Sustainable Cities and Landscapes

Rethinking the City- APRU Sustainability Hub from International Ducks on Vimeo.

The University of Oregon, an international leader in sustainable urban design and landscape planning through its renowned Sustainable Cities Initiative and its Department of Landscape Architecture, is hosting the APRU Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Research Hub. The Hub aims to engage with cross-disciplinary experts, government officials and non-governmental organisations to consider Pacific Rim cities in the context of their many landscape interdependencies, including services, networks and systems within and beyond the urban periphery.  It will harness the breadth of experiences and socio-ecological contexts across the Pacific Rim to compare existing practices and models of city-landscape interactions, and to initiate solutions and policy interventions to make entire city-landscape complexes more sustainable.

Urban Resilience Asia Pacific Conference

Urban Resilience Asia Pacific Conference
7-8 November 2018: UNSW Sydney, Australia

How can vulnerable, low-income neighborhoods in fast-growing cities in the Asia-Pacific region become more resilient to disasters and climate change?


Asia Pacific is one of the world’s fastest urbanizing regions, as well as home to the largest number of people living in low-income settlements. Yet, the region is susceptible to a wide range of natural hazards. It is expected that climate change will contribute to higher sea-level rise, stronger windstorms and higher temperatures, increasing urban risk and exacerbating migration. 

This two-day conference invites practitioners, researchers and decision-makers from all disciplines to present, discuss, debate and recommend realizable social, political and economic measures that build resilience in the Asia-Pacific region. Please see the list of speakers here.

2018 APRU Sustainable Cities and Landscape Conference & Design Field School

2018 APRU Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Conference was held at the University of Hong Kong from September 6-9, 2018, being organized by the Division of Landscape Architecture.

APRU-SCL conferences provide opportunities for academics and experts from different regions, cultures and disciplines around the Pacific Rim to collaborate on common sustainability challenges and to develop new understandings and responses that can foster transformative change within cities, and between cities and their surrounding landscapes. This three-day conference was structured around 11 working groups.

- City-landscape sustainability
Landscape and human health
- Productive cities, infrastructural ecologies
- Smart cities
- Sustainable urban design
- Transitions in urban waterfronts
- Urban biodiversity
- Urban renewable energy
- Urban water and sanitation
- Urban-rural linkages
- Vulnerable communities

The conference also included a one-day public session on September 7 to open the discussion up to the local community, practice, government and community groups.

Click here to see the flyer.
Click here to see the WeChat announcement.

The 7th Annual EPIC Network Conference

April 8-11, 2018: University of Wisconsin- Madison (USA)

Partnering Higher Education and Communities to Improve the Places We Live.

The Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Network (EPIC-N) is pleased to invite university representatives, city officials and organizational partners to our Seventh Annual Conference. The EPIC model offers a proven, replicable and sustainable locally-based model, and our network represents more than 25 existing programs implementing this model.

2017 APRU Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Conference

The 1st Annual Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Conference with the theme U.S. Pacific Northwest in Pacific Rim Perspective concluded on September 17, 2017. The conference was hosted by the University of Oregon and took place at the White Stag Building in Portland, Oregon.

120 speakers, guest, and delegates from over 11 economies in the Asia Pacific convened in Portland to consider and discuss the importance of the management of the nexus between cities and their surrounding landscapes to the most pressing sustainability issues. This includes the degree to which connections to regional landscapes provide health, vitality and a sense of place to urban residents. Numerous “sustainable” solutions have failed due to lack of understanding of the city-landscape system as a whole.

Through cross-disciplinary collaboration, the Association of the Pacific Rim Universities’ Sustainable Cities and Landscape Hub explored in this conference the synergies and tradeoffs among different approaches to enhancing landscape-level sustainability and resilience in the face of continued urban growth and global climate change.

6th Annual EPIC-N Conference and Workshop 

March 20-22, 2017: Texas A&M University, College Station, TX (USA)

The Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities (EPIC) framework is a unique, highly scaled university-community partnership program.

It takes advantage of the time and talent of universities to help communities accelerate and advance their own socially and environmentally forward-looking goals.  Originally developed at the University of Oregon, there are now over 25 EPIC programs, demonstrating the ability of this model to be adapted for different university and community contexts.

The 6th Annual EPIC-N Conference and Workshop is the signature workshop and training conference, combining those seeking to start a new program with representatives from existing EPIC programs sharing their insights and strategies to continuously improve the effectiveness of the EPIC approach. For new participants, the goal of the workshop is to help them leave with tangible action items, if not the beginnings of an actual partnership itself.

Information about the conference and the EPIC model can be found here: or here:

APRU Sustainable Cities & Landscapes Research Hub Focuses on City-Landscape Interplay

APRU members at the inaugural SCL steering group meeting.

The University of Oregon’s (UO) Global Studies Institute, host of the APRU Sustainable Cities & Landscapes Research Hub (SCL Hub), held the inaugural hub planning meeting at the UO Portland campus.

16 experts representing disciplines across Landscape Architecture, Planning & Design, Human Ecology, Environment & Sustainability and Architecture from seven member universities and the APRU International Secretariat came together to discuss the SCL Hub’s core focus, which was agreed to be on the city-landscape interplay, as well as the Hub’s key principles and main research areas of the hub for the next three to five years.

The SCL Research Hub will address local city-landscape issues associated with global challenges by engaging with partners from academia, local stakeholders, urban policy makers and major developers to bring about transformative activities and innovative solutions.

Key activities that the Hub will drive forward include the annual Sustainable Cities & Landscape conference, along-side the development of interdisciplinary research teams and collaborative projects as well as suitable and innovative training opportunities.