On behalf of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) I would like to welcome all of you to New Delhi and ASCE’s Conference on Urbanization Challenges in Emerging Economies.Civil engineers throughout the world regularly face challenges in building infrastructure in our quest for sustainable solutions to quality of life issues. Helping these societies move towards resilient sustainable cities and infrastructure is one of these challenges.
By the end of the last century the world transitioned from predominantly rural to equal rural-urban living. Many estimates predict that by year 2050 two thirds of the world’s population will live in cities due to rapidly increasing rural to urban migration. This rapid and unplanned migration is having most impact on metropolitan areas in emerging economies, and is threatening the quality of life for its residents. Infrastructure in these cities, a key ingredient in quality of life, is not keeping up with the growth of population.
Many economies around the world are using different practices to address this challenge. Engineers, scientists, and planners in USA are implementing Low Impact Development (LID), Green Infrastructure (GI), Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS), and Water Sensitive Urban Designs (WSUD) into their urban management programs, design practices, and operation & maintenance. China is implementing its sponge city initiative with ambitious goals: by 2020, 80 percent of urban areas should absorb and reuse at least 70 percent of rainwater. ASCE, a global leader in the area of sustainable practices in civil engineering infrastructure, has organized this conference in New Delhi, a rapidly expanding metropolitan area, to facilitate policy, technical, and scientific discussions and exchanges on urbanization challenges in emerging economies. You will have an opportunity to attend approximately 300 presentations on a variety of topics in this area.
TThe conference offers a forum to discuss and debate future directions for emerging economies. It has participants from several continents, including from the west as well as from emerging economies, especially from India. It features keynote addresses by prominent research, government, and industry leaders in infrastructure development. Seven concurrent tracks enable participation in sessions covering diverse topics: (1) Planning & Financing, (2) Transportation, (3) Environment Infrastructure, (4) Water & Energy Infrastructure, (5) Materials & Tools, (6) Resilient Buildings & Infrastructure, and (7)Emerging Paradigms for Sustainable Urban Communities.Three workshops and two webinar training sessions are being conducted in related areas to provide opportunities for continuing professional education.
Come, network, and share your knowledge, insights, and experiences with your fellow professionals and decision makers on urbanization challenges and infrastructure sustainability for metropolitan areas in emerging economies. I look forward to seeing and interacting with you at the conference.
Dr. Udai P. Singh, D.Engr., BCEEM, PMP, M.ASCE
Moraga, California, USA