Leaves YEAH

1st Sustainable Tropical Urbanism Symposium: Tropical cities in a warming world

Events   1st Sustainable Tropical Urbanism Symposium: Tropical cities in a warming world

When and where

Date & Time: Friday 27th September 2019 | 8:30am
Location: Singapore campus (149 Sims Drive 387380) Detailed directions

Download the programme!

1st Sustainable Tropical Urbanism Symposium: Tropical cities in a warming world

The world’s urban population surpassed the rural population for the first time in 2007, reflecting a global shift from agriculture to manufacturing, services, and finance. The urbanisation process is so intense that by 2050 two-third of the world’s population will live in cities. The growth of tropical cities is a key component in this shift. Indeed, tropical urbanisation grew from 31% in 1980 to 45% in 2010. In Southeast Asia alone, urban dwellers increased from 110 million to 360 million over the same period and almost 50% of people now live in urban environments.

While the future of tropical cities is diverse, malleable, and creative – reflecting an increasingly connected and global world – under-regulated urban growth can result in inefficient, inequitable and unsustainable urban environments. As we expect big changes in cities, we also need big changes in city planning, design, and urban lifestyles, along with changes that can address climatic, environmental, and socio-economic challenges.

James Cook University’s Tropical Urbanism and Design Lab (TUDLab) and Centre for International  Trade and Business in Asia (CITBA) welcome contributions to an interdisciplinary symposium on tropical cities which will take part at our Singapore campus on 27 September 2019.

Contributions are invited from academic researchers, practicing planners and architects, public artists, local government officers, students in urban planning and design and anyone interested in understanding tropical cities. Themes include but are not limited to:

How tropical cities respond to climate in an era of climate change

  • Designing cities, towns and communities to cope with climate change
  • Sustainable green and blue infrastructure in tropical cities
  • Disaster management and resilience
  • Transport and mobility in a tropical environment
  • Urban farming

Creation/curation of tropical space and place

  • Planning to include cultural diversity in rapid urbanising tropical cities
  • Social and planning policy development
  • Liveability and sustainability of public space in tropical cities
  • Sport and well-being in tropical cities
  • Sustainable heritage conservation in the tropics
  • Sustainable urban tourism in tropical cities and its impact on the built environment
  • Pop-up and temporary architecture as enablers of active public space
  • The economic benefits of good design
  • Healthy spaces

Methods for tropical urban research

  • Field studies in tropical environments
  • Participatory design techniques
  • Urban photography and sketching

This symposium is recognised by Singapore Institute of Planners (SIP) and Singapore Institute of Landscape Architects (SILA) for CPD accreditation points:
- 3 SIP CPD points
- 4 SILA CPD points


8.30am         Networking and Registration

9.00am         Welcome by Campus Dean

9.05am         Opening remarks by CITBA Director, Dr Jacob Wood and TUDLab Director, A/P Lisa Law

9.15am         Keynote speeches

  • A/P CHO Im Sik, Deputy Head (Administration and Finance) & Leader, Urbanism Research Cluster Dept. of Architecture, NUS
  • Dr Jason Pomeroy, Founding Principal Pomeroy Studio and Pomeroy Academy

10.15am       Morning tea

10.45am       Paper presentations/Parallel sessions

12.45pm       Networking lunch

2.00pm         Closing remarks and eTropic info

2.30pm         Workshops/Walking tours

  • Geylang Walking tour/Insta-meet
  • Citizen Farm talk (FULLY BOOKED)
  • Design Communication Workshop


CHO Im Sik, Associate Professor & Deputy Head (Administration and Finance), Dept. of Architecture, School of Design and Environment, NUS

CHO Im Sik (Ph.D.) is Associate Professor and Leader of the Urbanism Research Cluster at NUS. Her research addresses the challenges and opportunities that Asian cities face with accelerating social change, focusing on the social dimensions of sustainable development. Her research expertise lies in urban space planning for sustainable high-density environments and design for social sustainability involving community-based, participatory approaches. Her research on HDB neighbourhoods and communities was recognised as High Impact Research in NUS and was included in the Singapore Sustainability Blueprint (SSB) 2015.  The Blueprint was launched by the Prime Minister, in which the research outcome was presented as an exemplary case that empowers the community to be involved in designing, maintaining and activating public spaces. She has extensive research experience in high-density Asian cities and has established a wide network of experts and research collaborators in these cities. Her books include Re-framing Urban Space: Urban Design for Emerging Hybrid and High-Density Conditions (with Heng. C. K. and Trivic, Z.) and Community-based Urban Development: Evolving Urban Paradigms in Singapore and Seoul (with Križnik, B.).

Jason Pomeroy, Founding Principal – Pomeroy Studio and Pomeroy Academy

Jason Pomeroy is an award-winning architect, academic, author and TV personality, regarded as one of the World’s thought leaders in sustainable design. His career has spanned Europe, The Middle East and Asia and includes a number of notable projects, including the first zero carbon house and zero carbon community in Asia, and Indonesia’s ‘Silicon Valley’. He relocated from London to Singapore in 2008 and is the Founder of sustainable urbanism, architecture, design and research firm, Pomeroy Studio. He gained his Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees from the Canterbury School of Architecture, a Masters degree from the University of Cambridge, and a PhD from the University of Westminster. He holds professorships at the University of Nottingham (UK), Universita IUAV di Venezia (Italy) and James Cook University (Australia). He lectures globally, and is the author of: Idea House: Future Tropical Living Today; The Skycourt and skygarden: greening the urban habitat; Pod Off-Grid: Explorations into Low Energy Waterborne Communities. He is also the Founder of sustainable education provider, Pomeroy Academy. Jason also works to raise awareness of the cultural role architecture plays in society. He was both consultant and host of the popular architecture / travel TV series’ Smart Cities 2.0, City Time Traveller (Series 1 & 2) City Redesign and Futuropolis, which has aired throughout Asia and the Middle East. Jason continues to be a keynote speaker on all aspects of urbanism and sustainability at global conferences and events, including TEDx and the World Architecture Festival.


