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RUNNING OUT OF TIME : Setting the pace for future generations 

The 2020 IAPS conference addresses time: the slow and the fast, the close and the distant. Time as the seconds, days, months or years affecting the uses and representations of the built and natural environment. Time that conditions the flows of people, goods and information. Time that weighs on aging infrastructures. Time interrupted by life events or natural or human-made catastrophes, time that ends life or disturbs ecosystems. Time as a conceptual and methodological lens and a design parameter. 

“Running out of time” stresses the urgency to act toward more sustainable societies, to bring the necessary changes to improve people’s quality of life, diminish social and population inequalities, and heal our planet. The conference also focuses on where and how to implement these changes. It stresses the pressure on researchers to undertake this complex and demanding task. It addresses the nature and depth of knowledge that needs to be integrated and translated into decision support aids to contribute to solving complex and multi-sectorial problems. 

“Setting the pace for future generations” underlines the necessity to act beyond immediate needs and concerns, and to take responsibility for those who will follow, with less time to react to the world bequeathed to them. 

Researchers working on time-related topics and researchers who want to revisit their research in the light of time are invited to submit an abstract. Since IAPS 2020 is celebrating 50 years of outstanding research in people-environment relations, the program will also review lessons learned up to now and discuss the challenges the domain is facing in order to respond to pressing issues of our time and for future generations. Submissions are welcomed on such issues as : 


1. Understanding the influence of time on people-environment relations

  • Stages in lifecycle, life events or work-life balance

  • Inertia and transformations of habitus, cultural models, architectural types and urban forms

  • Age and obsolescence of public infrastructure and buildings

  • Natural disasters or events resulting from human action or climate change

  • Experience of time and space as influenced by ICT, migrations and globalization


2. Adapting methodologies to understand the role of time and change in people-environment relations

  • Life-cycle, longitudinal and cohort studies using such tools as time budgets, participant observation, etc.

  • Audit tools and post-occupancy evaluations

  • ICT and geo-localization technologies

  • Living labs and participatory research

  • Simulation methods for thinking  ahead of complex changes, such as future studies, back-casting scenarios and systemic approaches

3. Acting toward improving people-environment relations and setting the pace for future generations 

  • Re-qualification, recomposition and re-use of buildings and spaces

  • Chrono-urbanism and space-time design for smarter cities and mobilities

  • Loose-fit architecture, adaptable design and ephemeral place-making in response to rapid environmental and cultural change

  • Operationalizing research and knowledge transfer to reach out to citizens, professionals and decision makers

  • Working with generations and for future generations


4. Reviewing the lessons learned from 50 years of people-environment research 

  • Reflective reviews and assessments of the nature, depth and gaps in knowledge of people-environment relations

  • Current debates and new avenues in theory building and methodological development 

  • Case studies of innovative approaches to interdisciplinary research, knowledge transfer and action

  • Increasing the relevance of people - environment relations studies for the pressing issues of our time and future generations


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Community WITH propinquity: Your health and the built environment


Anne Vernez Moudon

Anne Vernez Moudon, Dr es Sc, is Professor Emerita of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Design and Planning; Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology and Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington, Seattle, where she directs the Urban Form Lab (UFL). The UFL specializes in the spatial analysis of the built environment as it affects travel and health behaviors. ( The work is supported by US and Washington State Departments of Transportation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and local planning agencies. Dr. Moudon lectured at many universities and consulted with organizations in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. She published multiple articles, books and monographs on the topics of urban design, transportation, and public health. 

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Grand designs for design policy: 

The High Life Study evaluation of apartment design and health


Sarah Foster

Dr Sarah Foster is a senior research fellow at The Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, in Melbourne Australia. Her research focuses on furthering our understanding of the impact of the urban environment on a range of social and health outcomes. She currently leads a research program examining the policy and practice of designing healthy equitable higher density communities.  This includes ‘The High Life Study’ – a multi-city project funded by the West Australian Health Promotion Foundation that examines the relationship between apartment design policy and standards, and residents’ health and wellbeing. She is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia, and a member of the West Australian State Design Review Panel as a specialist in public health.


A world of data: designing cities within emergent geographies


Fábio Duarte

Fábio Duarte is a Principal Research Scientist and Lecturer at MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, where he leads projects in the Senseable City Lab in the intersection of design, planning, and technologies, including Roboat (a fleet of autonomous boats for Amsterdam), and Underworlds (mining health data in the sewage). Duarte has published in Urban Studies, Science Robotics and is currently working on a book for MIT Press on role of play and technology in design.


