International Conference on Mountain Cities, Climate Change and Urban Sustainability

CRRID, Chandigarh is organizing an International Conference on “Mountain Cities, Climate Change and Urban Sustainability” from November 6-8, 2017 and a two-day Pre-Conference Workshop on “Towards Achieving Green Growth, Eco-Efficiency & SDGs for Urban Sustainability” from November 4-5, 2017.

There will also be a "Youth Forum for Social & Solidarity Economy, Peace and Urban Sustainability" at the conference. The International Conference, the pre conference Workshop and Youth Forum are part of the Chandigarh Climate Meet in collaboration with the Asia Climate Change Education Center (ACCEC), Jeju, South Korea; the Department of Environment Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh and the Centre for Study of Administration of Relief (CSAR), New Delhi. The Working Group 05 of International Sociological Association (ISA) on Famine and Society; the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh; The Climate Reality Project India, New Delhi; the Centre for Urban Green Spaces (CUGS), New Delhi and the Association of Professional Social Workers and Development Practitioners (APSWDP), Chandigarh are also likely to support the organization of events in various capacities.

Call for Abstracts for the Conference & Applications for the Pre-Conference Workshop 

The call for abstracts for International Conference and applications for pre conference workshop are open. The conference and workshop aim to deliberate on interlinked issues of mountains and mountain cities, climate change, green growth, eco efficiency, SDGs and urban sustainability. In a changing climate, mountain cities and regions are becoming vulnerable. Mountains provide the world with resources such as water, timber, biodiversity and hydraulic energy and they are at risk ( They also play a crucial role in maintaining hydrology, supplying drinking and irrigation water to the habitats in mountains as well as plains through network of rivers, produce hydro energy, control temperature, and support food production and bio diversity in large parts of the world. Mountains and mountain cities are facing various challenges due to rapid and unplanned urbanization, emergence of slums with multiple deprivations, growing number of tourists, depletion of green cover & bio-diversity, lack of adequate treatment of liquid and solid waste, pollution etc. The growing cities and high concentration of urban population seem to contribute to the climate change and fast depletion of natural resources. Mountains provide fresh water to over 50% of the population in the world which is under stress.

Mountain habitats are under threat of natural disasters like earth quakes, floods, landslides, glacial lake bursts, cloud bursts, and forest fires. The huge mountain populations face social, economic and environmental issues due to construction of dams and resultant rehabilitation. The risks and vulnerabilities are growing in cities in mountain regions. The occurrence of floods is on rise. Water and air pollution are risking health of the people.

The urban sustainability seems to be at stake due to un-sustainability of mountain cities and habitats. Achieving many of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be particularly challenging for mountain states and cities due to their difficult hilly terrains and weak institutional base along with multiple social and economic vulnerabilities. There is a need to protect mountains and safeguard the interests of mountain people who have unique cultural diversity, indigenous beliefs, climate friendly living environment and traditional wisdom for conservation of ecology and biodiversity and agriculture practices. The conference is likely to come up with concrete ideas for better urban future in mountain regions amid the climate change.

Since role of mountains are crucial for addressing many social, economic, environmental concerns cities are facing in hilly areas and even nearby plains, the conference will deliberate and discuss the issues, alternatives, innovations and modalities for sustaining the same. The sessions/ papers on different contexts of the theme/s are being invited. Collective actions, environmental and social movements in this regard will also be discussed.  Poverty is a multi dimensional problem and it is more crucial in mountain regions. Poverty is closely linked with marginalization. The issues emerging in poverty alleviation require extensive discussion and dissemination of good practices for replication. Participation is another important aspect of urban management and governance in mountain cities and therefore sessions are welcome to discuss emerging patterns of participation in various social, political and economic contexts in mountain regions/ areas. The sessions on various aspects of mountain cities and regions, water and forest management, adaptation, resilience, marginalization, poverty, hunger, food, decentralization in local as well as global contexts are welcome and how the same can help in resolving various types of conflicts in the urban societies in mountain regions.

The conference will also discuss the emerging issues and options capturing the full import of the acronym FAMINE (Food insecurity as a consequence of severely diminished purchasing power of vulnerable  groups in society, Alienation on account of discrimination based on Caste, Color or Creed; Marginalization on account of severely diminishing real incomes; Inequality based on dysfunctional social systems and travails of the workers in  Informal Sector, Negative impact on vulnerable groups of natural calamities & man-made disasters such as civil wars and economic shocks caused by market volatility; & Exclusion from mainstream society based on social and economic ostracization resulting in social conflict, unrest and violence) in the context of the mountain cities, climate change and urban sustainability.

The abstracts are invited in a wide range of areas, including the following:

o Mountain Cities

- Special Challenges for mountain cities

- Planning, governance and urban management

- Improvement of transportation system

- Strategy on prevention of disasters

- Improvement of educational, cultural and social welfare facility

- Improvement of housing quality, basic services and livelihood

- Green growth of cities- smart innovations and inclusive initiatives

- Meeting demands of energy, water and food

- Smart urban development amid globalization, liberalization and privatization

o Climate Change

- The role of environmental NGOs in response to climate change

- The role of citizens in response to climate change

- The role of enterprises in response to climate change

- How to improve energy efficiency against climate change

- Nature-based approach to climate change

- Critical review of Paris climate change agreement

-Global initiatives-local impact

- Managing river basins and related issues

- Global water governance

- Climate change, water, energy and food: Interlinkages and issues

- Hydro based development in Himalayan and other mountain regions

- Carbon management and green technological interventions

- Natural disaster management

o Urban Sustainability

-Achieving SDGs-status, issues and challenges

- Role of cities in sustainable urban development

- How to overcome over-urbanization, growth of slums & poverty

- Eco mobility and environmental refugees

- Challenge of affordable housing

- Urban transportation and environmental pollution

- Improving Eco-efficiency and Green Growth

- Issues and alternatives in water, sanitation, SWM

- Building a sound-material-cycle society through 3 Rs

- Environmentally sustainable transport

- Culture, traditional wisdom and identity

- Addressing urban concerns to promote Social & Solidarity Economy (SSE)

