Sustainable Architecture(s) - Humane Cities

The Urban Condition
Event Date: March 23-25, 2022
Abstract Date: January 10, 2022
A conference examining urban development in India and the developing world more broadly from multiple perspectives: design, social justice, sustainability and public health


In 2015, the year that the Indian government launched its 100 Smart Cities Mission, the United Nations published its 17 Sustainable Development Goals including the goal of  “Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. The Smart Cities Mission follows patterns of development undoubtedly spearheaded by the Global North. By contrast, sustainable development goals can be seen as predominately relevant to the Global South, which the UN projects suggests will be home to over 80% of the world’s megacities by 2030. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, each of these agendas is in the process of revision.

The problems faced by these cities will be enormous: the health and wellbeing of inhabitants; the housing of rural migrants; balancing formal planning with incremental and informal design; dealing with environmentally vulnerability; addressing social equity. They are all, already, issues that are both critical and subject to extensive debate. The World Health Organisation sees the notion of the ‘healthy city’ as already changed forever. Ananya Roy sees informality as a product of economic regulation, whether in Mexico, Egypt, India or Indonesia. Aromar Revi critiques the integration of the rural and the urban through the lens of sustainability and the notion of the rurban.

In bringing sustainability into the debate about healthy, equitable and humane urban development Revi opens a view onto questions of colonialism. Sustainability and public health have a conflicted history in the Global South where the march of economic development and agendas of public wellbeing and environmental protection often clash. Indeed, they have led to spatial practices such as uncontrolled density, ‘public safety’ zoning and gentrification that force the poor into cramped living conditions, insanitary housing, flood plain areas and more.

The problem is complicated more when we consider those cites of the Global South that mimic architectural and developmental practices of the North. Yasser Elshehtawy has coined the term Dubaization. He suggests that the race to construct tall buildings in the Middle East threatens the identity of cities from Bangalore to Cairo. In the Middle East and North African region this push towards the fast-paced commercial development of ‘global cities’ is particularly challenging. The arid and semi-arid environments of these places makes them vulnerable to climate change and drought and, in long term, unhealthy, unsafe and totally uninhabitable.


  • Urban Design
  • Architecture
  • Sustainability
  • Engineering
  • Housing
  • Public Health
  • Sociology
  • Economics
  • Business
  • Governance

Key Dates

Abstracts (Early)
30 June 2021
Abstract Feedback
25 July 2021
Early Registration
01 September 2021
Abstracts (Round 1)
30 October 2021
15 November 2021
Registration Closes
15 February 2022


Healthy Cities
How can WHO public health goals in cities be achieved in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Urban Sustainability
How have the United Nations sustainability targets be addressed in cities in the developing world?
Social Equity
What, if any, steps are being taken to ensure affordable housing and rights to the city in the context of the UN’s objectives to end global poverty in the developing world?
Urban & Architectural Design
What role is there for ‘design’ is social and sustainable agendas in a world of globalized finance and practice?
Inclusive Design
While inclusive design is well advanced in the Global North, what obstacles and achievements characterize its application in other parts of the world?


The conference welcomes case studies, design proposals, research projects, investigative papers and theoretical considerations in various formats allowing people to write a paper, attend in person or present via film and have their presentation permanently available via the AMPS Youtube channel.

Zoom (15-20 minutes)
Pre-recorded video (15-20 minutes)
Written Papers (3,000 words)
| In-person presentations (socially distanced)


The publishers that AMPS works with include UCL Press, Routledge Taylor & Francis, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Vernon Press, Libri Publishing and Intellect Books.


Conference outputs include the AMPS Proceedings Series, ISSN 2398-9467; Special Issue Publications of the academic journal Architecture_MPS ISSN 2020-9006; Books with the publishing houses listed above and short films available on the AMPS Academic YouTube Channel.


Written papers are optional.  If submitted they should be 3,000 word length. Formatting instructions to follow after the conference. All papers are double- blind peer reviewed for the AMPS Conference Proceedings Series. Subject to review, selected authors will be invited to develop longer versions as articles in the academic journal Architecture_MPS or in specially produced conference books.



Image: Nagawara_KshitizBathwal