Urbanization, Health & Well Being and Sustainable Development Goals

The New Millenium belongs to the urban world. In today’s increasingly global and interconnected world, over half of the world’s population (54 percent) now lives in urban areas. The coming decades will bring further profound changes to the size and spatial distribution of the global population such that the world’s population in 2050 is projected to be 66 percent urban. The global urban population is projected to grow by 2.5 billion urban dwellers between 2014 and 2050, with nearly 90 per cent of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa. Trends in urbanization are integrally linked to sustainable development. With good planning and governance, the increasing concentration of people in urban settlements can facilitate economic and social development, while also offering opportunities to mitigate the adverse impact of consumption and production on the environment. However, rapid and unplanned urban growth threatens sustainable development when the necessary infrastructure is not developed or when policies are not implemented to protect the environment and ensure that the benefits of city life are equitably shared. Addressing urban inequalities is key to achieving sustainable development. Slum dwellers face greater exposure to environmental hazards, such as pollution, and suffer increased health risks as a result. The urban poor in developed countries also face marked disparities in health and well-being. Furthermore, much of the increase in the numbers of urban poor is taking place in locations that are highly vulnerable to natural disasters and are expected to experience the greatest impact of climate change, such as low-elevation coastal zones and arid regions known as dry lands. The future growth of cities and the concomitant appropriation of land and natural resources will determine success towards an environmentally sustainable future.

Environmental sustainability is additionally challenged by the consumption patterns that prevail in urban settings. To respond to the challenges and leverage the opportunities presented by continuing urbanization, Governments should implement forward-looking policies that prepare for a growing number of urban dwellers with an eye towards sustainability. Sustainable urbanization requires generating better income and employment opportunities in both urban and rural areas; expanding the necessary infrastructure for water and sanitation, energy, transportation, information and communications; ensuring equal access to services, like education and health care; developing sufficient quality housing and reducing the number of people living in slums; and preserving the natural assets within the city and surrounding areas.

The seminar goal is to disseminate knowledge and share expertise and experiences in urban and sustainable development and its issues and challenges. It also aims to build linkage between the regional and international professionals. Contributions covering urban and sustainable development are encouraged. The IGU Seminar aims to contribute towards various global initiatives like ICSU Initiatives on Health and Wellbeing in the Changing Urban Environment: a Systems Analysis Approach, UN Disaster Risk Reduction, Making City Resilient, HABITAT III and Future Earth Initiatives.

Areas of interests include (but are not limited to)

  • Historical and New Landscapes
  • Emerging Towns: Genesis and History
  • Eco-cities/ Urban planning issues
  • Urban Morphology and Urban regeneration
  • Future Cities/ Smart Cities/ Sustainable Cities
  • Urban Systems &Hierarchies
  • Urban Safety/Security and Urban Governance
  • Urban Transportation: Issues and Challenges
  • Urban Waste Management


  • IGU Commission on Urban Geography
  • IGU Commission on Local and Regional Development
  • IGU Commission on Biography and Biodiversity
  • IGU Commission on Land Use and cover change

Special Discussion Sessions

  • Urban Health and Welbeing in Changing Urban Environment
  • Sustainable Development Goals in South Asia
  • Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Making Cities Resilient
  • Future Earth Initiative


Authors are requested to submit their original research contribution in the form of an abstract (not exceeding 300 words with 5 key words), 1.5 spaced, justified on both sides and carry the author’s name designation, affiliation, email id and key words and should be sent by 31st January, 2017. Author(s) will be informed by email about the acceptance of their abstracts by February,15th 2017.

The accepted papers will be published as full text in the conference proceedings. The full paper should have an introduction, objectives, hypothesis, study area, methodology, numbered side headings, findings, conclusions, references and may be sent by email to the Convener on or before February,28th 2017.