2016 Beijing

IGC – International Geographical Congress

August 21st to 25th 2016

Link to the official WEBSITE 


Instruction for Abstract Submission

The Congress will include oral and poster sessions. You are invited to present your latest research results


! Extended deadline :

Deadline for Abstract Submission: 31 March, 2016

Notification of Acceptance: 30 April, 2016

Deadline for Early bird Registration: 15 May, 2016

Previous deadline :

15 February 2016: Deadline for submitting abstracts for papers and posters
16 April 2016: Notification of the results of the abstract review


How to submit an abstract:

Please edit your abstract according to Abstract Sample  and submit it online.

Submit now 

Abstract Submission Instructions:

1. Register for the Congress
2. Consult the Preliminary List of Approved Sessions on the page of Session
Submission and decide how you would like to participate
3. Proceed to the page of the Abstract Submission, select the category and specific
session in which you wish to place your abstract and submit it online. Please edit your abstract according to the Abstract Sample which is available to download at the bottom of the page
4. You will receive an email message when you have successfully submitted your abstract to confirm that it has been accepted
5. If you need to reedit your abstract, you may do so by returning to the submission page any time before the final deadline
– All abstracts must be submitted by presenting authors. You can include the names of up to 15 co-authors as well (using “et al.” or a team name is also permitted). You are allowed to submit only one abstract for oral/poster presentation.
– An abstract is limited to 250 words. Titles should consist of no more than 20 words. No abbreviations are to be used in titles. Please be sure to include no more than 10 key words.
– Papers must be submitted in Microsoft Word format. Abstract that are not submitted in the correct format will be returned to authors, who will be asked to resubmit only if time permits.
– All abstracts should be written in English or French.
– Abstracts will be reviewed and selected by the session organizers and/or commission
chairs. The final abstracts will be included in the congress program.


Urban Commission Sessions – C12-39. Urban challenges in a complex world at IGC – Beijing 2016

1- Complex Urban Systems
Note for the co-authors of the book “International and Transnational Perspectives on Urban Systems (Ed. Rozenblat C., Pumain D. and Velasquez E.)”: the authors are pleased to indicate “ITP Urban Systems” at the beginning of the title of their abstract 
Chinese chair: Prof. Chaolin Gu, Tsinghua University, gucl@tsinghua.edu.cn
Co-chair: Prof. Denise Pumain, University Paris 1, pumain@parisgeo.cnrs.fr
Urban systems have seen radical changes in recent decades and will continue to do so. How are various national, continental and global urban systems changing – particularly in relation to such features as city size, economy, migration, interaction, linkage, communication, transport and control functions? What processes and differential development paths are involved and how have different government policies affected these changes? Previous Urban Commissions have produced a large body of work on the urban systems of individual countries. This work will be extended to incorporate updated national and international comparisons and recognise the accelerated growth of a limited number of global command centres in the highly connected world of electronic communications, finance, trade, and rapid travel. In addition, we must seek solutions for those cities that are left behind by these changes.

2- Technological innovations, creative activities in cities, innovative and smart building and transportation in cities
Chinese chair: Prof. Feng Zhen, Nanjing University, zhenfeng@nju.edu.cn
Co-chair: Prof. Celine Rozenblat, University of Lausanne, celine.rozenblat@unil.ch
Urban economies are evolving quickly, with the growth of the “service” sectors and new activities in science, technology, commerce, communication, media, art and design. Why do these activities concentrate in some cities and how do these new “clusters” integrate within existing economic, social and environmental contexts? Can we quantify “smart cities” or identify “creative activities”? Can one identify cycles in these economic trends? As a result of new technologies are all cities become “smart”? Does this “smart” growth benefit the entire city or does it increase polarisation and fragmentation? Does it alter the morphology and structure of urban areas and can it lead to new forms of urban society?

3- Polycentrism, small and medium size cities
Note for the MEDIUM Project: the members of the Europe-Aid MEDIUM project are pleased to put “MEDIUM” at the beginning of the title of their abstract
Chinese chair: Prof. Chunshan Zhou, Sun Yat-sen University, zhoucs@mail.sysu.edu.cn
Co-chair: Dr. Elfie Swerts, University of Lausanne, elfie.swerts@unil.ch
At national or regional scales, small and medium size cities have very different issues depending on their proximity to large cities.  In remote areas, small and medium size cities often lack higher education, and advanced services, that lead many young people to leave never to return.  These places find it difficult to attract investment and are often by-passed in favour of larger more accessible locations. How can these places find new dynamism? Can they counter increasing concentration in metropolises? Can they provide an alternative approach or insight for sustainable urban systems? On the other hand if one focuses on a more city-region scale, small and medium size cities around the metropolises constitute new urban spaces such as “edge” or “edgeless cities” that remain under the influence of the central metropolis. What is the future of such places? To what extent are new polycentric patterns emerging and what is the likely impact on sustainability and spatial equity?

