On August 31, 2023, the 14th International Academic Consortium for Sustainable Cities (IACSC) Symposium was held at Thammasat University in Thailand. The theme for this year was "Peri Urbanization - From Bangkok Metropolitan to Region ”. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the past three symposiums were held online, but this year, we managed to hold the symposium in person for the first time in four years. At the symposium, research presentations were made under the above-mentioned theme, and active exchange among researchers was promoted at the same time. In addition, 91 students from 5 Asian countries studied together through the international student collaborative program (*) held in conjunction with the symposium.
Following an opening message by Yokohama City University President, Michiko Aihara, the symposium featured two keynote speeches which followed the symposium theme, Peri-Urbanization. This was followed by a presentation reviewing the history of the IACSC.
In the afternoon, all were invited to attend research presentations on the fields of Environment, Public Health, and Urban Planning. It was a good opportunity to share with the participants the problems of urbanization occurring in and around the urban areas of the Bangkok metropolitan area and to consider future solutions.
In the international student collaborative programs (SUDP*1 and IUPW*2) 91 students from YCU and 5 member universities participated. A total of 6 student groups made final oral presentations at the symposium, and the remaining groups made poster presentations at the symposium venue to report their achievements. It was a valuable experience for the students to discuss what they learned through the week of lectures and fieldwork in groups composed of students from different countries. They were further able to present and share the results of their group work in English at the symposium.
*1 SUDP: Sustainable Urban Development Program
*2 IUPW: International Urban Planning Workshop
At the General Assembly, the contents and results of this year’s activities (IACSC Symposium, SUDP, IUPW, etc.) were reviewed and opinions were exchanged. In particular, the participants discussed how the results of our activities should be projected or proposed to society. The University of the Philippines, the host of next year's IACSC, then declared their commitment to welcoming the 15th IACSC Symposium in 2024.
YCU will continue to make use of this initiative in our research and education.