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SciencesPo Kuwait Program Call for Paper: “Wise Cities” in the Mediterranean? The Challenge of Environmental and Social Sustainability

 Call for Papers and Presentations

 “Wise Cities” in the Mediterranean? The Challenge of Environmental and Social Sustainability

Conference date : 8-9 March 2018 in Paris, Sciences Po

Call for paper deadline : 30 November 2017

  • Organized by the Kuwait Chair, SciencesPo
  • Supported by CIDOB, the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs


Cities are home to over half the world’s population, consume a majority of its resources and cause a large share of its waste. Cities are a challenge for global sustainability. They are also crucial for its solution. Their settlement density and networks of creativity provide the space and the ideas for improved resource management. Above all they epitomize the needs and aspirations of their citizens. They are spaces of longing and belonging with promises of social equitability, individual freedom and political participation.

Over a dozen think tanks from around the world launched the Wise Cities research and action platform in 2016.[1] It builds on existing concepts of city planning and management such as “sustainable city”, “green city”, “eco-city”, “ubiquitous city” and more recently “smart city”, but adds non-technocratic angles that are inspired by citizenship, such as socio-economic development, political participation and cultural diversity.

Cities on the southern and northern shores of the Mediterranean belong to the oldest in the world and can draw on a rich tradition of architecture, urban development and municipal administration. With all their differences, these cities share common pressing challenges such as environmental degradation, climate change, mass urbanization, migration, growing inequality and the fourth industrial revolution, just to name a few.

Against this backdrop the Kuwait Chair at Sciences Po invites to a conference on the topic of “Wise Cities” in the Mediterranean? The Challenge of Environmental and Social Sustainability, in cooperation with CIDOB, the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs. The conference will be held on 8-9 March 2018 in Paris.

The policy-oriented conference will gather city planners, policy makers, academics and representatives of NGOs and international organizations. It seeks to discuss alternative pathways of urbanization, engage citizens and develop ideas for the localization process of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Beside large metropolises we are interested in participants from smaller “second cities” that are not necessarily capitals of their respective countries, but have their distinct economic and cultural dynamics (e.g. Alexandria, Nice, Oran, Naples, Jeddah, Dubrovnik, Dubai, Barcelona, Izmir, Thessaloniki, Tangier). Views from neighboring regions such as the Gulf and Sub-Saharan Africa will also be discussed on one panel.

Beside presentations for the discussion at the conference we are interested in policy papers that will be published under a copyright agreement in a policy report after the conference. The papers should be ambitious in scope and not too specialized. The length of papers should be 3,000-4,000 words and they will be remunerated with €1000 (gross) upon their publication. We are particularly interested in papers about:

 The history of urbanization in the Mediterranean and the Gulf

Electric mobility and new urban transportation networks

Cities and social transfers and services

Political administration models of the city

Inclusion of Marginals: Working Poor, Unemployed, Migrants, and Disabled

Cities, international cooperation and third track diplomacy

Cities, NGOs and neighborhood initiatives

Cities and their hinterland

Management of utilities: Water, Waste, Electricity

Economic clusters and networks of innovation

Cities and climate change adaptation

Cities and the 4th industrial revolution

Abstracts of proposed presentations and/ or policy papers with a short CV and list of publications should be submitted electronically to until 30 November 2017. Authors of selected presentations and papers will be notified by 2 December 2017 and should submit their papers ahead of the conference by 1 February 2018. When needed, the Kuwait Chair at Sciences Po will bear all costs for travel and accommodation of presenters and authors according to Sciences Po travel policy. If institutional funding of the employer is available, this is appreciated.

We look forward to receiving your abstracts and proposals.



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