4- Creating Sustainability 
Chinese Chair: Prof. Yuemin Ning, East China Normal University, ymning@re.ecnu.edu.cn
Co-chair: Prof. Maria-Jose Piñeira Mantiñán, University of Santiago de Compostela, mariajose.pineira@gmail.com
Can sustainability be tackled at the urban scale? What progress is being made by cities around the world in the development of new programmes and policies to create more environmentally and socially sustainable areas? How can these solutions be evaluated at various spatial scales? What are the emerging best practices in cities, from smart growth to green solutions etc., and what are the problems that restrict progress in implementing these more effective policies?

5- Dilemmas of Aging Cities
Chinese chair: Prof. Xiaolu Gao, Chinese Academy of Sciences gaoxl@igsnrr.ac.cn
Co chair: Prof. Rubén Camilo Lois González, University of Santiago de Compostela, rubencamilo.lois@usc.es
A serious new problem has emerged in some cities of the developed world. The declining birth rate of industrialized countries is creating many settlements with increasingly aging and declining populations. What are the effects of this trend upon the functions and character of these cities, especially their infrastructures and levels of social provision? What policies are emerging in cities around the world affected by this problem to cope with these changes? How can so-called “shrinking cities” manage their future?

6- Urban Governance, planning and participative democracy 
Chinese chair: Prof. Anthony G. O. Yeh, The University of Hong Kong, hdxugoy@hkucc.hku.hk ‎
Co-chair: Prof. Natacha Aveline, CNRS Paris, aveline@jp.cnrs.fr
It is an unfortunate, but undeniable, fact that most large urban agglomerations are not permitted to govern themselves. Control over revenues and investments is shared with other levels of government and/or fragmented among dozens of small municipal units within the metropolitan area. Inevitably these political arrangements affect the spatial structure of infrastructure and public services, including planning. We must explore the spatial issues that detract from good urban governance, and investigate the utility of emerging administrative solutions seen in many countries, such as the ‘new regionalism’ that seeks to provide a new spatial solution to the provision of services. In parallel, citizens are becoming more organized and becoming more active and involved in decision making at the neighbourhood level. This activism affects the way urban planning functions and is bound to have impacts on cities in the future.  This will also affect urban areas beyond the traditional city.

7- Contested Social Spaces
Chinese chair: Prof. Shenjing He, The University of Hong Kong, sjhe@hku.hk
Co-chair: Prof. Jesús Manuel González Pérez, Universitat de les Illes Balears, jesus.gonzalez@uib.es
The increasingly multi-layered social and ethnic character of cities has led to more intricate life spaces within cities, and increased the potential for conflicts among various groups. Since many communities, made up of either Diasporas or cosmopolitans, exhibit strong intra-community cohesion, this may threaten other communities. How can we measure these new patterns and changes and make effective international comparisons? Where and when do conflicts emerge? How can differences between the various actors in these spaces be reconciled, ensuring that local communities are themselves empowered, rather than simply passive recipients of change from forces beyond their control? Is it possible for all groups to live in tolerance with one another?

8- Increasing Insecurity
Chinese chair: Prof. Suhong Zhou, Sun Yat-sen University, eeszsh@mail.sysu.edu.cn
Co chair: Prof. Jon Bannister, Manchester Metropolitan University, jon.bannister@mmu.ac.uk
In the past, cities survived because of their ability to create secure environments for their citizens. In many contemporary cities crime rates, anti-social behaviour and ethnic conflict threaten to make them less liveable, despite higher levels of surveillance, and apparent solutions such as gated communities, which create more private spaces and segregation.  Part of the explanation for these trends may be unequal income distributions in which the lower income groups struggle to survive or maintain their position and the wealthy create exclusive areas. Several key problems emerge from these changes. How we can best conceptualize and measure these new forms of insecurity and more compartmentalised spaces? How do we make international and national comparisons of the increasing inequalities within cities and the levels of insecurities? Can we apply the best practices from cities that have successfully overcome these problems to other cities and societies, as well as linking these problems to our understanding of the new forms of urban social space?

