UDP News: Winter 2012
My sabbatical leave this year permitted me to accept an invitation to give a keynote talk to an international meeting in early December, when I would otherwise be teaching graduate courses in Seattle. The event was the 4th URBENVIRON International Congress on Environmental Planning and Manangement for the International Association for Urban and Environmental Planning and Management (URBENVIRON), which was held at the National Housing and Building Research Center in Cairo, Egypt. The central theme was Green Cities – A Path to Sustainability. Participants included planners, researchers, and public officials from about a dozen countries. I also presented a research paper in one of the track sessions during the four days of meetings, and was asked to summarize the Congress.
The URBENVIRON Congress was followed by a four-day workshop held in the city of Hurghada on the Red Sea, for which I was asked to direct the working sessions. These sessions included discussion of what constitutes a green city, and then work by three task groups that addressed challenges to green cities implementation in different climates. A stimulus for this workshop was the opening of a new campus of the Technical University of Berlin that will offer three graduate degrees one of which is to be urban planning. It also was hosted by a new, near-by recreational community named El Gouna, developed by Orascom, major features of which are efficiency in energy and resource use, and great care in avoiding environmental problems. While this makes it something of a pilot project for Egypt, it lacks the complexity and excitement of full-service cities, which may be an attraction to tourists coming mainly from the EU countries. The road to El Gouna passes a number of large public housing estates each named Mubarak and numbered one through seventeen. I was told that these will soon be renamed Freedom 1 – 17.
Don Miller joined the UW Department of Urban Design and Planning faculty in 1970. His research focuses on ways that urban planning can be used to improve environmental quality, growth management planning, planning for sustainable urban development, multicriteria evaluation methodologies, ways of assessing environmental justice, and sustainability indicators and their applications in urban planning. Professor Miller will be on sabbatical throughout this academic year and will return in autumn 2012.
To learn more about URBENVIRON, please visit the URBENVIRON website.
For more information about Don Miller, please visit his UDP Faculty profile page.