When Time Stands Still: Covid-19 and P-E Relations


The Covid-19 pandemic has affected our daily lives in more ways than one, including our daily work, our researches and…this whole conference. We have seen in the last months an incredible amount of articles, videos, podcasts and various hot takes to discuss the prospective changes brought for by the pandemic. Beyond these scenarios, whose validity will need to be tested with empirical data, we would like to take a step back and reflect on what we can learn from the Covid-19 pandemic in the field of People-Environment Studies. How do such events challenge, or on the contrary seem to validate, previous research findings? What new issues and avenues of inquiry do they suggest? How does it change the way we think about, conduct and communicate our research?

This special session will be organized in three moments:

1. Brief commentaries from our three keynote speakers on the reflections brought by the pandemic in relation with their respective research : walkability and urban design, higher density (high density living) and the use of new urban technologies.

2. The moderators of seven special thematic lunch, taking place over the week, will be called to summarize the key results of the discussions in order to set the stage for a open discussion.  These special thematic lunches will be organized around various topics of interest in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

3. An open discussion with conference attendees and guests practitioners on new avenues for research on PER opened up by the pandemic.

call for proposals


The deadline for abstract submissions was January 10, 2020. We thank everyone who submitted an abstract. 


Accepted Symposia

Click here for a description of the accepted symposia. 





OCT 01

OCT 25

OCT 30

Symposium proposal submissions open

Symposium proposal submissions deadline

Symposium acceptance notifications

Abstract submissions open for :

- Research presentations (normal sessions or accepted symposia)

- Flash presentations

- Display posters and digital media shorts

- Pre-conference intensives

- Workshops

- Young Researchers Workshop (YRW) 

DEC 15

Deadline for submissions of all types of abstracts listed above

* Extended to 10 January 2020


FEB 15

MAY 15

MAY 15

MAY 22


JUNE 21-26

Abstract acceptance notifications

Deadline for registration (presenters) 

Deadline for submission of full paper (Young Researchers Workshop only)

Online program available

Deadline for submitting prerecorded presentations and posters

IAPS 2020 Online Conference 



Click here for the Program at a glance


To access the Virtual Conference starting June 21st, 2020

- Click on the Virtual Conference Program button above.

- Use the icon Login available on the right of the top menu on the Virtual Conference Program page

- Enter your registration access and access code (we will send a reminder to all registrants soon)

- You will then enter the Virtual Conference.

- Click on the session you want to attend and then click on the watch live icon to enter the virtual room.

Click here for detailed instructions on how to login and access the virtual conference.



Will we publish the presentations papers?

We will not publish a book of the presentation papers. The edition work required for this type of homemade publication is disproportionate with the rather low recognition given to papers published in this type of medium. Normally a presentation in a refereed conference is in itself a valuable addition to someone’s cv : see ‘Varia’ for information on how to present your participation in your cv.


There are a few efficient network platforms aimed at the research community providing a good visibility to this type of papers. Some offer free access and a better visibility than many online books.


The post-conference ‘call for articles’

In the IAPS conference tradition, there will be a post-conference call for articles.

For IAPS 2020, because of their good visibility and access, we chose to aim at thematic issues for refereed journals instead of an edited book. A call for articles will be sent out to presenters in August, with October as the deadline for submission. The submitted papers will go through a review for their scientific quality by guest editors, who will structure the thematic issues.

Call for articles (last updated 07 July 2020)

1/ Research Topic "People-Environment Studies: Promoting Sustainable Places and Behaviors"

Journal: Frontiers in Psychology

Guest Editors: Giuseppe Carrus, Tony Craig & Adina Dumitru

Deadline for abstract submissions : 30 September 2020

Deadline for manuscript submissions : 30 November 2020

Click here for more information

2/ Special Issue "Body Conscious Design"

Journal : Buildings

Guest Editor: Galen Cranz 

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2021

Click here for more information

3/ Special Issue "Social Psychology of Climate Change: New Challenges for a Healthier and more Sustainable World"

Journal: Sustainability 

Guest Editors: Ricardo García Mira & Graciela Tonello

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2020

Click here for more information

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