9- Urban Heritage and Conservation
Chinese chair: Prof. Honggang Xu, Sun Yat-sen University, xuhongg@mail.sysu.edu.cn
Co Chair: Prof. Werner Breitung, Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University, breitung@gmail.com
The distinctive identity of many cities and societies depends upon their historical heritage, as expressed in their built fabric. How can these identities be understood and interpreted? What are the policies that support the preservation of these heritages, yet still provide liveable and affordable spaces in these areas, instead of allowing historic areas and city centres to be overwhelmed by homogenised tourism?

10- New concepts and methods in urban studies
Chinese chair: Prof. Yanwei Chai, Peking University, chyw@pku.edu.cn
Co-chair: Antoine Bellwald, University of Lausanne, Antoine.Bellwald@unil.ch
As the world changes there seems to be more and more data and more and more things to measure.  There are new forms of economic activity, increasing levels of personal and corporate communication, increasing mobility of capital and people, increasing levels of internet usage, increasing levels of e-commerce, and increasing levels of electronic participation in democracy. All of these have the potential to transform the inter and intra-urban realms in which we live. Big data may help our understanding of many urban problems, but there is also a need for increasing conceptual and methodological sophistication to deal with these changes. New theories, approaches, methods and techniques are needed if we are to fully understand the urban world of the twenty-first century.

Joint sessions

Cultural aspects of sustainable urban development
C12.39: Commission on Urban Geography
C12.07: Commission on Cultural Approach in Geography

Chair: Prof. Benno Werleen, Jena University, benno.werlen@uni-jena.de
Co-chair: Prof. Daniel O’Donoghue, Canterbury University, daniel.donoghue@canterbury.ac.uk
Co-chair : Prof. Karsten Gaebler, Jena University, cultural.approach@uni-jena.de
Sustainable urban development is currently one of the guiding concepts for designing urban futures. Whereas in many contexts technological, political, or economic aspects of sustainable urban development are being discussed intensively, its cultural dimension often remains under-researched. Yet urban dynamics are set in motion, comprehended, and assessed by and through culturally specific practices, perceptions, and forms of knowledge. Transforming cities and urban areas into regenerative places is thus primarily connected to understanding the cultural roots of (non-) sustainable urban development.
The session will address cultural aspects of sustainable urban development. In particular, we welcome contributions addressing the following topics and fields:
–  Concepts of urban nature and urban environments
–  Narratives of sustainable urban futures in art, film, and literature
–  Understandings of sustainability in urban planning
–  Local knowledge and urban environments
–  Cultures of participative urban development
–  Cities and civic ecology practices

A Woman’s Place is in the City!
C12.10: Commission on Gender Geography
C12.39: Commission on Urban Geography

Chair: Prof. Joos Droogleever Fortuijn, University of Amsterdam , j.c.droogleeverfortuijn@uva.nl
Co-chair: Dr. Tomoko Kubo, Gifu University , tmkkb@gifu-u.ac.jp
“A woman’s place is in the city” is the title of a seminal article of the feminist geographer Gerda Wekerle, published in Antipode in 1984. “Questions of urban policy, land use, housing and transportation are being newly defined as women’s issues and the legitimate focus of the women’s movement” (Wekerle 1984, p. 11). The title is a descriptive as well as a normative statement: women belong to the city and the city belongs to women. The article was a passionate plea to change cities and city planning practices: “Cities are still planned by men for men. While the lives of women have changed radically, the urban environment in which they live have not” (ibid. p. 11).
Thirty years later, the analysis and ideals of Wekerle are still relevant. More than half of the population lives nowadays in urban areas and more than half of the urban population are women. It is time to re-evaluate Wekerle’s analysis and ideals.
Contributors for this session are invited to present papers on topics such as women’s daily living in cities, space and place making, urban networks, feelings of belonging, women’s activism to change urban spaces, and a critical analysis of urban policy, land use, housing and transportation and how this has changed in the past 30 years.
Wekerle, Gerda R. (1984) A woman’s place is in the city. Antipode, 16 (3), 11-19. 

Human Mobility and Urban Vulnerabilities
C12.39: Urban Geography Commission
C12.17: Commission on Global Change and Human Mobility

Chair: Prof. Daniel O’Donoghue, Canterbury University, daniel.donoghue@canterbury.ac.uk
Co-chair: Prof. Josefina Domínguez-Mujica, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, josefina.dominguezmujica@ulpgc.es

