2015 Dublin

Proceedings of the IGU Urban Commission Annual Meeting 2015 University College Dublin, Ireland
Urban challenges in a complex world: Resilience, governance and changing urban systems
Editor: Niamh Moore-Cherry

This volume is available freely online in open access format here.


Preliminary Programme


IGU Urban Commission Meeting, August 9-16 2015

University College Dublin, Ireland

 (Conference chair: Dr Niamh Moore-Cherry)

Urban Challenges in a Complex world:

Resilience, governance and changing urban systems


The Urban Commission of the IGU aims to encourage geographical research on the new Urban Challenges emerging in an increasingly Complex World, and to further the exchange of findings among urban geographers from many countries. Cities, with their distinctive processes and problems, are major features of the modern world.  Hence the commission will use a comparative global context to focus on their properties, the social, economic and environmental issues they pose, and to evaluate the utility of political and societal solutions to their problems.

The UCD School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Policy is delighted to host the 2015 Annual Meeting of the IGU Urban Commission in collaboration with our colleagues in the wider Irish geographical community.  The theme of the meeting is: Urban challenges in a complex world – Resilience, governance and changing urban systems and during our programme of oral presentations and field excursions, we hope to engage in lively debate and discussion on these issues.

Why Dublin?

Over the last two decades, Ireland has undergone significant transformation moving from a predominantly agricultural and rural-based economy to a heavily urbanised and globalised urban structure. Ireland is repeatedly ranked in the top 3 most globalised countries in the world and Dublin has been at the heart of that change. Since the 1980s the capital city has been rapidly restructured and since the crisis of 2008, the city is facing a host of new challenges related to sustainability, urban resilience, governance and innovation. It is thus an ideal laboratory within which to focus on the specific urban problems identified in the Urban Commissions programme of work:

A special thematic focus for the Dublin Conference will be

Urban Resilience and Environment.

We welcome paper submissions for this and any of the following topics that form the core focus of the Urban Commission work programme:

  • Technological innovations and creative activities in cities
  • Contested Social Spaces
  • Creating Sustainability
  • Dilemmas of Aging Cities
  • Increasing Insecurity
  • Urban Heritage and Conservation
  • Urban Governance
  • Complex Urban Systems


Key dates and deadlines

Monday, 3 November 2014

Conference website online, general call for papers released, abstract submission, full conference costs notified and registration open

Friday, 27 February 2015

Deadline for submission of individual abstracts 

Friday, 27 March 2015

Notification of acceptance of abstract proposals

Early bird registration closes

Friday, 1 May 2015

FINAL Registration deadline for IGU Urban Commission 2015

Friday, 26 June 2015

Conference programme published

9-16 August 2015

IGU Urban Commission Conference and post-conference excursion



The definitive costs for the IGU Urban 2015 meeting in Dublin are not yet finalized but approximate early bird figures are given here for guidance. Bookings made after the early bird deadline will incur an additional charge.


Approx costs

Conference registration fee (including lunches, conference materials, two excursions and two group dinners)

€430 – €470

Accompanying persons fee (including four excursions, lunches, entrance fees, materials, and two group dinners)


Post-conference excursion (including transport, entrance fees, one overnight accommodation, two lunches and one group dinner)



 Outline meeting schedule:

The meeting will take place in the week immediately prior to the IGU Regional Meeting in Moscow, Russia. The post-conference excursion will end the day before the Moscow meeting begins. Moscow can be reached in just over 4 hours direct from Dublin (www.s7.ru ) and in less than 5 hours from Dublin via London Heathrow, Amsterdam, Paris and Copenhagen. For those who attend the post-conference field excursion, it is possible to fly from Shannon (outside Limerick city) to Moscow via Dublin or London Heathrow. There are no direct flights from Shannon-Moscow. For those wishing to stay in Ireland’s West following the excursion, Shannon, Cork and Knock airports offer international flight connections to the US, UK and Europe. A full accompanying persons programme will be provided and details will be available with the full conference information later in the Autumn.


9 August

Arrival and registration

Business Meeting (SC)

Keynote lecture and opening reception

Monday, 10 August


All day – Papers

Excursion 1 – Accompanying persons to North County Dublin and coast

Tuesday, 11 August

All day – Excursion 2 for all including group lunch in Belfast

Dublin – Belfast corridor: Contested urban spaces, creating sustainability, complex urban systems, urban heritage and conservation


12 August

Morning – Papers

Afternoon – Excursion 3 for all – Dublin walking tour focusing on technological innovations and creative activities in cities, urban governance, urban heritage and conservation, creating sustainability

Evening – Group dinner in city centre


13 August

All day – Papers

Excursion 4 – Accompanying persons to Wicklow and Kildare


14 August

Morning only – Papers

Business meeting: All welcome

Evening – Conference dinner, prize-giving and farewell


Getting to Dublin

Dublin is directly connected to scores of cities across Europe by a range of airlines including Aer Lingus, Ryanair, SAS, Lufthansa, KLM, Iberia and British Airways. It is directly connected by air to 9 cities in North America (New York, Boston, Chicago, Orlando, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Montreal and Toronto) by Delta, American Airlines, Continental, US Airways, Air Canada and Air Transat; has 2 scheduled services per day with Etihad Airways direct to Abu Dhabi and 2 services per day with Emirates to Dubai with onward connections to all of the Middle East, India, China, Japan and Australia; is a one-hour flight from London Heathrow (over 10 flights each way per day); and is a 90 minute flight to Amsterdam Schiphol facilitating easy accessibility from all over the world.

Post-conference excursion: 15-16 August 2015

This two-day excursion will visit the West coast of Ireland and in particular Galway and Limerick cities. These are cities facing significantly different challenges to Dublin and provide interesting case studies of the range of challenges facing one urban system. To the forefront will be regeneration, conservation, urban governance and contested urban spaces. En route we will visit a number of areas of geographical interest including ghost estates, small commuter towns and areas of economic redevelopment as well as the 6th century Clonmacnoise (monastic and one of the earliest ‘urban’ settlements in Ireland). We will overnight in Galway and then travel via the Atlantic Corridor to Limerick, visiting the Cliffs of Moher geopark and Ennis, a medium-sized Irish country town.  The cost of the excursion will include an overnight stay, entrance fees to the Burren national park, two lunches, dinner and coach hire.



Accommodation options on-campus are available. Single en-suite rooms may be booked on a B&B basis for €61 per person. There are also a range of hostels, hotels and B&B facilities in Dublin that are easily accessible to UCD. Further details will be given with the call for papers and registration.


It is anticipated that an edited volume made up of a selection of papers would be produced after the conference. The decision as to what papers to include in that edited edition will rest with members of the IGU Urban Executive, the Organising Committee and the Publishers. A tentative title for the publication is ‘Urban resilience, governance and changing urban systems’, so it is strongly suggested that if you wish for your paper to be included it fits in with the academic aims of the Commission and the Meeting as outlined here. Further information on submission of papers will be provided at a later date.

Dedicated website:


Contact for the conference:

Email: igudublin2015@ucd.ie