November 6-7 | 60th anniversary IHS conference 'Empowering Cities and Citizens'

Event information

  • Type: Conference
  • Date: November 6-7 (Tuesday and Wednesday) 2018
  • Time: 09.00 – 19.00 and 09.00 – 12.00
  • Location: Maassilo, Maashaven Zuidzijde 1-2, 3081 AE Rotterdam
  • Registration: required. Follow the link below.
  • Email:, with the subject line 'Empowering Cities and Citizens'.

The conference 'Empowering Cities & Citizens’ is a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) and the 105-year anniversary of Erasmus University Rotterdam. This conference is a chance to reflect on current and new urban trends for both institutions, whether in urban development and management, or humanities, social and behavioural sciences. Strengthening our relationships with fellow urban specialists, local or global, is imperative.

After 60 years of empowering urban specialists and making cities work, the IHS wants to connect the dots between our achievements and future ambitions, which are well-anchored in the needs of the urban world, and are directed to achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens, which began its research activities this year, IHS finds a valuable new partner. The research institute is curious as to how cities and communities learn and co-create knowledge to meet current demands and how that might support the implementation of the SDGs. This interest is shared with the third conference partner Citymar Consultancy

The conference is an excellent opportunity to discuss the ‘hot topics’ of urban research and practice, to find ways of measuring outcomes and to look at the ‘status quo’ of the SDG implementation with colleagues from around the world, whether local and regional governments, practitioners, researchers or other stakeholders. Together, we aim to make cities vital, well-managed, liveable, sustainable and fair. We can only achieve that with professionals that are equipped to handle complex urban challenges.


The main event takes place on 6 November 2018 in the Maassilo in Rotterdam. It is followed by a side event on 7 November at the campus of the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Several key note speakers will discuss the central themes of the conference, such as:

  • Prof. Victor Bekkers (dean Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences & leading dean Vital Cities and Citizens)
  • Nina Glick-Schiller (Director of the Cosmopolitan Cultures Institute at the University of Manchester)
  • Prof. Liesbet van Zoonen (professor of Sociology and dean of the Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities)

Furthermore, there will be panel sessions in which the participants can enter the debate. View the full programme on the website of the IHS.


The symposium on the 6th of November takes place at the Maassilo in Rotterdam. The side-event on 7 November takes place at Woudestein campus of Erasmus University Rotterdam.
View more information about the programme, the key note lectures and the venues on the website of the IHS.


This year, we celebrate the 21st lustrum of Erasmus University Rotterdam, with the theme 'Science meets city'. During this year, there is an exciting programme with a lot of encounters between scientists and inhabitants and organisations of Rotterdam.