May 12-15, 2016

Our young century is being entrenched by heavy crisis instigated by conflicts of polarized ideological positions and climate change -challenging the core of human civilization. Though there are epicenters, the effect is overflowing to almost every corner of the globalizing world. However, in both the epicenters and peripheries of the unfolding crisis, cities are the obvious venues of hope and despair – related to both causes and effects. In some areas, such crisis produce dramatic urban growth and rapid urbanization while in others a strong depopulation and destruction of urban centers. In both cases however cities are expected to quickly adapt and respond innovatively to support human survival. Hence, this year’s conference will explore the potentials of cities as tools to mitigate prime challenges such as poverty and climate change. Particular innovative responses of cities to respond to food and livelihood insecurities, massive migration (both cross country and rural-urban migration), and environmental degradation can be picked as focused cases of investigation and discussion.

Ethiopia, a representative case

Situated in one of the most volatile regions of the world – North East Africa, Ethiopia, since the beginning of the second half of the last century, has been characterized by extended environmental degradation, internal and external conflicts, a staggering population growth, and related exigent poverty which extensively challenged the otherwise historically stable highland-based rural settlement. Owing to the interplay of these characteristic phenomena and coupled with a forceful top-down steering for economic development by the current political establishment, which managed to secure a relatively stable political environment since the beginning of the century, the country is experiencing a rapid urbanization instigating a historic shift in its settlement structure. The current population is estimated to be more than 95million projected to reach 150 million in 25 years with a growth rate of 2.6%. Major cities are growing with a staggering 10-15% while the general urbanization rate, which is estimated as more than 5%, remains as one of the highest in the world. Furthermore, its urbanization dynamics is reinforced by migration from neighboring countries stricken by crisis, making the country one of the highest recipients of migrants in the world, hosting millions of refugees from Eritrea in the north, South Sudan from the south west and Somalia from south east boarders.

Being one of the least urbanized country, its capital and chief primate city -Addis Ababa, is excessively stressed as the national, regional and continental hub for political, cultural and economic activities. The city is experiencing unprecedented growth and expansion in recent years owing to both economic gains, immigration and its relative political stability which seems to function as an attraction force. The city is believed to offer a display of many of the characteristic challenges and opportunities of the emerging cities in what is commonly known as the global south.

Tentative Congress Program

Cities Beyond Tools:

Re-imagining cities to confront poverty and climate change

Congress Moderators: Stephen Goldsmith (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA) assisted by Zegeye Cherenet (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

Thursday, May 12, 2016
Afternoon Arrival and check-in  
17:00 – 18:00
Registration and Welcome
in EiABC
Petra Hirschler
SCUPAD treasurer
18:00 – 19:30 Congress Plenum                   in EiABC Pavillion
Opening the Congress 2016

Introduction of Participants

Welcome speech

Stephen Goldsmith
SCUPAD President
Joachim Dieter             Scientific Director, EiABC-AAU
Opening Keynote Presentation:
Addis Ababa – a transitional city the rural – urban
Wubshet Birhanu (PhD)
Former city manager of Addis Ababa, Self-help Africa (NGO) Country director
Discussion Plenum
20:00 Dinner  Ghion Hotel
Friday, May 13, 2016
09:30 Congress Plenum
Keynote Speech (I)
re-imagining cities, learning from the informal mechanism of city production:Keynote Speech (II)                 A city: what is it for us (local perspectives on the understanding of cities)Discussion on presentations
Roberto Rococo (PhD)          TU Delft, Netherlands


Fasil Giorgis
Associate Professor, EiABC – AAU, Ethiopia

11:00 – 11:30 Break  Refreshments (EiABC)
11:30 – 13:00 Congress Plenum  
  The First Wave Climate change and environmental rehabilitation
Film as Muse #1 Movie showing the underworld: orders of nature/learning from nature (Stephen and Isabel to select)
Presentation I Prof. Molla Gedefaw
Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia
Presentation II Dirk Donath
Bauhaus University Weimar, Germany
Discussion on presentations All
13:00-14:00 Lunch  EiABC
14:00-15:30  Congress Plenum
  The Second Wave Food and income security
Film as Muse #2a Short film on food in the city and production in the city (Stephen and Isabel will select)
Presentation I Lauren Brown
Fulbright Fellow, USA
Presentation II Zegeye Cherenet
Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development
Discussion on presentations
15:30 – 16:00 Break  EiABC
16:00 – 17:30 Congress Plenum  
The Third wave Governance structure
Presentation I Petra Hirchler
Technical University of Vienna
Presentation II Michael Shiferaw & Lealem Admase
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Discussion on papers
19:00 Dinner Ghion Hotel
Saturday, May 14, 2016
10:00 Congress Plenum
Workshops Moderators
Group I

Core concepts in re-imagining Cities for environmental rehabilitation

Satwik Mudgal
Group II

Core concepts in re-imagining Cities for food and income securities

Andreas Schulze Bäing
Group III

Core concepts in re-imagining cities for good governance

Roberto Rocco
12:30-14:00 Lunch EiABC
14:00 – 17:00 City Tour/Jane Jacobs Walk City tour (museums and key sites in the city), followed by Jane Jacobs Walk
19:00 SCUPAD Dinner Traditional Ethiopian Restaurant
Sunday, May 15, 2016
09:30 – 11:00 Presentation and discussion on workshop results  Group representatives
11:00 – 11:30 Concluding comments and close of Congress
12:00 – 13:00 SCUPAD General Assembly


Following the congress, a student workshop will be held 16-20 May 2016. More information can be found on this Poster.


Here is a link to the Ghion Hotel ( where we will be staying. If you let us know in the registration form at the bottom of this page your length of stay, we can obtain a reduced price of 60 USD/night, the standard tariff is 89 USD/night.

Congress fee:

For participants over 34 years of age:
260 Euro for non-members

130 Euro for SCUPAD members

For participants under 34 years of age:
130 Euro for non-members and
65 Euros for SCUPAD members

Payment options will be posted soon here, including the option to pay in advance via paypal or bank transfer.

We also offer an early payment reduction of 10 Euro, and this year we would offer this if paid before April 15th.
More details on the fees for participating students will be announced here soon.

Please register for the congress via the following online form. This form will also collect information required in case you need a letter to support a visa application: SCUPAD 2016 Online Registration