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 www.sb13.fi 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 www.sb13.fi 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.

Website updates

We have implemented a new sharing tool for the website, allowing you to repost content on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, to add it to Delicious or Google Bookmarks or to send it via e-mail.
We've also refreshed the social networks section at the left: get in touch with us via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, watch the videos on Youtube, or subscribe to the website via RSS or e-mail.

Let us know what you think of these new features!

iiSBE holds meetings in Barcelona

On February 8th and 9th, iiSBE held three meetings in Barcelona. 20 members of iiSBE attended, including many European members and also Vanessa and Maristela Gomes from Brazil.

The meeting on the 8th focused on the Academic and Research Forum, and was chaired by Ronald Rovers. The current core document describing the initiative was reviewed and updated, and several management decisions were taken. The website for Forum members is currently being finalised and it was announced that the initiative will be formally launched when 8 member organizations have made written commitments.

The first meeting on the 9th concerned the IMoSB (International Masters for SB) project and was chaired by Luis Bragança, who is head of the group as well as being President of iiSBE. Discussions covered the establishment of an external review group, a simplification of the scheme for the attendance of students at the four partner universities, and a reduction of the originally anticipated 90 ECTS academic units to 60. Luis Bragança also proposed to launch a doctoral program in parallel and this was accepted. Antonin Lupisek (CZ) suggested that we should find more private corporations to join as associate members.

The rest of the 9th was devoted to a review of the various technical projects that have been undertaken by iiSBE. Giulia Barbano of iiSBE Italia presented two initiatives: an on-line training international SB program that will be launched later this year, and an urban assessment tool that is being developed in cooperation with Serge Salat, who heads the Urban Morphology Lab in Paris. This is a funded project and the project is due to be completed by the end of the year. The concepts developed in the project will be presented at a conference in Trondheim during Jun and another workshop in Maastricht in October.

NL presented an outline of the SBTool for 2012, which is now complete. The system is scalable from a maximum scope of 100+ criteria, down to as few as a dozen, and it provides generic criteria for Design, Construction and Operations phases. There is a separate module for assessment of project sites. The work will henceforth be managed by Manuel Macias at UPM Madrid. The system will be mounted on the iiSBE website for feedback by potential users.

Nils Larsson also presented the status of the Synergy Zone project, which outlines approaches to maximizing efficiencies in neighbourhood-scale services. This project is now at a stage where further work required funding and a pilot project site. Larsson also presented the status of the work on Sustainability of Very Tall Buildings, which is now looking for partners to develop the concepts outlined in the work plan.

Finally, Charles Kibert joined the meeting by Skype from University of Florida. He is currently building membership in his group and expects to hold a meeting by mid-year.