- Role of youths in SSE, Peace and urban sustainability 

o Other Important Issues for the sessions

-Collective action and social movements

-Participatory planning

-Rights based development

-Natural resource management-water and forests

-Participation, organizational democracy and self management

-Climate change, natural disasters and food insecurity

-Social accountability

-Marginalization & deprivation

-Poverty, inequality & exclusion

-Community governance

-Women empowerment

The focus of the conference is to understand and examine the distinctive trajectories of the spiraling urbanization process in mountain cities and regions in the world and how climate change is likely to affect urban sustainability. In this context what alternatives are emerging to cope with the emerging challenges of climate change in mountain cities and regions to achieve sustainable development goals. It aims to provoke questions in different contexts vis a vis many of the above aspects is concerned and explore various alternatives to manage the growth and development in juxtaposition with increasing pressure of climate change, inequalities, poverty and social exclusions.



Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID), an autonomous research institute, is among the 27 research institutes in the country supported by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi. It enjoys the distinction of being the only one of its kind in the northwestern states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and the UT of Chandigarh. CRRID was accorded the "national status" in 1984 by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India, in recognition of its contribution to the cause of social science research in the broader national perspective. CRRID has a Population Research Centre, Urban Governance and Development Unit, HUDCO Chair, RBI Chair and SBI Chair. The HUDCO Chair is part of Urban Governance and Development Unit at CRRID and it is engaged in research and training on various important urban issues. CRRID's primary focus has been on carrying out socially relevant research on rural and industrial development in the wider social, economic and political context. It is well networked with innumerable universities and educational institutions. The institute is old, renowned and prestigious and has a vibrant intellectual, cultural and social ethos. Please visit website of CRRID for more information:


Asia Climate Change Education Center (ACCEC), Jeju, South Korea: ACCEC was established jointly by Jeju Local Government and the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea in 2009 to respond to climate change needs of governmental organizations and other stakeholders to contribute to the solutions of the problem of climate change through education. ACCEC runs courses of education on climate change and its related issues-General and Professional Courses. ACCEC runs a creative and responsible climate change education with a goal to be accredited by United Nations as a world-class professional climate change educational institute. Please visit website of ACCEC, Jeju, South Korea for more information:

Department of Environment Studies, Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh: It is one of the important departments. Panjab University is very prestigious university of India and it has long history. It is ranked number one amongst Universities in India and Ranked 363 in the Thomson Reuters-powered 'Best Global Universities Rankings 2016' by US News and Global Report. PU has 78 teaching and research departments and 15 Centers/Chairs for teaching and research at the main campus located at Chandigarh. The Department of Environment Studies of PU runs M.Sc. and PhD programme. The department has achieved good visibility in India and abroad. The Department has its own library with latest books and reading material, laboratory facilities with many analytical equipments for teaching, demonstration and research. The facility of Visual aids like LCD projector, Slide and Over-head projectors are available for imparting instructions to the students. The department also has equipments like HPLC, UV-VIS Spectrophotometer, BOD Incubator, Air Quality Monitor, Thermo-hygrometer, Dust track, and Gas Analyzer. Please visit website of Department for more information: index.php 

Centre for Study of Administration of Relief (CSAR), New Delhi: The centre for the Study of Administration of Relief (CSAR) is a civil society organization which specializes in studying different types of flash-points in society stemming from Food insecurity in its extreme forms; alienation from the mainstream of society due to joblessness; homelessness or refugee status; marginalization resulting from market shock and spiraling indebtedness; inequality arising out of poverty, low level of education and inadequate political voice; natural calamities and man-made disasters leading to death serious injury of earning members, loss of productive assets and allied negative consequences; as well as exclusion emerging from ostracization based on caste, race, religion, color or gender. Please visit website of CSAR for more information:

Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC): Chandigarh is a new city and it was planned by the French Architect Le Corbusier in early Fifties. It is called the “The City Beautiful”. Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) came into being under the Punjab Municipal Corporation Law (Extension to Chandigarh) Ordinance, 1994, promulgated by the President of the India with effect from 24th day of May 1994. MCC is responsible for upkeep and maintenance of its lush green infrastructure and services. The architecture and planned character of Chandigarh are unique. The city also takes pride in best quality of life, human development, per capita income, greenery and e-governance etc. Please visit website of MCC for more information:


Working Group 05 of International Sociological Association (ISA) on Famine and Society: The Thematic Group of ISA on “Famine & Society” was founded in 1985. In 1998, “Famine & Society” became a Working Group (WG05).The Working Group 05 of ISA will be organizing 13 sessions in World Congress of Sociology to be held in Toronto (

Center for Urban Green Spaces (CUGS), New Delhi: The Center for Urban Green Spaces (CUGS) at the Aravali Foundation for Education (AFE) is a leading think tank in New Delhi which focuses on many urban dimensions including urban green spaces, mountain cities and urban futures (

The Climate Reality Project India, New Delhi: In 2006 Climate Reality Project Chairman & former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, sparked an international conversation on climate change. The Climate Reality Project India establied in 2008 aims to catalyse a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every level of society, help the government reach its INDC and promote clean energy ( and

Association of Professional Social Workers and Development Practitioners (APSWDP), Chandigarh: APSWDP is a registered not for profit professional association of professional social workers and development practitioners working in various social welfare domain across the country. (

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