The University of Melbourne's Connected Cities Lab, along with partners the Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia and the Banksia Foundation, are holding the inaugural virtual Faculty of Architecture, Building & Planning Symposium, which in 2020 will focus on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Beginning on the Eve of Urban October and running for three days (30th September - 2nd October), the Symposium features interactive workshop sessions, breakout rooms, keynotes and opportunities for delegates to connect across time zones. The summit will showcase the role cities and their urban partners are playing in implementing the SDGs, with a particular focus on the Asia-Pacific region. The virtual symposium format will provide a platform for delegates to listen and interact with some of the world’s leading voices in urban sustainability and action on climate change, including case studies of responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

One unique aspect of the symposium program will be the format of the breakout sessions. There will be one stream dedicated to climate change and urban planning, two key themes of the Sustainable Development Goals. There will also be two streams dedicated to learning from and engaging with cities participating in the SDGs Cities Challenge, a research project where ten cities from the Asia-Pacific are developing tangible implementation plans for SDG11-related projects as a cohort, in partnership with industry, business and academia.

Delegates will be invited to join the collaborative process of co-design between business, academic and government solution providers, offering each participating city the opportunity to produce an implementation plan aligned to the SDGs. Recorded keynotes, sessions and panels will be immediately available to all delegates at the conclusion of the Symposium, allowing you to access parallel session content and develop your responses and outcomes while they are still top-of-mind.

This symposium is relevant to all urban actors – in government, practice, academia, civil society and industry – engaged in urban sustainability, with free registration available for students, and a heavily discounted price for general admission ($30AUD) intended to maximise broad participation.