Human mobility is widely recognized as a key facilitator for transformations and challenges to urban spaces. The complex assemblage of urban disparities in social and economic terms and the subsequent vulnerabilities require a nuanced and multidimensional perspective from the spatial mobility issues.
Traditionally, the focus on vulnerabilities in urban studies has been linked to the analysis of the economic and social consequences generated by the rural-urban migrations and, especially, by the accelerated rural-urban relocation in the case of developing countries. Rapid urbanisation and a growing number of slums are one of the most outstanding ideas enhancing the mutual interaction between human mobility and urban vulnerable environments. Other consolidated knowledge trend relates to the international migrations and its contribution to different processes of urban social segregation or, in other words, to the ethno-cultural urban segregation. The urban studies developed since the twenties by sociologists of the Chicago School of Human Ecology were the starting point to a fertile and prolific research path on urban structures and on processes of residential differentiation associated to urban vulnerabilities. From a geographical perspective, since the fifties, the deductive models to analyse social areas have been marked by an increasing number of ethnic and migration statuses, in correspondence with the development of social perspectives in urban studies.
Besides these two main trends of knowledge, the findings on the role of human mobility contributing to increase or decrease vulnerabilities have had several achievements. The study of opportunities or lack of opportunities linked to daily mobility maintains a close relation with the research on urban infrastructure and transport. These are two important mechanisms promoting the development and safety in the cities through accessibility. Other related topics include the mobility and immobility from the point of view of gender, and its subsequent implications in the living conditions of certain urban areas. In the framework of health studies, it is possible to find numerous reflections about the importance of migration and mobility in facilitating the spread of infections. A high number of structural vulnerabilities can therefore be examined in the light of the most recent outcomes in human mobility. The organizers invite submission of papers with a wide spectrum of themes related to the intrinsic connection between human mobility and urban vulnerabilities, and with a wide spectrum of spatial scales – ranging from supranational, national and regional, to local levels

China’s great urban transformation: multidisciplinary research on urban China
– Urban Geography Research Committee, Geographical Society of China;
– Urban China Research Network;
– C12-39: IGU Urban Geography Commission

Chair: Shenjing He, The University of Hong Kong China, sjhe@hku.hk
Co-chair: John Logan, Brown University, Providence USA, John_Logan@brown.edu
1. Prof. Anthony Yeh, The University of Hong Kong
2. Prof. Zai Liang, State University of New York, Albany, US
3. Prof. Si-ming Li, Hong Kong Baptist University
4. Prof. Eric Fong, University of Toronto, Canada

Under the confluence of globalisation and marketisation, China has been urbanising with unprecedented speed and scale since the late 1980s. Cities of different sizes and geographical locations are undergoing drastic transformation. Interdisciplinary research approaches and analytical perspectives have been widely employed in the field of urban China studies to measure the historical development, velocity and magnitude of urban transformation, to examine the political and social metamorphosis, and to make sense of the multiplex matrix of socio-cultural transformations at different scales. This session aims to provide a platform for researchers from different disciplines to discuss their latest research. We are open to a wide range of multidisciplinary research related to China’s latest urban transformations, which include but are not limited to:  land and housing (re)development; urban planning/governance; rural-urban migration; social and cultural transformation.


Endorsement letter for Grant request

If you want to obtain an endorsement letter for IGC Beijing 2016, please send the following formular to the Urban commission Chair:



Travel grants for attendance at the 33rd International Geographical Congress in Beijing, August 21-25 2016.

The International Geographical Union (IGU) announces the availability of travel grants to help defray the costs of participation in the 33rd International Geographical Congress, 21 – 25 August 2016 in Beijing, China. Please note that, due to limited availability of funds, the IGU Travel Grants provide only a partial contribution to registration, transport and accommodation. A maximum of US$1000 will be awarded to successful candidates.

In selecting applicants to receive awards, preference will be given to young or emerging scholars, in particular to those from developing countries. Because the funds available for this awards program are extremely limited, all applicants will be required to find the balance of the costs of participation; applications for 100% support cannot be funded. Please note that full participation in the conference, including the closing ceremony, is required. Although not a strict requirement, a letter of endorsement from the chair of an IGU Commission or Task Force or from the chair of the applicant’s National Committee for the IGU will be helpful in support of the application. Contact details of these individuals are available on the IGU website www.igu-online.org Applications should be accompanied by a written statement (see below), the abstract of your paper, a proof of submission of the abstract, and any endorsement letters.

All documents must be submitted directly to Vice-president Joos Droogleever Fortuijn by
email to: j.c.droogleeverfortuijn@uva.nl

Completed applications (including endorsement letters) are due at no later than 31st March 2016.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their requests within two weeks after the acceptance of the abstract. Awards are paid to successful applicants in cash on arrival for the conference in Beijing in US$ dollars. Direct any questions regarding IGU Travel Grant applications to: j.c.droogleeverfortuijn@uva.nl