More than 200 international experts will meet in China at the Holcim Forum for Sustainable Construction to be held from April 19 to 21, 2007. With urban growth predicted to surge in the 21st century, the symposium will advance concepts for the sustainable development of cities. The forum is being hosted by Tongji University in Shanghai. Attendance is limited; registration is now open.

Last updated: October 30, 2006 Shanghai, China

The world's urban population is growing by more than 1.25 million people each week, placing an enormous strain on rapidly expanding cities. In response to this problem, the Holcim Forum 2007, entitled Urban_Trans_Formation, will be held as a global platform to present and discuss new ideas for urban development, solutions that have been or are being implemented and producing tangible solutions and benefits. The event will offer opportunities for networking and discussion, stimulated by keynote speeches, workshops, panel discussions and a full-day excursion in the Shanghai region.

Global experts and a comprehensive program

Speakers at the Holcim Forum 2007 include Enrique Peñalosa, former Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia; Brenda Boardman, Head of the Lower Carbon Futures Team at the University of Oxford, UK; Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of the National Capital Territory government of Delhi, India; Saskia Sassen, Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago and Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics, USA/UK; Klaus Töpfer, former United Nations Undersecretary-General and former Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Germany; and Yung Ho Chang, Head of the Department of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA.

The three-day conference will bring together international experts from architecture, civil engineering, urban planning, and natural and social sciences, as well as representatives from business, politics, administration and civil society. Workshops will examine position papers from over 50 international specialists on the topics of normative urbanism (“between convention and differentiation”), informal urbanism (“between sanctioned and shadow orders”), green urbanism (“between ecology and economy”), touristic urbanism (“between local and global”), and temporary urbanism (“between the permanent and transitory”).

The discussions at the symposium will be complemented by a full-day excursion in the Shanghai region. The program offers a choice of three themes: conceptual (visit to Chongning Eco-Island / Dongtan Eco-City), architectural (examining the combination of traditional construction and experimental architecture in the Qingpu district), and infrastructure (visit to the world’s largest deep-water port at Yangshang).

The Holcim Forum 2007 will be held at Tongji University in Shanghai, China – one of five partner universities of the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction. In addition to hosting the Holcim Forum, the partner universities define the evaluation criteria used in the Holcim Awards competition and bring together the juries to judge the competitions. The other partner universities of the Holcim Foundation are the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), Switzerland; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, USA; Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA) in Mexico City, Mexico; and University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The next Holcim Awards competition for sustainable construction projects will open June 1, 2007 at: