On 16 October 2021, Yokohama City University (YCU) hosted the 12th International Academic Consortium for Sustainable Cities (IACSC) Symposium/General Assembly in a hybrid format (online and in-person) at the City of Yokohama’s Y-Port Center GALERIO, a facility for sharing experiences and expertise through public private collaboration. The Symposium was held in conjunction with the 10th Asia Smart City Conference (ASCC) hosted by the City of Yokohama from 26 to 28 October.
Under the theme “Co-creating Solutions to Urban Challenges beyond the Pandemic: Reimagining the role of higher education and IACSC,” active discussions on the goals of sustainable cities took place in each of the three units of YCU’s Global Cooperation Institute for Sustainable Cities (GCI): Environment, Urban Planning, and Public Health.
Part 1: International Symposium was open to the public. Beginning with an opening remark by YCU President Michiko Aihara and a presentation of the twelve-year history of the IACSC by Dr. Hidefumi Imura, Advisor to the President. Two keynote speeches followed: “Towards a Prosperous, Inclusive, Resilient, and Sustainable Asia and the Pacific” by Harumi Kodama, Representative, Asian Development Bank Japanese Representative Office, and “Roles of Public Health and Data Science in Building Sustainable Society beyond COVID-19” by Dr. Atsushi Goto, Head of the Department of Health Data Science, Graduate School of Data Science, YCU.
In Part 2: International Student Forum, students presented proposals for sustainable cities toward the realization of the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda. Of the five mixed teams of IACSC member university students that participated in a prior three-month online workshop, two teams were selected to present at this symposium and three at the 10th Asia Smart City Conference (October 26-28).
In Part 3: Symposium Toward Launching an Academic Consortium Cross-linked Project, five research topics were proposed for international collaborative research activities among IACSC member universities. Based on the ideas brought forth in the lively discussion, the IACSC plans to proceed to launch future international joint study projects.
Next academic year, the 13th IACSC Symposium/General Assembly will be held by Universiti Sains Malaysia, another important IACSC member university. We hope for the continuation of the IACSC and for further contribution to education and research activities.