Please send your submission using the provided template to simona.azzali@jcu.edu.au by 15 June 2019. Notification of acceptance will be sent by 1 July 2019.

Submissions should include a title, abstract of no more than 250 words and a short biography (100 words max) for each author including name, institutional affiliation, and email contact. In your abstract, please state the core theme, objectives, methods and /or case study for paper submission.

Please note that only previously unpublished papers or those not already committed elsewhere can be accepted. By participating in the symposium, you agree to participate in the future publication plans of the organizers. After the conference, full papers will be invited to be published in a special edition of open access journal e-Tropic - Electronic Journal of Studies in the Tropics*. Author guidelines are available here. Participants will be required to send a completed paper (4,000-6,000 words) by 30 November 2019.

* eTropic is indexed in Scopus, Ulrich's and DOAJ. It is archived in Pandora and Sherpa/Romeo


Participants must indicate the workshop/walking tour they wish to attend during the registration process. Workshops/walking tours registrations are on a first-come first-served basis.

Geylang Walking tour/Insta-meet

Duration: 3 hours
Location: Geylang
Max number of participants: 25 pax
Tour Leader: Tony Tan
Special requirements: Participants will need to bring their smart phone/ tablet, installed Instagram and have login account
Official hashtags: #JCUSingapore #2019TropicalCities #2019CITBASymposium

This is a walking tour where instagrammers are led on a tour of interesting sites and venues around the vibrant Geylang area. At each site, instagrammers will be given a commentary and then allowed to explore on their own. Each participant will post pictures and hashtag the event.

Citizen Farm talk (FULLY BOOKED)

Duration: 1.5 hours (+ 50’ travel time from JCU)
60 Jln Penjara Singapore 149375 Jln Penjara, Singapore 149375
Max number of participants: 20 pax
Workshop Leader: Citizen Farm Penjara

Edible Garden City’s farmers will bring participants through a talk and tour of the farm, where participants will be encouraged to think about the future of food in Singapore, and about the possibility of creating social and environmental impact through agriculture. The talk will cover the topics of food waste, food security and consumption habits; our ageing population, social Inequality; our food supply situation and challenges in Singapore and the world; Challenges of urban farming; the Penjara model.

After the talk, visitors will visit Citizen Farm's unique farming stations - indoor microgreens cultivation, plug & play container farm, mushroom fruiting house, insect farm, outdoor gardens. Visitors will be able to see, touch, smell and taste the fresh, pesticide-free produce that is grown at the farm.

Design Communication Workshop

Duration: 3 hours
Location: JCU Campus
Max number of participants: 25 pax
Workshop Leader: Pomeroy Academy
Special requirements: Participants will need to bring their laptop

Technological advancement has heralded an information age where alternative sources of design communication supplement the conventional suite of graphic, oral or literary techniques. Design teams are having to transpose their thoughts and ideas to an increasingly discerning audience that are far more tech savvy and information hungry than their predecessors. Whilst technology may have improved communication methods, so too has it created further pressures on speed and quantum of information delivery. This workshop evaluates and presents best-practice oral, written graphic communication methods and in addition will seek to provide an insight into presentation technique for marketing and publicity through the multi-media of radio, TV and editorial.


  • Bank draft/cheque (For Draft/Cheque Payment, cross cheque is to be made payable to James Cook University Pte Ltd)
  • Electronic Fund Transfer
    • Bank Account Name: James Cook University Pte Ltd
      Bank Name: DBS Bank Limited
      Bank Address: DBS Buona Vista Branch Blk 43 Holland Drive, #01-53/59, Singapore 270043
      Account Number: 032-900070-8 (SGD Current Account)
      Bank-Branch Code: 7171-032 Swift Code: DBSSSGSG
  • Credit Card
    Pay in person at JCU student hub or complete the payment authorisation form here.

We will issue receipt to conference attendees upon receiving the payment


Dr. Simona Azzali
James Cook University Singapore
E | simona.azzali@jcu.edu.au

Associate Professor Lisa Law
James Cook University Australia
E | lisa.law@jcu.edu.au

Associate Professor  Pengji Wang
James Cook University Singapore
E | pengji.wang@jcu.edu.au

Dr. Jacob Wood
James Cook University Singapore
E | jacob.wood@jcu.edu.au


Early Bird Registration Fee

S$50.00 (closes 1 August 2019, 11:59pm inclusive, Singapore time)

Standard Registration Fee

S$75.00 (closes 1 Sept 2019, 11:59pm inclusive, Singapore time)

Student Concession **

FREE (closes 1 Sept 2019, 11:59pm inclusive, Singapore time)

Workshops/Walking tour

Included in registration fee

Fees include:  Talks, morning tea, lunch and participation to one workshop/walking tour.

**Student concession: Student participants are free of charge subject to provision of student card