The 2014 Inter-University Seminar on Asian Megacities (IUSAM) was held last August 27 to 30, 2014 at Hanyang University in the capital city of Seoul, South Korea. The event was co-hosted by the Department of Urban Planning & Engineering and Graduate School of Urban Studies of Hanyang University, as well as the Seoul National University Mixed Use Complex Development Research Centre.
The UP College of Architecture (UPCA) has been actively participating in this annual event since 1999. The 19th edition of this annual gathering of academicians and researchers from different parts of Asia was, by far, the most attended conference since the first one was held in Tokyo, Japan in 1996. The general theme of the 2014 IUSAM was “Smart Urbanism for Asian Megacities”, with focus on planning strategies for smart urbanism that are able to address diverse challenges by conventional urbanism.
The seminar was attended by faculty members, students and representatives from various universities and research institutes in Asia. The UPCA delegation has the most number of representatives (25 participants of 12 faculty members and 13 graduate & undergraduate students) from all of the schools represented in the seminar. More than 100 participants came from the following institutions in Asia and from other parts of the world: Hanyang University, Seoul National University, Yonsei University, Kyonggi University, Mokwon University, and Korea Land & Housing Corporation in Korea; Keio University, Chuo University, Kyoto University of Art & Design, Ritsumeikan Asian Pacific University, Fuji Women’s University, and National Institute of Population and Social Security Research in Japan; The Chinese University of Hongkong, Tsinghua University, Xi’an Jiatong-Liverpool University, Tianjin University, and Tongji University in China; Pacific National University in Russia; Universite de Bourgogne in France; Georgia Institute of Technology and Sino-US Eco Urban Laboratory in United States of America.
Out of the 25 attendees from UPCA, 13 participants presented their papers in the conference. Five faculty members were also assigned as moderators for some of the sessions, while five participants attended the conference as observers. A total of eleven (11) papers were presented by delegates from UPCA – an increase in number of paper presentations from the previous 2 conferences (6 paper presentations in 2013 and 5 papers presented in 2012) – with various topics related to smart urbanism.
SESSION A: URBAN PLANNING AND SMART URBANISM
SESSION B: ARCHITECTURE AND URBAN DESIGN
SESSION C: URBAN ENVIRONMENT AND ECOSYSTEM
Several UPCA professors were also tapped to serve as moderators in some of the sessions. Questions and reactions from delegates of other participating schools were raised for each presentation from UPCA, promoting a healthy discussion and exchange of knowledge and ideas between universities. Participants from UPCA also took part in the open forum for presentations of delegates from other schools and universities in Asia. Fellowship dinners with cultural performances of delegates from various countries were also held right after the conference proper.
The last day of the conference featured technical tours of various places in Seoul for delegates. One group visited the historical areas of the capital city while another group went to the new towns at the southern part of the city. The Traditional Place Tour passed through the heritage areas of Gwanghwamun Square, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Bukchon-Hanok Village, and Insa-dong Street Market, while the other group visited the new town developments of Pangyo and Alphadom City, as well as a traditional market in Seongnam.
Overall, the experiences of the delegates and participants for the entire conference were fruitful. In addition, the transfer of information and technology between universities and between senior members of the academe and younger generation of researchers, educators and students, as well as the nurture of research within the participating universities, were successfully achieved for this conference.
The 20th edition of Inter-University Seminar on Asian Megacities will be held in Manila next year, as Dean Mary Ann Espina offered hosting the said event. She vowed to surpass, if not of equal, the success of the recent IUSAM hosted by Hanyang University.
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