Conference outline and topic

Water is a great quality in cities, making them attractive. Water strongly influences how we can and should develop the cities. Urban planning can enable more sustainable water management. As cities are facing unprecedented demands and challenges, such as uncertainty in the provision of safe water; needs for improving living conditions; ensuring safety from floods related to climate change and natural disasters; and raising awareness for action to form water-wise communities. Water professionals and urban planners need more than ever to share their knowledge to develop the most sustainable solutions, fostering synergies between water, energy, waste, food, and achieving livability outcomes for the city.
Traditional water planning and management methods will have to morph to become more regenerative, more risk resilient and more efficient with better and simpler management. This means urban professionals will need to find solutions that work across disciplines. This conference will focus on the interdisciplinary efforts necessary for such integration and change to occur.
Save the date to come and join us to learn and share on “sustainable urban water” planning and design at different scales. Join the journey to Water Wise Cities by submitting a paper to share your experience during the event!

Themes and topics

Each theme will focus on innovations in practice that work, and new thinking in academia.

1.      Water for an Attractive City
Water in urban planning for enhanced livability and citizens’ wellbeing

  • Water as a quality in the city – for livability, well-being and profit. Visionary future agendas preparing for the Habitat III New Urban Agenda 2030.
  •  Water sensitive urban design, implementing blue-green solutions. Innovative stormwater solutions for growing and denser cities; integrating drainage and rain water collection in urban planning with co-benefits; transformation of waterways and ports.
  • Integrated Technologies to enable smart urban design and management. Smart assessment approaches to help at identifying the sustainable options for urban design at the early stage. Development of advanced sensors, software, and monitor devices.

2.      Managing Uncertain Futures
Planning under uncertainty, adapting to climate change, enhancing cities resilience to flooding and water scarcity risks

  • Climate adaptation towards floods and droughts. Enhancing cities resilience to flooding and water scarcity risks; planning strategies to mitigate risks and uncertainty; water related risk assessment and modelling. Consequences of inaction.

3.      Regenerative Water Cities

Regenerative water services for sustainable use and management of water resources

  • Planning and designing regenerative city services. Sustainable infrastructure systems. Building designs and constructions enabling regenerative water services (reuse, energy recovery, rain water harvesting). Spatial planning for the integration of water, waste, energy and agriculture. Resource recovery of energy and materials - what are the implications for urban planning and cross-sectoral collaboration?
  • Governance aspects and transdisciplinary water management. The need to take full control of water in the cities, involving all relevant administrations, businesses and the civil society. Change management in planning departments.

4.      Engaged Community
Transdisciplinary water management engaging the community

  • Communication and Community Engagement. Water wise communities, citizen engagement programs, transition acceptance strategies, community supported innovation and development.

Who will Attend?

Given the focus on integrated planning, the conference will aim for an even distribution between city planning staff, water professionals, and  other urban professionals. Attendees and presenters will all share knowledge and experience from their own perspective ranging from academia, administration, project planning and design, or operations.

Message from IFHP

“The members of the International Federation of Housing and Planning (IFHP) on a daily basis strive to create attractive and sustainable environments for all. Water is a key element in urban planning and design. Water is essential for life, water sets the limits for what is possible and water contributes to liveable neighbourhoods and high quality public spaces. IFHP aims to exchange actual knowledge in a broad spectrum of issues related to urban planning. At the Gothenburg conference, there will be good opportunities to take part of the latest developments in the field of urban planning and design with water as a key element.”
- Anette S. Galskjøt, CEO of IFHP

Key Dates

September 2016 - Call for abstracts
November 2016 - Submission of abstracts
February 2017  - Registration opens
April 2017 - Deadline for full papers
12-14 June 2017 - Conference


CoG - Sustainable Waste and Water, City of Gothenburg
RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden 
IWA - International Water Association
IFHP - International Federation for Housing and Planning
FFS - Swedish Society for Town and Country Planning


ISOCARP - The International Society of City and Regional Planners
ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability
SWWA - The Swedish Water & Wastewater Association
LTU - Luleå University of Technonoly
Chalmers – Chalmers University of Technonoly