In the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, the Energy and Climate Change Division organised and hosted the International Conference on Evolving Cities (ICEC) from 22-24 September 2021. The conference brought together leading academics, policy-makers, regional and non-governmental organisations and the private sector to debate the role of cities in addressing climate change and accelerating the transition to net-zero carbon. This was reflected in the highlighted conference themes and topics.
Over the course of the three-day conference, there were 11 keynote, 49 oral presentations and 9 posters by delegates from 38 organisations situated within 19 countries. Session topics included planning and policy, thermal comfort, artificial intelligence, modelling and local/community/municipal responses and solutions to sustainability targets. Participants were able to discuss ways to develop multi-stakeholder partnerships and implement innovative solutions to propel cities towards low carbon pathways.
Alongside the main conference sessions, there were three special sessions with a range of invited speakers/panellists from local authorities, charities and industry. The Fuel Poverty and Energy Access special session at midday on Wednesday, compared fuel poverty in the South of England with issues around energy access in Africa. This was followed by the Showcasing Fawley Watersidesession with the Project Director providing a detailed overview of the project goals and objectives. The third special session took place on Thursday evening, concerning ‘unlocking Southampton’s potential’ and discussed by a panel representing Paris Smith LLP, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Hammerson West Quay and Omega RE.
MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton provided an excellent space for the conference with the facilities allowing for the successful real-time filming, production and broadcast of the proceedings online through our virtual event platform. A separate studio provided space for the poster exhibition and for delegates to network.