About the Conference

Throughout the world and especially in the Global South, urbanisation is a dominant trend leading to a dramatic growth of cities. Hence, large agglomerations are further expanding and the number of so-called Megacities will increase in the future. The over-complexity of problems experienced by Megacities of today demands new approaches and innovative solutions for the Megacities of tomorrow in order to direct urbanisation towards sustainable pathways.

Especially in the context of climate change, Future Megacities play a significant role on a global level as they are both massive contributors to green house gases as well as vulnerable victims of the phenomenon. Therefore, Future Megacities are a crucial arena for sustainable development and need to become active drivers of climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as energy and resource efficiency.

Sustainable Development
of the Megacities of Tomorrow

The research programme “Sustainable Development of the Megacities of Tomorrow” (2005-2013) funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has supported nine international projects to work in different Future Megacities in Asia, Africa and Latin America on various related topics:

2nd International BMBF Conference

Future Megacities
in Action

Innovative Solutions for Energy- and
Climate-Efficient Urbanisation

May 14 – 16, 2013 | Hamburg (Germany)

world map

Combining research and practical application, the project teams in alliance with local partners from politics and administrations, universities, civil society and the private sector, developed new theoretical concepts, practical approaches and both technical as well as non-technical innovations for sustainable urban development.

During the conference “Future Megacities in Action”, innovative ideas and good practices will be presented to an international community of researchers, practitioners and decision-makers. This international and transdisciplinary dialogue will take place in the harbour city of Hamburg. Here the International Building Exhibition and the HafenCity development project show urban solutions that address climate change or manage the transition towards green energy - a suitable setting for learning from each other, exploring good practices and developing transferable solutions to overcome the urban ingenuity gaps.

Conference Topics

The conference focuses on “New Solutions
and Concepts for Energy and Climate Efficient Urbanisation” related to

  • Planning, Management and Steering
  • Sustainable Urban Infrastructure and Services
  • Renewable Urban Energy
  • Intelligent Mobility and Transport Systems
  • Resource Efficiency
  • Architecture and Urban Design
  • Integrated Land Use
  • Adaptation and Resilience
  • Participation and Governance
  • Capacity Building, Education and
    Awareness Raising

A diverse conference programme is structured
into five thematic sections with guiding questions:

Setting the scene

What are the challenges of Future Megacities in the context of climate change? What are urban realities demanding from research? What are the innovations needed to realise the change towards sustainability?

Innovative Solutions

What are the promising contributions generated by applied research? Which are good practice examples in the field of sustainable urban development?


How can innovation be successfully implemented into local practice? What are key factors for generating sustainable impacts?

Transfer, Dissemination and Upscaling

What are promising ways for the multiplication of good practice? How can innovation be upscaled?

Visions for Future Megacities

What are visionary concepts for sustainable development of Megacities of tomorrow? What do we need to achieve that? What has to be done today?

Who is contributing?

International actors such as

  • Researchers
  • Practitioners
  • Public Sector Representatives
  • Political Decision Maker
  • Community Activists
  • Private Entrepreneurs from around the world

Members of international projects of BMBF-Future Megacities Programme

Who should attend?

Promoters of sustainable cities from around the world, including

  • municipal decision-makers and city managers
  • urban researchers and experts
  • developers of housing and urban infrastructure
  • public utilities
  • private enterprises and industry
  • urban planners and architects
  • NGOs and community initiatives
  • experts in international cooperation

Reasons to attend

Network and meet other dedicated urbanists on an international level. Generate, discuss and exchange innovative ideas. Receive new impulses on how to

  • use renewable energies for a reliable and sustainable urban energy supply
  • shorten commuting times and improve urban mobility
  • improve quality of planning through modelling
  • make efficient use of resources (water, waste, food)
  • design climate-friendly housing
  • improve capacity for cross-sectorial management in administration
  • encourage participation and local action
  • activate the potential of educational institutions for sustainability
  • build alliances between research, public authorities, the private sector and civil society