Cambridge will host the 2023 Academy of Urbanism Congress, in partnership with Cambridge City Council. From 21-23 June, 150 domestic and international delegates will explore the theme of Designing for the Future and experience the many facets of good urbanism in Cambridge.
The AoU Congress is held annually in a different European city. Recent past Congress cities include Aarhus, Cork, and, in 2022, Belfast. Attendees come from a wide range of backgrounds, from city management and policy-making to academia, planning and urban design, community and cultural leadership, infrastructure and engineering, law, politics, and the media.
Cambridge skyline, photo courtesy of the Department of Social Anthropology
"AoU Congress coming to Cambridge tells us that our recent city story has found solutions to global challenges. I look forward to sharing our successes, challenges, and future goals at the Congress next summer."
- Cllr Anna Smith, Leader of Cambridge City Council
Andrew Burrell, AoU Chair, said,
"Cambridge is a world leader in Designing for the Future. We’re thrilled to be working with partners in the city over the next few months to hear their stories, especially as many of us in the AoU know about Cambridge’s rapid growth. As an organisation we enable knowledge sharing, so seeing and hearing in person how a city approaches change, is in the DNA of the Academy. That experience will be enhanced by involving the people of Cambridge.
"Congress is an invaluable way for people who love cities to learn from a place and share experiences of other places with a host city. As part of that, we are talking to people about where we need to go. I’m sure places like Marmalade Lane, which was shortlisted for one of our Urbanism Awards this year, and Eddington will feature, and perhaps the new Biomedical Campus. We’ll also bring some new voices to Cambridge to hear about what other cities are doing on affordable housing, transport, and retrofitting old buildings.
"Rapid growth impacts many cities worldwide, especially in how they deliver improvements to people’s quality of life. It raises big questions about housing, income inequality, physical and digital connectivity, resource management, and adapting historic buildings to meet climate change targets. Cambridge is rightly proud of its investments in quality urban design. We hope that our international network can inspire Cambridge to build on this recent record as it shapes its future vision for sustainable and inclusive growth. That’s undoubtedly a way to deliver on Designing for the Future."
Cllr Anna Smith, Leader of Cambridge City Council, said,
"Here in Cambridge, we are striving to enable growth in ways that address our commitment to tackle climate change and biodiversity emergencies and make sure Cambridge becomes a fairer city with economic success shared more equally. We are building new communities that provide quality homes and employment opportunities. In the past twenty years, we have worked together to deliver two major urban extensions in the south and west of the city, and now our focus now is on future development in the north and east of the city, but we still have many challenges and further lessons to learn about building sustainable, liveable neighbourhoods. AoU Congress coming to Cambridge tells us that our recent city story has found solutions to global challenges.
"I look forward to sharing our successes, challenges, and future goals at the Congress next summer. The AoU Congress in Cambridge is an opportunity for us to share where we have been successfully Designing for the Future and also get some international perspectives on what Designing for the Future means for us and looks like elsewhere."