Network conferences and workshops

Rajiv Gandhi Centre/ecocit: ‘Innovation for Inclusive Growth’ Conference
April 2010

Building a sustainable future for a world with nine billion inhabitants will require unprecedented cooperation between business, academia and policy-makers, with inclusion at the core, concluded delegates at a one-day conference led by Imperial College Business School and the Advanced Institute of Management Research, with sponsorship from ecocit. A keynote speech by the UK government’s Chief Scientific Advisor, John Beddington, outlined the challenges all mankind will face over the next 20 years.

Ecocit Partners’ Symposium – ‘The Well Connected City’
9 March 2010

Ecocit network partners Design London and Living Labs hosted this one day symposium on how innovation in services and mobility contribute to creating sustainable cities at Imperial College London. The symposium brought together cities, companies and universities to share their experiences and to create partnerships which will allow cities to become increasingly ‘smart’ with the help of new digital service layers. The event coincided with the launch of a new publication showcasing the way cities are exploiting digital technologies to enhance their sustainability, and to transform the nature, value and effectiveness of public services.

The eco cities of China, can they teach us a lesson?
19 November 2008
Imperial College London, Skempton Building

Joint Event organised by Friends of Imperial College, Imperial College Business School and EPSRC funded Ecocit Network.
Seminar by Peter Head – OBE, FREng Director of Arup, Imperial Alumnus.

Click here to see the podcast of the seminar and pre-seminar interview.

The EPSRC Ecocit Network Workshop
13-16 October 2008, Tongji University, Shanghai, China

Organisers: Prof Chen Yi, Dr Andrew Davies, Dr Lars Frederiksen, and Ms Shelley Meehan
Supported by: EPSRC, Arup, Design London, UCL and University of Southampton.

The objectives of this workshop for the Ecocit Network members were to:

  • Meet Chinese academics and industry representatives working in the sustainable environment and to learn about their involvement and or interest in the Dongtan ecocity project
  • Develop existing research proposals for submission to the UK Research Councils (EPSRC, ESRC and others) and to explore further collaboration with Chinese partners.
  • Explore alternative sources of potential research funding in both the UK and China.

Over 45 delegates participated in this event over the three days. Delegates were both scholars from the UK and China and industry representatives, for additional details please view the delegate list.

The three day workshop took place in the French Sino Centre based at Tongji University, Siping Road. The workshop activities included:

Welcome and Introductions:

  • Prof Ye Aijun, Vice President of Tongji University and
  • Madam Gao, Vice Director of Shangahi Industrial Investment Corporation
  • Dinner at Tongji University 14th Oct – hosted by Professor Jianfu Zhao, Vice President of Tongji University

Keynote Presentations:

  • Sky liu, SIIC ‘ Dongtan Planning’
  • Prof Zheng Shiling, Tongji University, ‘Urban Planning in Shanghai’
  • Prof Zhu Daijan, Tongji University, ‘Ecocity construction in Shanghai’
  • Dr Alex Mitchell, Arup, ‘Towards urban sustainability, an integrated approach to urbanism in China’

For a PDF copy of the above presentations, please email

Tour of the Urban Planning Museum

Introductions by Chinese delegates and Funding opportunities in China.

Discussion and development of research ideas.

  • ‘Eco-city Developments – understanding the socio-technical relationships between new niches and existing urban infrastructure regimes’
  • ‘Urban Energy Systems Modelling: Chinese eco-city case study’
  • ‘Development of economic activity in Dongtan, maintaining internal cohesion and a strong regional network’
  • ‘Dongtan: A catalyst for the development of corporate capabilities in sustainable technologies?’
  • ‘Sustainable Entrepreneurial City project’
  • ‘Learning to deliver an eco-community: An international collaboration of governance, industry and academia’
  • ‘Delivering the Dongtan eco-city: Digital technologies in the design and project management of global eco-projects’
  • ‘Sustainable Innovations: End-user perceptions and practices’ (not presented)
  • ‘Guidelines for the construction of eco-city and eco-town in Chongming Island’

Full proposals available in core member area of website.

Collaboration and Developments

Dongtan Site Visit
The delegates joined by Students of Tongji University and representatives from SIIC, visited Chongming Island on Thursday 16th October.
The guided tour included a visit to Qian Wei ‘Eco-village’, the dam and wetland park, and the site of the planned Dongtan ecocity.

The EPSRC Dongtan Sustainable City Network Workshop
10 – 11 December 2007, London, UK
Organisers: Dr Andrew Davies, Dr Lars Frederiksen, and Ms Shelley Meehan
Tanaka Business School, Imperial College London

The aim of this network is to investigate sustainable economic and ecological models of peripheral urban functional units. The network will bring together a multi-disciplinary group of researchers engaged in identifying research problems, developing and testing theoretical frameworks, and offering practical guidelines that can be deployed both in Dongtan as well as similar developments elsewhere around the world.

The 35 delegates who participated in this workshop included both researchers from China, Australia and the UK, and planners and policy makers from Arup. The purpose of the workshop was to bring together the knowledge and experience of a broad range of subject areas such as urban pl anning and development, technology systems (sustainable energy, waste and water), and business models and mega p rojects.

Activities and Outputs
Day one of the workshop consisted of various activiti es for the delegates to get to know each other and to learn both about t he network and Dongtan project from presentations from the follow ing speakers:

  • Nick Leon (Director, Design London) – Introduction to the Dongtan Network
  • Roger Wood ( Arup) – The Dongtan Project, a background discussion about the development of the Dongtan ecocity
  • Prof Jeremy Watson (Head of Global Research, Arup) – Promoting Research on Dongtan
  • Dr Claire Tansley ( EPSRC) – The EPRSC support for the Dongtan Network and institutional challenges of research activities between China and the UK
  • Prof Nilay Shah (Imperial College London) – The BP Urban Energy System project,
  • The focus for day two was to share knowledge and develop research topics on the Dongtan ecocity or related issues. The outputs of these sessions can be viewed below:
  • Roadmapping Research Topics – an overview of research topics suggested by delegates for elaboration and development of Research Proposals
  • Developing Research Proposals – an elaboration of themes identified as significant and a brief outline of methodology, results, impacts and actions.

A thank you to all those who participated in and contributed to this workshop.
If you would like any further information on this event – please contact Shelley Meehan,