About the conference

‘Empowering Cities & Citizens’ is a celebration of the 60-year anniversary of the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), the 105-year anniversary of Erasmus University Rotterdam, and of the first year of the Erasmus initiative "Vital Cities and Citizens" (VCC). The event is organized in collaboration with Citymar Consultancy (Robbert Nesselaar). This conference also is a chance to reflect on current and new urban trends for both institutions, whether in urban development and management, or humanities, social and behavioural sciences. To that end, strengthening our relationships with fellow urban specialists, local or global, is imperative.

After 60 years of empowering urban specialists and making cities work, we want to connect the dots between our achievements and future ambitions which are well-anchored in the needs of the urban world, and which in turn are directed to achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In Vital Cities and Citizens, which began its research activities this year, IHS finds a valuable new partner. We are curious as to how cities and communities learn and co-create knowledge to meet current demand and how that might support the implementation of the SDGs.

The conference is an excellent opportunity to discuss the ‘hot topics’ of urban research and practice, to find ways of measuring outcomes and to look at the ‘status quo’ of the SDG implementation with colleagues from around the world, whether local and regional governments, practitioners, researchers or other stakeholders. Together, we aim to make cities vital, well-managed, liveable, sustainable and fair. We can only achieve that with professionals that are equipped to handle complex urban challenges.


We are working on a programme with three tracks centered around people, places & know-how.

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