Call for Contributions

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Call for papers and other contributions:

5th International conference on Canadian, Chinese and African sustainable urbanization

Infrastructure, Land Management & Markets

Abstracts Submission Deadline: July 16, 2023

Abstracts Submission Site:

Dates: December 10-17, 2023

Place: Nairobi, Kenya (Hybrid)

Languages: English and French


Email: [email protected]

Africa will experience the world’s highest rate of urbanization and the largest absolute contribution to urban growth in the upcoming decades.   Despite this growth, the continent lags behind the average worldwide urbanization rate of 44%.  While Africa comprises a diversity of demographics, urban forms, levels of infrastructure, a range of traditions and systems of construction, and an array of urban economies and systems of land tenure, its growing cities face common challenges.  Sustainable urbanization is crucial for the development of self-sufficient societies and the preservation of Africa’s rich natural habitats.

The 5th ICCCASU conference addresses these challenges in search of innovative solutions and best practices -- with a focus on systems of finance.   Included is a critical discussion of existing programs (e.g., The Agenda 2063, The Africa We Want, Belt and Road Initiatives, etc.) and the various partners involved.  Successes and challenges will be reviewed to determine if and how strategies might be generalized, advanced, or adapted across African countries.  In addition to highlighting examples from Africa, participants are invited to present innovative financing and city-building strategies from China, Latin America, and elsewhere that might be applicable to the African context.

The larger goal of the conference, then, is the investigation of practical, feasible, and proven mechanisms to support a more sustainable, productive, and equitable urban future for Africa. To this end, a broad, international perspective is necessary. Approaches to topics can be theory-based, case-study-based, technically oriented, or focused on the social and physical context in which change takes place.

The organizing committee of ICCCASU hereby calls for contributions in the form of papers to be presented in either English or French.  Submissions are welcome in (but not limited to) the following thematic areas:

A. Alternative models of urban financing

  • Studies of past, current, and projected investments in city-building
  • The financing of urban infrastructure through “build, own, operate & transfer” (BOOT), concessions, public/private partnerships (PPP), debt financing, and other instruments
  • Urban design models for cultural diversity, ecological adaptation, and geographical sensitivity
  • Transport innovations for attaining the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • National infrastructure projects in support of city development
  • Social business in sustainable infrastructure development
  • The use of sustainable materials, building systems, and energy sources in urban development

B. Equitable and sustainable regional development models

  • Rural-urban disparity and development challenges
  • The bridge/disconnect between rural development and urban prosperity
  • Sustainable rural development and urbanization
  • Adapting governance systems to local cultural and political realities
  • Planning for vigorous, egalitarian, and sustainable productivity
  • Deploying social capital and support systems for indigenous and/or bottom-up urban development
  • Climate resilience and urban sustainability
  • Planning for urban resilience
  • The discourse of “green” development and lessons-learned
  • Exhaustion of urban ecosystems using wood energy

C. Post-socialist and socialist reforms in land-based financing

  • Urban land reforms through municipalisation
  • Land management information systems and urban planning instruments
  • Belt and Road Initiatives: connectivity and globalization
  • Greening the Belt and Road: opportunities and challenges
  • Community-based ownership and financing for green rural/urban infrastructure
  • Community land trusts

Abstracts of 250 words should be submitted at by July 16, 2023. will be referred to the scientific committee for peer review. Upon acceptance, presenters may prepare a complete paper for consideration for publication in our Springer book series “City Development: Issues and Best Practices” and our upcoming ICCCASU online journal (for the details, please visit at

ICCCASU was founded in 2014 as a mechanism through which partners in Canada, China and Africa could collaborate with UN-Habitat on issues related to urban development. As an international think-tank, ICCCASU brings together researchers, academics, and representatives from government and industry for in-depth discussions on urbanization, and to promote the dissemination and implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda, adopted in 2016. The fifth biennial ICCCASU in Nairobi in December 2023, follows conferences in Ottawa, Canada (2015), Yaoundé, Cameroon (2017), Chengdu, China (2019), and Montreal, Canada (2021).

We look forward to seeing you in Nairobi and taking the opportunity to share and learn!

ICCCASU5 Organizing Committee
University of Ottawa
60 University St. (030)
Simard Hall
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1N 6N5

E-mail : [email protected]; [email protected]