International conference

Urban Development 2050

Planning resource-efficient cities

May 3rd, 2011, 09:00-18:00, Vienna, Urania

About 200 persons participated in the Conference organised by ÖIR.
Conference language was English. The conference was free of charge.
The presentations held can be downloaded here.

The conference
Can urban planning and a far-sighted management of urban development/ growth /change contribute to greater resource efficiency in urban life?
A number of selected European cities presented their view of the challenges and their approaches to the task:
Athens, Munich, Newcastle upon Tyne, Porto and Stockholm will present their perspectives along with Vienna.
The conference is part of the research project SUME (Sustainable Urban Metabolism for Europe, founded by EU-FP7). We present alternative spatial development scenarios. The scenarios are based on the population projections until 2050 and focused on land and energy consumption. In three parallel sessions we present and discuss a methodology to estimate the impact on energy use and other resources (the “urban metabolism”), the resource impact assessment of large urban development projects and related urban development policies in various European settings.

Having the climate change agenda in mind we are working on ways to implement the Europe 2020 strategy.
Re-building cities is an ongoing, long-term process. The focus on resource-efficiency opens a new perspective to the potential use of these ongoing changes in urban environments:
Replacing old buildings through new, energy-efficient redevelopment is one aspect, but is it possible to adapt the urban layout and spatial structures to provide more compact cities, better adapted to future transport systems? This is a new challenge, which has to be faced in some very different contexts: in growing, stable or declining cities, in cities with varying densities, forms, cultures and climatic conditions. The conference will discuss some possible ways to integrate these new tasks with urban planning practice.

This conference was attended by 200
Urban development policy makers, urban planners and administrators, climate change researchers, urban networks, NGOs - download the participant list.

Key words
Urban development, urban metabolism, climate change, Europe 2020, smart cities, urban policies, built environment, energy consumption

icon of the conference programme download the conference programme

download SUME press release download SUME press release in English language (status: May 2011)

download list of participants download list of participants

SUME conference announcement download the conference announcement

conference proceedings

With support of the


Conference programme:

08:30-09:00 Registration

09:00-10:45 Session 1 – Plenary session


Welcome: Policy approach on resource efficient urban development

Maria Vassilakou
Vice Mayor Vienna, City Councillor for Planning,
Transport, Energy and Climate Protection

Key note 1:
Resource-efficient Europe:
Key role of urban development strategies

Birgit Georgi
European Environmental Agency EEA,
Natural Systems and Vulnerability

Key note 2:
Urban development and climate mitigation imperatives

Brendan Gleeson
Professor of Geography at the National University of Ireland, Deputy Director of the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis


Urban development scenarios 2050: Spatial development strategies for higher resource efficiency

Christof Schremmer
Österreichisches Institut für Raumplanung (ÖIR) – Austrian Institute for Regional Studies and Spatial Planning (SUME project coordinator)


10:45-11:15 Coffee break

11:15-13:15 Session 2 – Plenary session

City presentations on urban development perspectives – innovative strategies for sustainable planning


Michael Erman
Regional planner at Office of Regional Planning, Stockholm

Newcastle upon Tyne

Nicola Woodward
Head of Planning and Housing Strategy, Newcastle City Council


Eduardo Oliveira Fernandes
President of the Energy Agency of Porto – AdE Porto


Eleni Hliopoulou
General Director of the Organization for Planning and Environmental Protection of Athens


Thomas Madreiter
Head of City Planning Vienna


13:15-14:30 Lunch break

14:30-16:30 Session 3 – Parallel sessions

Resource flows in urban systems:
Modelling the future

Building the New City – project by project

Resource efficient cities: Policy and Institutional Framework

Session chair Helga Weisz

Potsdam Inst. of Climate Change Research - PIK

Perspectives on spatially explicit urban metabolism modelling

Session chair Paulo Pinho

Professor at CITTA, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto

Resource use impact of urban development projects in given urban contexts (MIA - methodology and case studies)

Session chair Simin Davoudi

Professor of Environmental Policy and Planning, Newcastle University

Actors, drivers and policies - How to introduce long-term resource efficiency in planning/development practice


Felix Creutzig

Departments for the Economics of Climate Change and Sustainable Engineering at the Technical University Berlin

Rob Folkert

Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency

Title: Energy Model for the Built Environment - The Netherlands


Maria Rosario Partidario

International specialist on EIA and SEA, Technical University Lisbon

Patrick Galera-Lindblom

Nordregio - Nordic Centre for Spatial Development


Zef Hemel

Deputy Director of City Planning Amsterdam

Title: A Planning of Stories, Dialogue and Angels: how reality meets imagination.

Christina Leifman

Head of Section/Strategic Planning

City Planning Administration of Stockholm

Discussion - Conclusion

Discussion - Conclusion

Discussion - Conclusion

16:30-17:00 Coffee break

17:00-18:00 Session 4 – Plenary session

Implementing resource efficient strategies

Key note 3 - Practitioners view:

Integrative planning concept Munich

Klaus Illigmann

Head of Department of Strategic Urban Development of the City of Munich

Key note 4 - Environmental policy view:

Urban Systems, Energy and Climate: Findings from the Global Energy Assessment

Arnulf Grübler

IIASA and Yale, Convening Lead Author of the Urbanization chapter of the Global Energy Assessment

Introduction to Joint Programming Initiative Urban Europe


Wolfgang Polt

Director Joanneum Research

Closing statements

SUME team, City of Vienna

18:00 End of conference – Invitation to Drinks, snacks and networking