2019 Nanjing, China. ‘Sustaining Resources for the Future’ Topic 6A Summary

Session chairs

Prof. Dr. Marc Wolfram, Director, Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development, Dresden, Germany, m.wolfram@ioer.de

Prof. Dr. Liling Huang, Graduate Institute of Building and Planning, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, liling@ntu.edu.tw


With its focus on leverage points that can trigger wider structural and systemic urban and regional change for sustainability, this session aimed to stimulate discussion across various fields of study. While diversified in terms of topics covered, ranging from environmental conservation to artistic action, urban design and everyday practices, the four papers presented provided an excellent opportunity for this. They all addressed some critical and multi-scalar sustainability challenges that human settlements are confronted with today. Using different scientific approaches they then strived to respond to questions of leveraging change:

  • How can art play a defining role in sustainable urban regeneration - not for attracting tourism, but as an instrument for empowering people and for creating new social and spatial identities?
  • How can we use “Healthy City” policies and their particular focus on the wellbeing of urban dwellers to anchor and foster a deeper approach to urban sustainability?
  • How can community movements (such as Satoyama: community hill) help to drive and implement environmental conservation in an urban-regional context under land-use pressures?
  • How can a modelling and assessment technique like wind tunnel testing help to (re-)shape urban designs that adapt built environs to the regional landscape and its climatic conditions?

The contributions emphasized the critical importance of human agency and the need to find new forms of collaboration among stakeholders, bridging across but also questioning existing institutions, understandings and perceptions. Therefore, the purposeful and reflexive conception of novel interaction formats and practices, as well as new design and assessment tools, involving government authorities, community organizers, residents and business communities (laborers or producers) appear to be key for leveraging wider urban transformation processes.