International Conferences on Climate Neutral Cities, Green Schools

Two upcoming conferences focused on sustainable design:

UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Committee on Housing and Land Management’s Seminar on Climate Neutral Cities: “Climate neutrality is not simply a goal in the fight against climate change, however. It is a means to address some of the major environmental, economic and social challenges comprising the broader sustainability agenda of urban areas. Climate neutrality also affords individual benefits, such as reduced costs, increased standards of living and improved health. Thus, climate neutrality in cities should be seen as strategic goal, one that can trigger progress in several areas, both for the community as a whole and for individuals.

Guest speakers will examine the multidimensional approach of “Climate Neutral Cities”. These will include policymakers and authorities from various cities, who will present relevant policies as well as the challenges to governance posed by this concept. Experts from the public and private sectors will address the technical hurdles and provide practical solutions for reducing urban GHG emissions (including land-use and transport planning, infrastructure, energy efficiency and overall building performance).

Session I: City Planning and Land-Use Management
This session will discuss the approach of cities to sustainable land management and the mitigation of climate change, covering the following aspects:

  • Policy and plans for the energy efficiency at the urban scale
  • Measures to control urban sprawl and its negative impacts on urban environments
  • Measures to reduce unsustainable uses of land, including the formation of informal settlements
  • Programmes and measures to counteract the impact of urban sprawl in rural areas
  • Development and use of green spaces and biodiversity in urban areas to mitigate climate change
  • Planning for sustainable infrastructures, urban mobility and transport systems

Session II: The Built Environment
This session will focus on green building and the reduction of emissions in buildings, including:

  • Energy efficiency in housing
  • Sustainable refurbishment
  • Ecological architecture
  • Passive housing

Read the full program and background paper. Go here to register for the seminar, September 23-25, 2009, Geneva. For further information, contact Paola Deda, Secretary of the Committee, at, 0041 22 917 2553

OECD Centre for Effective Learning Environments’ Conference on Sustainable School Buildings: From concept to reality

“The conference seeks to bring together policy makers, educationalists and managers, academics, designers and developers, to analyse the challenges and opportunities in developing green schools. The event will explore the role of sustainable school buildings in education as well as the challenges and opportunities for creating them from early planning through to their use and maintenance. The conference will also include an exhibition illustrating good practices in developing sustainable schools as well as visits to local examples. You are invited to submit examples.”

Read more about the conference which will be held October 1-2 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, or go to the conference web site.  For further information, contact Christin Cave ( and Sara Lang (

Image credit: UNECE

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