SBE16 Torino declared a success

The SBE16 Torino conference took place during the period February 17-19, as part of the international SBE series of events. The Torino conference was the second in a series of 20 events taking place this year, and can be declared to be very successful in all respects.

Although the theme (Towards post--carbon cities) was fairly specialized, about 140 delegates attended the 1 1/2 day event. The topic is consistent with the increased recent interest by researchers and EU funding programs in urban issues, especially at the small urban scale, with some extending to regional or territorial scale.

Parallel sessions included meetings on a decision support tool developed in the FASUDIR EU program, on Sustainable university campuses, policies and regulations, urban scale methods and tools, results of the EU FP7 ODYSSEUS program, sustainable retrofitting of urban districts, assessment methods and tools, urban infrastructure, systematic approaches to sustainability, urban case studies, opportunities for synergies at the European level, and socio-economic issues in the development of so-called smart cities. The program also included a session on how buildings could contribute towards post-carbon cities.

In addition to plenaries and planned sessions, a special session was held on the planned SBE Survey of effective climate change mitigation actions, which resulted in interesting and detailed discussions and contributions to the further development of the survey contents. The SBE report on COP21, Buildings Day and the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction was also presented.

An interesting aspect of the conference was the presence of representatives of CESBA, (Common European Sustainable Built Environment Assessment), an alliance of regional agencies and NGOs that are cooperating to implement a common framework for building assessment throughout Europe, based on a generic framework with regional variants.

There was a high level of informal interchange taking place throughout the event, probably due to the fact that many delegates have worked together in many EU projects over a long period of time.

The organizers were pleased that there was no financial deficit despite free entry being given to students, and this was largely due to the Politecnico di Torino providing free facilities, support by the City of Torino and a minimum of expenses for organizational overheads.

Warm thanks are extended to to Patrizia Lomardi of Polito Turin, Andrea Moro, Giulia Barbano and Claudio Capitanio of iiSBE Italia.

Nils Larsson
SBE Partner representative