by the Wessex Institute (WIT) represented by its Director, Professor Carlos A Brebbia. The meeting was co-sponsored by WIT and the UWE, the latter represented by Professor James Longhurst.
The conference follows the success of previous meetings which started in Skiathos, Greece (2003), and continued in Bologna (2005); Algarve (2007); Cyprus (2009); the New Forest, UK, home of the Wessex Institute (2011); Kos, Greece (2013); Istanbul, Turkey (2015); and Penang, Malaysia (2016).
The conference brought together scientists and other stakeholders from across the globe to discuss the latest scientific ideas in the field. The meeting also highlighted developments in managerial strategies and associated tools for policy and decision makers.
Opening the Conference
Prof Longhurst welcomed the delegates and expressed the hope that they would find the opportunity to visit Bristol, a vibrant and historical city with many sights of interest but also with a strong commitment to sustainable growth culminating into being nominated the "Green Capital of Europe" for 2015. Bristol, a city in the process of rapid development, was a most appropriate location for SDP 2017.
He then invited Dr Stavros Syngellakis, professor at WIT and a member of its Board of Directors to open the Conference on behalf of Prof Brebbia, who was unable to be present due to health reasons. Stavros started by thanking the UWE authorities for hosting the meeting.
Stavros then explained the aims of WIT, ie providing a medium for knowledge transfer at an international level. This objective is achieved through a series of activities, ie meetings, including conferences; research at postdoctoral level; publications; and consultation services for industry.
WIT software codes, based on advanced computational methods, are widely used in aerospace, energy and mechanical engineering, amongst others. WIT’s commitment in this regard led to setting up a special office in Boston to serve the USA industry.
SDP 2017 is part of the 25 or so international conferences that WIT organises every year. They cover a wide range of interests focussed on the importance of promoting interdisciplinary exchanges.
Stavros finished his introductory remarks by stressing the success of SDP17 in terms of the number of participants and the quality of the papers published in the conference volume. The volume is part of WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment and published in digital as well as hard cover formats. All papers are also archived in the eLibrary of the Institute (www.witpress.com/elibrary) where they are easily accessible to the international community.
The Conference sessions had the following headings:
• Sustainability and the built environment
• Cultural heritage
• Case studies
• Risk management
• Education and training
• Planning for equality
• Quality of life
• Sustainability and the built environment
• Climate change
• Sustainable tourism
• Sustainable solutions in emerging countries
• Energy efficiency
• Environmental planning
• Transportation issues and mobility
• Waste water
The meeting was enhanced by a series of invited presentations, as follows:
• “Towards a sustainable university”, by Jim Longhurst, University of the West of England, UK.
• “Sustainable tourism and destination management: The Greek Island of Poros”, by Dimitris Prokopiou, University of Piraeus, Greece.
• “Sustainability, curriculum and academics in higher education”, by Georgina Gough, University of the West of England, UK.
• “Greener households? The effectiveness of smart meters in reducing energy consumption levels in the DACH region”, by Andrea Hoeltl, Donau-Universität Krems, Austria.
• “Raising standards: developing a benchmark for green infrastructures”, by Nicholas Smith, University of the West of England, UK.
• “The challenges posed by problem soils on performance of road pavements”, by Richard Mwaipungu, Sansutwa Simtali Ltd, Tanzania.
• “Insights and issues into the uptake and development of advanced anaerobic digestion within the UK water industry”, by Colin Booth, University of the West of England, UK.
The Conference, as all WIT meetings, was most friendly and provided an excellent atmosphere for the exchange of opinions and discussions.
The many papers presented at the meeting did not allow for any special group excursions to be arranged but many of the delegates were able to visit the amenities in the Bristol region, rich in history and cultural events.
The Conference banquet took place at Bordeaux Quay by the river in a restaurant belonging to the Sustainable Restaurant Association. The excellent atmosphere and the choice of wines made this a unique occasion.
The next Conference in the series will be held from 4-6 September 2018 in Siena Italy.