12th Asian Urbanization Conference an Unqualified Success: A Report and Note of Thanks from George Pomeroy

Dear Fellow Geographers,

Back when Debarchana Ghosh was Chair, the Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group had kindly provided some sponsorship funds for the recently held 12th Asian Urbanization Conference – thank you! Sponsors were fully acknowledged at the conference the funds were instrumental in having a wonderful conference.

Below my signature I have pasted in a news item that you are welcome to include in your newsletter / website. Additionally, I have included two photos from the conference.

Sincerely,
George

Exploring the theme of “Urban Dynamics, Environment and Health” the 12th Asian Urbanization Conference was successfully convened at Banaras Hindu University in the famous pilgrimage city of Varanasi, India during December 28 to 30, 2013. Among the leading outcomes of the conference was a 21 point set of recommendations to be forwarded to the sponsoring government of India agencies. An ad hoc committee developed the recommendations based on the papers presented, panel discussions, and remarks by distinguished opening and valedictory speakers. In total, over 150 papers were presented. International participation the conference was strong, with nearly 50 presenters hailing from over 15 countries, as well over 100 scholars and practitioners from within India.

The conference featured numerous and substantive technical paper sessions and thought provoking panel sessions. The Keynote Address delivered by noted urban geographer Debnath Mookherjee (Western Washington University) spoke to the need for a more regional vision for planning using the greater Delhi metropolitan region as a case study. Remarks from Distinguished Guest and leading geographer, R.P. Mishra, highlighted the need for developing indigenous solutions to urban problems. In the Valedictory Address, respected academician and former Director of the National Mapping Organization of India, Dr. Prithvish Nag, spoke of the need for improved plan implementation. The Valedictory Keynote Speaker was Prof. Keshav of the University of Central Missouri and Guest of Honor was Prof. Rameshwari Pandya, Chairman of the Protection of Child Rights Commission, State of Gujarat.

Tremendous credit for the conference success belongs to the local convener, Prof. B.R.K. Sinha, who was ably assisted by local organizer Prof. Ram Bilas. Several heartfelt testimonials about Dr. Sinha’s efforts were made during the valedictory session, providing evidence of a rewarding conference. Gratitude also goes to Prof. Rana P.B. Singh and the Geography Department at Banaras Hindu University for their support of the conference.

Sponsors, acknowledged throughout the conference activities, included the following Specialty Groups (SG) of the Association of American Geographers (AAG): the Regional Development and Planning SG, the Asian SG, and the Health and Medical Geography SG.

The next conference is to be held in Yogyakarta Indonesia, January 9-11, 2016. The lead local organizer is Dr. Rini Rachmawati, Faculty of Geography, Gadjah Mada University. In addition to paper sessions, there will also be a local planning related mobile workshop as well as a pre-conference excursion to Bali.

For more information about the Asian Urbanization Conference Series, contact George Pomeroy, Shippensburg University gmpome@nullship.edu. Pomeroy serves as the Executive Secretary of the Asian Urban Research Association (AURA), which manages the conference series. AURA may be found on Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/AsianUrbanResearchAssociationaura ) .

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