SENSE Symposium ‘Climate Proofing Cities’

1 December 2009

A preliminary programme of the SENSE Symposium ‘Climate Proofing Cities’, is now available. → download.

Climate change may be seen as the largest economic, political, developmental and environmental challenge the world has ever faced. IPCC reports have shown that human activities are altering the atmosphere, and that it is crucial now for decision-makers at all levels to take urgent action.

At the same time, urbanization is creating a growing challenge for cities and urban population centers both as engines of economic activity and as sources of greenhouse gas emissions. The way in which we build and operate cities strongly affects energy use and emissions. For example, the so-called ‘urban heat island effect’ affects energy use for space conditioning and greenhouse gas emissions, whereas simple measures can be applied to control this effect. Cities are also vulnerable to climate change, since many are located in coastal areas or depend on imported resources such as water and food. Many cities are at the forefront of initiatives for mitigating and adapting to climate change and try to develop creative solutions.

The upcoming SENSE Symposium ‘Climate Proofing Cities’ provides a major opportunity to discuss key developments for cities in the climate debate with an inspiring international audience. The one-day 2009 SENSE Symposium is organized in close cooperation with the three-day 2009 Amsterdam Conference on the ´Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change´, which will take place in the same location on 2-4 December 2009 (for more information, see This back-to-back planning of these two international meetings will allow participation in both events.

The SENSE Symposium on ´Climate Proofing Cities´ will start with keynote lectures in the morning, followed by four parallel tracks in the afternoon:

1. Balancing adaptation & mitigation
Keywords: Energy use, transport, resilience

2. Future city design
Keywords: Water, urban nature, urban heat island

3. Greening the city
Keywords: Parks, green roofs, biodiversity, urban nature development

4. Public health and urbanization
Keywords: Air quality, health, new diseases and control

You are invited to submit an abstract of not more than 250 words that contains the core arguments of your presentation as well as your name, affiliation, address and e-mail address and the track number that is most appropriate for the topic of your contribution. A selection of the best papers from the conference will be published in an edited book with an international scientific publisher.

Send your abstract to: frans.van.der.woerd [at]

Deadline for abstract submission: 15 September 2009 (extended deadline)


- Abstract submission: 15 September 2009
- Submission of final paper: 15 November 2009
- Symposium: 1 December 2009

The SENSE Research School for Socio-Economic and Natural Sciences of the Environment is a joint venture of the environmental research institutes of nine leading universities in The Netherlands. The mission of the SENSE Research School is to promote an integrated understanding of environmental change in terms of the mechanisms that cause it and the consequences that result from it. The annual Symposium is one of the activities of SENSE – for more information on SENSE, please go to: