Conference on Urban Health – China

A distance view of a city across a river. 16th International Conference on Urban Health: People Oriented Urbanisation – Transforming cities for health and well-being. It will be held 4-8 November 2019, in Xiamen, China. Abstract submissions have closed.  The key topics are:

1.         Integrated Governance, Resilience and Health Risk Reduction
2.         Climate Change and Healthy Cities
3.         Economy, Trade, Employment and Social Inclusion
4.         Emerging Diseases, Healthcare and Public Services
5.         Urban-Rural Recoupling, Soil Security and Migration
6.         Liveable Urban Environments, Urban Planning and Design

“While urban infrastructure development and population dynamics continue to be major drivers of urbanisation, cities need to transform to achieve the ambitious goals of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). People’s health and wellbeing are at the heart of any urbanization process and calls for innovative, integrative and intelligent transformations in all sectors of the urban system.”

The venue is the Swiss Grand Xiaman Hotel with views of Gulangyu Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Interacting with objects and places: a conference

High rise building atrium looking down the levels that all look the same.Rethinking relations between people, objects and environments is the theme for a conference in January 2020 in Florida. Call for papers closes 20 June 2019. The conference is an invitation to engage in cross disciplinary discussions around the role of people, objects and environments and how individual practices and professions are inseparable from each other. It is interested in perspectives from a range of fields, including: interiors, products, health, psychology, education, furniture, well-being, art, architecture, universal design, urbanism, landscape and occupational therapy.

Dates: 16-17 January 2020
Place: Florida State University, Tallahassee.
Abstract Submissions: 20 June 2019

AAATE Conference 27-30 Aug 2019, Bologna

An aerial view of Bologne, Italy showing terracotta roofs and medieval style buildings around a square.In Europe the quest for inclusion is about both universal design and assistive technology. Although the AAATE conference has a strong assistive technology focus, they have a universal design strand and encourage universal design researchers and practitioners to submit abstracts. UD followers can find value in seeing the progress in assistive technology in all its forms, and how it supports and fits with the principles of UD. Papers are published by IOS Press. AAATE is a sister organisation to ARATA (Australian Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Association).

Editor’s note: I have found these conferences very interesting because much of the leading research, funded by the EU, is showcased here. Everything from mainstream universal design to smart technologies, robotics and web developments. At  the 2009 conference I presented a paper with a philosophical take on inclusion, Turning back time for inclusion for today as well as tomorrow.  


It was a great conference!

With more than 120 attendees, five countries present and five Australian states represented, it was a very successful Australian Universal Design Conference. The atmosphere was abuzz with like-minded colleagues catching up and new friendships forming. We were welcomed by Meaghan Scanlon, Assistant Minister for Tourism Industry Development, and Neroli Holmes, Acting Anti-Discrimination Commissioner. The conference opened with Nicki Hutley, who gave us the benefit of her years of research and declared that everyone benefits from inclusion both economically and socially. Lots to think about when it comes to self driving cars and Amy Child covered some of the many aspects to consider. Here are some of the slides from concurrent session speakers on day one – more to come next newsletter:

Thea Kurdi from Canada –  Living in Place:Who are we designing for?

Lorraine Guthrie from New Zealand – Accessibility Charter for Canterbury: Collaborating to go beyone compliance

Michael Small – Developing the conditions to support a universal design approach

Emily Steel – Universal Design in social policy: Addressing the paradox of equality

Tom Bevan – Case Study: Accessible beaches for all.

Elise Copeland from New Zealand – A universal design tool for mixed use buildings. Slideshow was too big to upload but the transcript is provided plus the video below. You can go to the Auckland website to see the UD Design Tool.