The Virtual Cities and Territories (VCT) conference was launched in Barcelona in 2005 by Josep Roca, the director of the Center of Land Policy and Valuation, Technical University of Catalonia, to create an arena of discussion about the development and use of new technologies in architecture, urbanism, and planning, after the cultural and scientific moment generated by the 2004 Forum of Cultures.
Since then, the VCT conference jumped the Atlantic for three times in its previous six editions, visiting Chile (Concepción, 2006), Spain (Bilbao, 2007), Mexico (Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta, 2008), again Spain (Barcelona, 2009), and back to Mexico (Mexicali, 2010).
Now it is the time for a Portuguese speaking country to host the conference. Portugal and Lisbon were chosen by the VCT board of directors as the venue for the 2011 edition.
A partnership emerged and two Portuguese universities – NOVA University of Lisbon (UNL) and the University of Coimbra (UC) – joint efforts to organize the 2011 conference. Interdisciplinarity sets the tone as 7VCT is co-hosted by e-GEO, the Research Centre for Geography and Regional Planning, Department of Geography and Regional Planning (UNL) and the Department of Civil Engineering (UC).
The VCT meetings have always gathered researchers from many countries across Europe and the Americas, among other geographic origins, creating many opportunities for new research partnerships.
The 7VCT follows this trend. It will have more than 170 participants from around 30 different countries from Europe, the Americas, and Asia. Almost one third of the participants are graduate students presenting their research, promoting the interaction with senior researchers.
The VCT conferences promoted interdisciplinarity, gathering researchers and practitioners from architecture, engineering, planning, geography, computer science, political science, among many other areas of knowledge.
The 2011 edition will also have the same diversity of professional and research backgrounds.
We were able to once again conjugate all these factors, bringing together a wide range of researchers and research topics, and bridging once more new technologies with architecture, urbanism, and planning, hopefully maintaining the true spirit of the VCT conference. This seventh edition gathers a very interesting group of researchers who have submitted papers with a very high level of scientific quality, as it was possible to understand from the more than three hundred reviews made by the Scientific Committee. The scientific program has thirty three parallel sessions divided by the six theme tracks: Modeling for urban and spatial analysis; Sustainability, urban form and urban design; New technologies in architecture, urban design and e-planning; Housing and land policy; Governance, competitiveness and innovation; and Land management for urban dynamics.
The program also has the participation of keynote researchers who will talk about the cutting edge research that is being currently made on the topics of the conference:
- Prof. Michael Batty, Director of CASA and Bartlett Professor of Planning, University College London, UK
- Prof. Joseph Ferreira, Professor of Urban Planning and Operations Research, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
- Prof. Paulo Pinho, Professor of Planning, Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, Portugal
- Prof. António Câmara, CEO of YDreams and Professor at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of Nova University of Lisbon, Portugal
- Prof. Maria Teresa Pérez, Director of the Doctoral Program on City, Territory and Sustainability, and Professor at the Center of Arts, Architecture and Design of the University of Guadalajara, Mexico
- Prof. Maurizio Tira, Professor of Planning, University of Brescia, Italy
- Prof. João Ferrão, Former Secretary of State for Spatial Planning and Towns and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal
We would like to thank all the members of the Scientific Committee for their precious help on reviewing our submissions. We would also like to thank all the members of the Local Organizing Committee for their dedication and professionalism. We also want to thank the COST Office for their support to our conference. A final word of gratitude is addressed to all the sponsors that supported 7VCT.
“Bem haja” to you all.
 The traditional way to say “thank you very much” in Portuguese.
7VCT will hosted the final conference of the COST Action TU0602 “Land Management for Urban Dynamics”.
The 7VCT was held at the Nova University of Lisbon on October 11th to 13th, 2011 and was co-hosted by e-Geo, the Centre for Geographical and Regional Planning Studies, Department of Geography and Regional Planning, Nova University of Lisbon, and by the Department of Civil Engineering of the University of Coimbra, with the participation of COST – European Cooperation in Science and Technology, and ACIV – Association for the Development of Civil Engineering.
José António Tenedório, e-GEO-FCSH-UNL
Nuno Norte Pinto, DEC-UC