Professor Hisham Elkadi attended the Ecocity World Summit (ECWS) on 11th-13th October 2015. The event was hosted by the city of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, the first Ecocity Summit to take place in the Middle East. The ECWS is the longest running international conference series on sustainable cities, commencing in 1990. The ECWS initiative aims to gather likeminded individuals and organisations from around the globe with the aim of proposing forward thinking and innovative solutions to today’s urban problems. The aim is to transform cities around the world in order to make them greener, healthier and better places to live in.
This conference theme focused on ecocities in challenging environments, specifically those with resource limitations imposed by hot and arid climates. Professor Elkadi argued that cities have reached a point of climate departure with no possibility to return to their original status. Regeneration is essential to enable the sustainable re-development of cities and to maintain viability and creativity in ecological responses. Many cities face major societal and ecological transformations that require immediate intervention for their future survival. Much of the current literature is concentrated upon the challenges of natural adaptation and mitigation practices in burgeoning Western metropolises. However, proposed cultural, socio-economic and technical transformative solutions might be ‘too little too late’ for a large number of metropolises in the face of increasingly more intensive and more frequent natural aggressions. There is urgency to develop and work simultaneously on complex ecological frameworks to suit the varied status of urban environments in the Middle East and North Africa region.
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