Urban Cultures of Sustainability

Conference Report (Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) at the Albert-Ludwig-University, Germany, 11–14 July 2016)

From 11 to 14 July 2016, the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society and the FRIAS (Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies) project group A Green City Mandate? co-hosted a Graduate Student Seminar and International Workshop on Green Cities and Urban Cultures of Sustainability.

The project group invited an interdisciplinary group of young scholars and students from various disciplinary and national backgrounds, as well as several distinguished scholars from the fields of sustainable urban development, urban geography, environmental history, and ecocriticism to work together on issues of “green cities.”

The program involved input and output sessions, as well as a field trip to Freiburg’s “green city” neighborhoods. The teaching staff included Sabine Dabringhaus (Founding Director of the Center for Transcultural Asian Studies (CETRAS), Chair for East Asian History, University of Freiburg), Tim Freytag (Professor for Human Geography, Institute of Environmental Social Sciences and Geography, University of Freiburg), Shen Hou (Associate Professor for Environmental History, Renmin University, Beijing), Rob Krueger (Director of Environmental and Sustainability Studies, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts), Annika Mattissek (Professor for Economic Geography and Sustainable Development, Institute of Environmental Social Sciences and Geography, University of Freiburg), Christof Mauch (Director of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, LMU Munich), Simone M. Müller (Assistant Professor for North American History, University of Freiburg), Kate Rigby (Professor for Environmental Humanities, Bath Spa University), and many more.

The Graduate Student Seminar was followed by an expert conference with participants from East Asia, North America, and Europe. Participants were invited to deliver think pieces about the future of green cities, in which they addressed the possibilities as well as the pitfalls of their respective disciplines. Findings of events will be published as a special issue of Perspectives, co-edited by Annika Mattissek and Simone M. Müller.

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