Content description

CityLAB VII: The Sustainable City: An Integrated Perspective

The CityLAB VII summer school aims to address the sustainable city from an interdisciplinary perspective. We assess how the introduction of technology can transform contemporary cities towards more sustainability. The focus is however not only technology driven innovation, but addresses also socio-economic and political issues, spatial planning and social justice, etc. All this is moreover put in historical perspective.

In concrete terms we focus on specific environmental issues such as water and air quality, mobility, the urban metabolism and resilience, and address them in interdisciplinary seminars in which specific types of new technology are discussed in the presence of engineers, sociologists, planners, economists, historians etc. We also organize field trips to projects and bottom-up initiatives related to sustainability and citizen science.

The summer school combines lectures by a range of distinguished external speakers and local staff from the Antwerp Urban Studies Institute and other departments of the University of Antwerp with field trips and discussion sessions. Specifically, the Summer School will be centred around 5 days focusing on specific themes that address crucial challenges for cities.

Monday 1 July - Friday 5 July 2019

Day 1: Mobility
Day 2: Water
Day 3: Air
Day 4: Urban metabolism
Day 5: Social justice and engagement

View the week schedule

Each day will be divided in lectures and related field trips. Each theme will be addressed by experts from the social sciences and humanities as well as natural sciences and bioengineering. Each day, the speakers will also be a mixture of experts with different insitutional backgrounds (academia, public and private sector, civil society).

Scientific and Organizing Committee

  • Pieter Billen (Bio-Chemical Green Engineering & Materials, UAntwerp)
  • Claudio Coletta (USI, UAntwerp)
  • Ann Crabbé (USI & CRESC, UAntwerp)
  • Bert De Munck (USI & Centre for Urban History, UAntwerp)
  • Rudy Derdelinckx (USI & Applied Engineering, UAntwerp)
  • Tim Soens (Centre for Urban History, UAntwerp)


Greet De Block (USI & Centre for Urban History, UAntwerp), Stéphane Frioux (Université Lumière Lyon 2), Shivant Jhagroe (University of Leiden), Dirk Lauwers (UGhent/ Research Group for Urban Development, UAntwerp), Constanza Parra (KU Leuven), Roeland Samson (UAntwerp), Reinhilde Schmidt and Ronny Van Looveren (City of Antwerp),

Tim Soens (Centre for Urban History, UAntwerp), Samuel Van de Vijver (Waterplan, City of Antwerp), Thomas Vanoutrive (USI & Research Group for Urban Development, UAntwerp), Peter Vermeulen (Ringland), Marjoleine Weemaes (Aquafin), Patrick Willems (hydraulics, KU Leuven) - and more to be confirmed.

For who

Postgraduates, PhD students and professionals in urban studies, related fields, science and technology with focus on sustainability.

Students from various disciplines will participate in the discussions and join guided field trips, workshops and social activities. They will also share knowledge and interests, and work in teams. During the last day, the students' work will be collectively presented and discussed.


What CityLAB participants from previous editions say

"The way the lectures were given was very involving and organizers welcomed questions and discussion right in the process of the lecture. Very diverse students helped to see the problem from the angles I would never even imagined existed."


"An excellent course. I would highly recommend similar courses to colleagues."


"The summer school had a very interesting and diverse group of participants; a programme that crosses disciplines; and a good combination of talks and field trips."