Conference focuses on ‘Role of Universities in Sustainable, Just & Inclusive Cities’

Pitt and Newcastle University in England will co-host a two-day conference on Jan. 21 and 22 on “The Role of Universities in Sustainable, Just & Inclusive Cities.”

The two universities, both set in post-industrial cities that have made innovative changes, have over the past few years forged close ties. This is part of the International Place-Based University Network on academically based, globally minded community engagement.

The goal of the conference, a signature event of Pitt’s Year of Engagement, is “to both define what the place-based agenda is and to think systematically through the advantages of an international network that is focused on post-industrial cities.”

The event will feature a discussion between Pitt’s Chancellor Patrick Gallagher and Chris Day, vice-chancellor and president of Newcastle University, on universities’ current challenges and strategies, and resources for their respective regions, starting at 9:15 a.m. Jan. 21. Carissa Schively Slotterback, dean of Pitt’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, will moderate.

The plenary session from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. Jan. 21 will focus on “Post Industrial Cities and the SDGs (sustainability development goals) — A Framework for the Future?” Panelists include Fred Brown, president and CEO, Forbes Fund; Grant Ervin, chief resilience officer and assistant director for Pittsburgh’s Department of City Planning; Aurora Sharrard, Pitt’s director of Sustainability; and Graham Long, senior lecturer, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University.

The Jan. 22 session will start with a roundtable discussion on “Applying Research to Address Community Health Disparities and Wellness” and end with a capstone conversation on “Community Engagement and Place-Based Approaches: Towards a Common Vocabulary and Mission.”

Find more information about the conference and details on registering for these and other sessions on the University Center for International Studies website.