2021 Beirut - Online August 23-25

The Multiple Challenges of Urban Resilience


The Urban Commission of the International Geographical Union (IGU) in collaboration with the Geography Department of Saint-Joseph University of Beirut is pleased to invite you to its 2021 Annual Conference. Because of the pandemic conditions the meeting will be organized online

IGU Urban Geography Commission Annual Conference – from 23rd to 25th August 2021




Details will be available soon






  • C20.42 – Urban Commission: (Re-)Thinking Cities And The Urban: From The Global To The Local, IGU
  • Faculty of Human Sciences. Geography Department, Saint-Joseph University of Beirut, Lebanon
  • Faculty of Architecture, Design and Built Environment, Beirut Arab University, Lebanon

We are preparing for the 2021 Annual Conference of the IGU-Urban Commission to be hold in Beirut, Lebanon, as it was our plan already in 2020. In light of the still ongoing pandemic, it is not possible that the conference will be organized on-site, thus we will make it again entirely digitally. We’re still hoping that debates and exchange will be possible, since this is the key value of academic conferences. Hence we will do our best to ensure that.



Early career researchers are considered before PhD completion or within 5 years after.

In selecting applicants to receive awards, preference will be given to young or emerging scholars, in particular to those from developing countries. Please note that full participation in the conference, including the closing ceremony, is required.

The selection will be made according to an extended abstract of 5-6 pages (longer than the regular abstract). The application to the grant must be indicated in the registration form and in the beginning of the abstract form. The template of abstract is the same, but the abstract must be more consistent in order to better judge of the content.






Conference dates: 23rd – 25th August 2021

Deadline for abstracts submission:  extended to 2nd of March 2021

Information on the acceptance of abstracts: 15th of April 2021


– Opening of registration: 15th of April 2021

– Conference Registration: before 10th of June 2021



Short-term incidents and the shocks they exert on societies, cities and urban regions have been discussed in both natural and social sciences for quite a while. Related cases include for example natural disasters like hurricanes or flooding events and the associated devastation in cities (such as hurricane ‘Katrina’ that had hit the southern coastline of the U.S. in 2005, or Japanese Tsunami in 2011); the disruption of private and social life caused by the real estate crisis in North America or Europe after 2008/09; the explosion in the port of Beirut of August 4, 2020, whose devastating impact has affected a city and a country already facing multiple structural crises. These events have in common that they put a massive strain on urban places, people, societies. The ability to recover from such developments is defined as resilience, that is, to absorb external shocks and crises and to regain a state of equilibrium however defined.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global shock “like any other” involving simultaneous disruptions to both supply and demand in an interconnected world economy. It has renewed the attention paid to resilience, as both the virus and the associated politics and market effects (lock down, business closures and social distancing) exert a huge influence on social, economic and private life. The extreme uncertainty about duration, magnitude and impact of the pandemic could pose a vicious cycle of dampening business and tightening financial conditions. Given the extent and magnitude to which disruption is affecting cities and urban regions recently, the IGU Urban Commission has chosen the concept of resilience as the umbrella topic for its 2021 Conference. This choice corresponds with one of our five topical areas that orientate the Commission’s 2020-2024 Mandate: “Climate change, resilience, urban health and well-being”. Our aim is to offer a podium for discussing the multiple dimensions of resilience for urban studies, urban development and politics and policy. These may both concern the current situation influenced by the pandemic and more long-term, general issues of urban development. Possible contributions which particularly address the following topical realms are welcome:

  • Specific vulnerabilities of cities and/or urban regions in the context of COVID-19,
  • Mechanisms and strategies for achieving urban/regional resilience,
  • Pathways for urban-regional development that reflect long-term challenges such as climate change or societal inequalities,
  • Key challenges for an empirical socio-economic analysis of COVID-19,
  • Strategies that may link these persistent long-term transformations with short-term problems and policies,
  • Possible analogies between resilience and the concept of sustainable development.

Additionally, we encourage colleagues to submit abstracts that speak to one of the four other areas of urban studies that guide the current mandate of the IGU-Urban Commission. These papers may or may not have implications for discussing resilience, but address conceptual, empirical or policy issues in the research domains as follows:

  • Cities as drivers of, and driven by, transformational change,
  • Cities, urban systems and nation states,
  • Urban areas under pressure of transformation,
  • Governance, institutions, urban policy.


Extended abstracts must be written within the template provided below and uploaded to the registration platform before 2nd of March 2021.

