The national conferences of openaircities.org aim to present research papers related to Sustainable Urban and Regional Development.
The thematic units are organized based on the four main pillars of Sustainable Development, which are also the main pillars of Urban and Regional Development. That is, the environment, the economy, society and culture.
One of the main research questions of the National Conferences is the environment and its management. Because, in no case can there be overall sustainability of a place, without ensuring the primary and necessary condition for it, which is the sustainability of the environment. Specifically, the National Conferences include issues such as waste management, water, noise pollution, air pollution and nature protection.
However, the sustainability of the environment is also affected to a decisive extent by energy management, as this is the main factor responsible for the degradation of the atmosphere and, by extension, land and water. At the same time, both the global community and the E.U. have been oriented towards an effort to develop the energy production sector at the regional level, so that the regions become sustainable and autonomous, as in all other sectors (economy, agriculture, culture, etc.) and in the energy sector. Therefore, apart from the issues of the environment, the attempt to ensure a smooth supply and energy saving, the interest of the National Conferences is also focused on research papers related to securing and increasing the energy produced at the local level.
The sustainability of a city and a region is also determined to a large extent by social data, by the human chain, the relations between citizens and their economic situation. Also, socio-economic cohesion leads to the removal of social discrimination, crime and unemployment and it simultaneously affects the spatial separation that results from socio-economic differences and that is reflected in space. The strengthening of all three sectors of production (primary, secondary, tertiary) and securing the labor good, which in fact is a key component of regional development, contributes to the strengthening of the economy of regional areas and cities facing decline. Therefore, the subjects in question are part of the interests of the National Conferences and are included in the final programs.
At the same time as the above, the National Conferences also emphasize culture, since it undoubtedly constitutes the fourth pillar of Sustainable Development. In this context, topics related to the material and immaterial forms of a place’s culture are included, such as monuments, traditional ensembles, customs, local holidays, etc. Importance is given to research aimed at the effort to highlight all these elements of culture, but also to the regenerative activities that are developed. Redevelopment programs include other objectives besides the conservation and preservation of the monuments of a place, such as the mixing of land uses and the reuse of spaces that in the past were living and useful parts of it. All the above actions contribute to the development of cities and regions and are included in the thematic sections of the National Conferences.