What is IACSC?
The International Academic Consortium for Sustainable Cities (IACSC) was established on September 2009 upon the initiative of the Yokohama City University (YCU). It was a result of YCU’s participation as coordinator of the meeting session entitled “Cities and Universities – Towards Collaboration for Sustainable Cities” at the Congress of Citynet held on September 9, 2009 at Yokohama City, Japan.
Realizing that majority of the population in the world lives in cities and more communities are currently shifting from rural to urban, YCU endeavored to create a network of universities and organizations that would cooperate with each other to build societies that are able to address their problems. Cities are important in attaining sustainability of both local and global societies. The new role of the universities as close ally and partners of city governments in solving their problems and achieving their development goals is highlighted in this consortium. In the process, universities are expected to “build an organic relationship with city governments, open their region to the world and be reborn as institutions that contribute to both their region and the world."
The launching of the IACSC was followed by a workshop on Ecological Cities as Economic Cities (ECO2) held in Sri Lanka in July 2010. The workshop was hosted by the World Bank in line with their aim to attain economically viable sustainable cities that takes into account the ecology of the environment.
Succeeding activities of the consortium includes the symposium themed “Towards Collaboration for Sustainable Cities” held on August 8, 2010 at Pacifico Yokohama, Japan, the First General Assembly on August 9, 2010 conducted at the YCU and the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between World Bank and YCU. The First General Assembly resulted in the crafting of the consortium’s charter, creation of the organizational structure and identification of the road map for the consortium.
The year 2011 was another productive year for IACSC as an Environment Workshop was held in Beijing, China on June 20-21, 2011 in collaboration with the World Bank, Chinese Academy of Social Science and Japan Society for Promotion of Science. Moreover, YCU partnered with IGES for the conduct of a joint seminar on “Low-carbon and Smart Cities” on July 26-27, 2011 at Yokohama City, Japan. The year was capped by the hosting of the IACSC 2011 symposium by Universiti Sains Malaysia with the theme “Towards a Sustainable Urban Future: A Collaboration of Higher Education Institutions and Local Society." Held in Penang, Malaysia on September 10-11, 2011, it was the second symposium conducted by IACSC.
Continuing with its goal to promote cooperation among universities towards addressing the cities’ various concerns, YCU spearheaded the Sustainable Urban Development Program under the ECO2 project of the World Bank. The intensive postgraduate course carried out from August 1-4, 2012 tackled issues on paradigm shift of cities, environmental urban design and green economy. On the same year, the third IACSC symposium entitled “Reimagining Sustainable Cities” was conducted at Thammasat University in Thailand. It was organized by the Faculty of Architecture and Planning of the university and held on September 7-9, 2012.
The IACSC Conference throughout the Years:
• Sep. 2013: The 4th General Assembly and Symposium
Theme: Transforming Cities into Sustainable and Resilient Communities
Host: University of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines
• Sep. 2014: The 5th General Assembly and Symposium
Theme: Opportunities and Challenges for Urban Sustainable Development by
Host: University of Social Sciences and Humanities
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam National University
• Sep. 2015: The 6th General Assembly and Symposium
Theme: Global Partnership and Local Initiatives for Sustainable Cities
Host: Yokohama City University, Japan
• Sep. 2016: The 7th General Assembly and Symposium
Theme: Prosperous Urban Living
Host: Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia
• Sept. 2017: The 8th General Assembly and Symposium
Theme: Aging Population in Sustainable Cities
Host: Thamassat University, Bangkok, Thailand