For those who have submitted abstracts to Beirut IGU Meeting, August 2020.
If your proposal is not already published in another Meeting or Journal, you can submit the same abstract for Beirut IGU Meeting, August 2021. In this case, the abstract will not be reviewed again.
Please refer to the previous feed-back to improve the oral presentation.

Link to registration platform: https://wp.unil.ch/citadyne-news/igu-2021/

Please only use the following template for abstract submission



– Small Ville hôtel (4* superior) : B &B = 100 $/night. (10  mn walk from Human Sciences Campus)
Participants should address an email to the person in charge Mrs Marie-Claire Kerbaj and not pass through the website: marieclaire.kerbaj@thesmallville.com

– Sodeco Suites hotels
80 $ for a SGL room B & B
90 $ for a DBL room B & B
Participants should send an email to the person in charge: Mrs Hanady el-Emam: afom@sodecosuites.com

– USJ Résidence (usually it is for the foreign students, but in summer it is open to meetings) : 225 $ for 6 days of staying (5 mn walk from Human Sciences Campus) 1 person/room because of the covid 19It is a hostel for students located at 5mn walk to our campus.

  • Availability: 20 rooms (10 room for ladies and 10 for men)
  • From : August 22 2021 (from 12h00 am) till Saturday August 29 2021 (08h00 am)
  • Rate: 225 USD (or its equivalent in euros) (no breakfast) to be paid in cash. Bank cards are not accepted unfortunately for lack of a POS machine.
  • Booking: fill a reservation request form (see attached)
  • Last reservation deadline: June 30 2021
  • Contact for Participants of Beirut IGU Meeting 2021 :
  • Manager: Mr Ghassan ABI-ZEID
  • Tel : +961.1.421596
  • Cel: +961.3.279469
  • e-mail address: residence@usj.edu.lb
  • Conditions requested for booking: confirmation of effective registration of the person for Beirut IGU Meeting 2021

Please see the attached documents for the detailed information on USJ residence.



Participants who need an invitation letter for VISA APPLICATION, please indicate in the ABSTRACT TEMPLATE.

Visa requirements are indicated on the map below:

Visa req.png



We will provide you with information shortly.



  • Liliane Buccianti-Barakat, University Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth, Lebanon
  • Ayman Afify, Beirut Arab University, Lebanon
  • Rita Zaarour, University Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth, Lebanon
  • María José Piñeira, University of Santiago de Compostela.
  • Markus Hesse, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  • Javier Delgado Campos, UNAM, Mexico
  • Céline Rozenblat, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Natacha Aveline, Research director CNRS-Paris, France
  • Dani Broitman, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Israel
  • Hermanus Geyer Jr., University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • Maria Gunko, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
  • Shenjing He, University of Hong-Kong, China
  • Niamh Moore, University College Dublin, Ireland
  • Julio Pedrassoli, University Federal Salvador de Bahia, Brazil
  • Jun Tsutsumi, University of Tsukuba, Japan
  • Ludger Basten, Technical University of Dortmund, Germany
  • Dan O’Donoghue, Canterbury Christ Church University, United Kingdom
  • Natsumi Akimoto, University of Tokyo, Japan
  • Aoife Delaney, University College Dublin, Ireland
  • Marcela Dametto, University of Sao Paulo, Brasil
  • Maedeh Hedayatifard, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Iran
  • Andre Horn, University of South Africa, South Africa
  • Reinaldo Machado, University of Sao Paulo, Brasil
  • Lidia Mierzejewska, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland
  • Gustavo Nagib, University of São Paulo, Brasil
  • Weibin Peng, Normal University, China
  • Manuel Suarez, UNAM, Mexico
  • Ivan Townshend, University of Lethbridge, Canada
  • Jun Yamashita, University of Kyushu, Japan
  • Suhong Zhou, Sun Yat-Sen University, China



  • Liliane Buccianti Barakat
  • Jocelyne Adjizian Gerard
  • Rita Zaarour
  • Markus Hesse
  • Javier Delgado Campos
  • María José Piñeira Mantiñán
  • Victor Jiménez Barrado
  • Ramón López Rodríguez
  • Céline Rozenblat
  • Mikhail Rogov
  • Andrea Ferloni



Prof. Dr. Liliane Buccianti-Barakat liliane.barakat@usj.edu.lb

Prof. Dr. María Jose Piñeira Mantiñán mariajose.pineira@usc.es