The International Urban Planning and Environment Association - IUPEA - was founded in 1993 with the purpose of developing and expanding ways in which urban planning could improve environmental quality. With this goal, IUPEA stimulates dialogues on the links between the sustainability of cities and their paths of development, the quality of the environment and the frameworks and practices of urban and regional planning. It also encourages research and supports its communication and dissemination through a systematic program of publications and symposiums for discussing experiences and initiatives to substantially improve living conditions in cities.
Since its foundation, IUPEA organized and led 10 International Symposiums in USA (Seattle, 1994), Netherlands (Gröningen, 1997), South Africa (Pretoria, 1999), Israel (Jerusalem, 2001), England (Oxford, (2002), USA (Louisville, 2004), Thailand (Bangkok, 2007), Germany (Kaiserslautern, 2009), China (Guangzhou, 2010) and Australia (Sydney, 2012). English has been the official language in all of them.
UPE 11 is the first IUPEA Symposium to be held in Latin America, a region where intense and turbulent transformations - in political, social, economic, cultural and territorial domains - have taken place along the last 30-40 years; where institutional frameworks of urban planning and management have a low degree of consolidation, and where the more significant contents and meanings of urban and environmental agendas are of a predominantly social nature.
UPE 11 is conceived as a platform to share and debate different regional and local expressions of current socio-territorial and environmental crises, trends and choices. It will also provide a space to explicitly state and compare different conceptual and methodological approaches and distinctive instruments and policies as well as to critically assess results achieved throughout different urbanization processes in diverse cultural and political urban and national settings.
UPE 11 is a discussion framework wherein Spanish, Portuguese and English will all serve as official Symposium languages. This will allow significant players involved in the study, planning and management of the city and the environment - researchers, public officials, planners, educators and civil society organizations in specific national contexts in the global North, inside and outside Latin America - to express
their singular cultures, how they build specific agendas, how they conceive and implement practices and management modes of their own.
Given this backdrop, UPE 11 attempts to discern what similar and divergent answers we may give to the questions that we share and - not less significant - what issues and what inquiries differentiate our contexts and our approaches. It will also allow us to compare, share and critically discuss various views and ideological perspectives, political orientations, theoretical and methodological approaches, institutional frameworks, decisional processes and practical answers applied to the planning and management of territorial and environmental sustainability and social equity, in multiple urban scales, amidst complex, uncertain and turbulent scenarios we all face.