CITIES IN A CHANGING WORLD: Questions of Culture, Climate and Design

Online Conference
Organized by: CUNY - City Tech / AMPS

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About This Event


The premise of this conference is that the city is a site of interconnected problems. No single issue dominates its needs. No single discipline has the answers to its questions. As a result, the range of issues we deal with is vast. Urban designers are developing new models of settlement planning to address housing needs. Architects are renovating ever more existing buildings. Infrastructure designers are developing faster modes of transportation. Planners are demanding lower C02 emissions from industry. In a COVID-19 context healthy cities are on the agenda like never before. Policy makers are addressing grass-roots demands for regional governance.

While all such issues respond to unique and independent demands, they are all interrelated. Climate change is a perfect example. Scientists, policy makers, activists and designers the world over are engaged in the issue. Some focus on rehousing displaced peoples, others challenge throwaway culture and stress reuse. Health professionals examine disaster relief while planners look at shared transport models. Environmentalists seek to reduce energy consumption, while communities plan for resilience. At the same time, economists look to finance cleaner industries. In tackling a particular issue then, multiple disciplines are overlapping and drawing on the work of others. In short, their work is reaching beyond the boundaries of individual fields.

In looking at the city as a site of such inherent interdisciplinarity, the conference venue offers insights. New York is a city of over 8 million people. It has an affordable housing problem and, located on the coast, is threatened by rising sea levels. The site for the United States’ most iconic historic buildings, it demands 21st Century uses of them. The home of the US public health movement in the 19th Century, it was at the forefront of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020. Historically a landing port for immigrants it knows the pressures of displacement and migration. A city for the wealthiest elites in the world, it exhibits poverty, social exclusion and periodic cultural tensions.

In this place, as in cites the world over, none of the issues that vex the metropolis are isolated, and none of their factors, consequences or responses are limited to single disciplines.

Disciplines & Themes:

Whether we are architects, planners, infrastructural designers, transport engineers, policy makers, social activists or health professionals the work we do is informed by and informs the work of other fields when applied. On that basis, this conference seeks to explore best practices in:

  • Urban Design
  • Architecture
  • Sustainability
  • Engineering
  • Housing
  • Public Health
  • Sociology
  • Economics
  • Business
  • Governance
  • Art and Culture
  • History

Participants in these discipline areas are invited to propose ‘lead themes’. Reflecting the expertise of the City Tech, proposed themes include:

  • Urban Design and Planning in Globalized Cities
  • Architecture in the Digital Age
  • Landscaping the City for Climate Change and Growth
  • 21C Infrastructure and Transportation
  • Sustainability and Resilience
  • Affordable Housing and the Right to the City
  • Public Health and the Healthy City
  • The Economics of Development
  • City Management and Governance
  • Cultures, Communities
  • History, Heritage and the Challenges of Today.

Key Dates:

  • 30 Nov 2020: Abstracts (Round One) *   
  • 15 December 2020:  Abstract Feedback 
  • 01 January 2021:  Registration opens 
  • 30 March 2021: Abstract Submissions (Round Two)   
  • 20 April 2021:  Abstract Feedback   
  • 15 May 2021: Registration Closes

Conference: 16-18th June 2021

  • 15 July 2021: Full Paper Submissions (where applicable) 
  • 15 September 2021: Feedback for publication   
  • 20 November 2021: Full Paper re-submission

* Early abstracts and Round One submissions allow for prompt review. This is open to all but is particularly useful for international delegates requiring a visa to attend the conference.


Formats: The conference welcomes case studies; design proposals, research projects, investigative papers and theoretical considerations in various formats allowing people to write a paper, attend in person or present via film and have their presentation permanently available via the AMPS Youtube channel.

Pre-recorded video (15-20 minutes) 

Conference Presentations (15-20 minutes)

Written Papers (3,000 words) *

* After review selected authors will be invited to extend their initial 3000 words paper to full book chapter or journal article length.


Delegates are given the option to present their work at conference either with or without an accompanying full written paper. If written papers are submitted they should be 3000 word length. Formatting instructions will be available at the time of the conference. All papers are double blind peer reviewed and will be include in the AMPS Conference Proceedings Series, ISSN 2398-9467.

Subject to review, selected authors will be invited to develop longer versions of their papers for inclusion in either a Special Issue publication of the academic journal Architecture_MPS ISSN 2020-9006, or in a specially produced conference book. All publications will be developed by PARADE (Publication and Research in Art, Architectures, Design and Environments) which brings together multiple publishers including:

  • Routledge Taylor & Francis
  • UCL Press
  • Intellect Books
  • Cambridge Scholars Publishing
  • Vernon Press
  • Libri Publishing.


  • Start Date:
    Wed, 16 Jun 2021
  • End Date:
    Fri, 18 Jun 2021
  • Proposal/Abstract/Paper Deadline:
    Mon, 30 Nov 2020


Event Website