MIT holds symposium on urban tool

In early May, we attended an all-day technical event in Boston, the MIT Sustainable Urban Design Symposium. The symposium was primarily organized by Christoph Reinhart, Associate Professor at MIT.
The focus of the symposium was Umi, a new design environment for architects and urban planners who want to model the environmental performance of urban zones and cities, specifically operational energy use, walkability and daylighting potential. Umi is based on the Rhino CAD program and is being developed by the Sustainable Design Lab at MIT. The introduction to the program included a number of case studies.

Expert support nominations for SB13 & SB14

In order to provide support to SB13 and SB14 organizers, we have developed a form that will provide a registry of people with self-declared skills (supported by references) to volunteer as scientific committee members, plenary speakers or session moderators. We ask you to distribute the forms to people you consider to be likely candidates, in addition to filling out on your own behalf.

The form is on one page and is easy to complete. Please return the filled PDF form to

A note of clarification: these are volunteer roles, and therefore they are likely to be of relevance to you if you are located close to the event location or planning to attend the event in any case - unless you have some outstanding credentials as a speaker that will lead the event organizers to extend an invitation.

April update: newsletter and upcoming events

Attached below you'll find the March newsletter that was distributed to iiSBE members, plus an useful outlook at several events of interest that will take place in the upcoming months.

Additionally, after about two months since the release of SBTool 2012, we look forward to hearing your thoughts - please let us know if you encountered any issues via the feedback form.

SB13 Oulu Conference - Call for papers

SB13 Oulu - Sustainable procurement in urban regeneration and renovation Northern Europe and North-West Russia conference will be organized
on May 21-25, 2013 in Oulu, Finland.

Conference website is now open and call for papers leaflet has been published. Abstract submission is now possible through the website and deadline for submissions is August 31 2012.

The main theme "Sustainable procurement in urban regeneration and renovation" is dived in to a seven sub themes:
• Governance
• Business models
• Sustainable solutions and urban regeneration
• Sustainable policy and responsibility
• Sustainable management methods and tools
• Sustainability of building materials
• Case studies

Please visit for more information.

Cities and Forms, by Serge Salat

We are happy to be able to bring you an offer for a major and very interesting new book on aspects of urban sustainability: Cities and forms - On sustainable urbanism. The principal author for this very content-rich volume of 543 pages is Serge Salat, head of the CSTB Urban Morphology Lab in Paris and also Chair of iiSBE's urban working group.
The book has a somewhat unusual history: it was written and produced as part of a large China-France cooperation project, and the work has therefore benefited from major financial support. This circumstance has allowed a very reasonable price despite high production values. For iiSBE members, the price is further reduced to 65 € (about $90 USD), including shipping of the 2.6 kg. volume.

We will be soon bringing you a full review of the book, but in the meantime here are some brief notes.

One strong element is the very interesting comparative morphological studies of major cities in several continents, all carried out on a 400 x 400 m or 800 x 800 m grid, leading to discussions on efficiency, densities, circulation and connectivity... also, a very satisfying attack on Le Corbusier. Other sections deal with underlying mathematical structures, climate change resiliency and urban assessment.
This is not just a pretty coffee-table book; it is massively content-rich and should be a priority purchase for anyone doing urban research.

There are two links to the publisher's website: one for the general public, and one for iiSBE members.

If you need to update your iiSBE membership, you will find forms right here on the website.