For the first time in history, more people live in cities than in rural settlements. An international symposium with more than 250 professionals from 40 countries examined how cities can fulfill their diverse functions as sustainably as possible – today and also in the future.

Last updated: October 01, 2007 Shanghai, China

Holcim Forum 2007 was held at Tongji University in Shanghai. An 80-page full-color booklet which summarizes the themes of discussion at the conference has been published by the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction.

Architects, engineers, city planners, scientists, and representatives from business and government collaborated in working groups, panel discussions, and technical presentations – together seeking solutions for urbanization in the 21st century.

Beyond reporting on the 3-day symposium, the publication showcases what some of the world’s leading thinkers see as the key requirements in achieving greater sustainability within the building and construction industry.

The booklet includes précis of the keynote presentations by internationally-renowned specialists including sociologist and economist Saskia Sassen (USA); leader of urban revitalization and former mayor of Bogotá Enrique Peñalosa (Colombia); Arup eco-city project director Peter Head (UK); and sustainability architects Jean-Philippe Vassal (France) and Michael Sorkin (USA).

An academic-level publication of the conference proceedings (approx. 500 pages) is in preparation by leading Berlin-based architectural critics Andreas and Ilka Ruby and will be available in early 2008.

The booklet (ISBN 978-3-7266-0080-8) is available in English from the Holcim Foundation and may also be downloaded as PDF at

The second Holcim Awards competition to promote sustainable construction worldwide is open until February 29, 2008. Entries in the competition can be submitted at The prize money for the five regional competitions and the global Awards totals USD two million.