Safe Cities
Geology Matters 12
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Safe Cities Conference
Mary Carter

A Safe City, was an official event as part of the Dublin City of Science 2012 and was run in conjunction with the GSI’s Geoscience 2012. It was organised by the the GSI, GSNI and the Royal Irish Academy as a one day conference and was held in Dublin Castle on 18 April 2012. A key issue for all types of Science is its effective communication. The meeting was opened by the Minister of State, Mr. Fergus O’Dowd T.D. The day concentrated on the contribution of Geoscience in the Urban Environment.

The general themes of the conference are water (both surface and groundwater) and hazards in the urban environment from the perspective of the public sector and industry. More and more of the world’s population are living in cities, to a degree that now more than half the world’s population is concentrated in them This conference brought speakers, from both the private and public sector, to show how geoscience contributes to safer and more sustainable urban living.

Urbanisation has fundamental effects on the hydrological cycle and water resources. The survival and development of large urban areas depends upon managing both water supplies, and water drainage and sanitation. This, in turn, relies on understanding the ground beneath our feet in which our natural resources reside, and the natural processes and cycles which may be affected by urbanisation.

Geoscience has an important role to play in providing knowledge for use by those who maintain, design and develop our cities, with a view to making them safer places for people to live. Management of urban environments requires a multi-disciplinary approach from planners, developers, architects, civil engineers, geotechnical engineers, geologists and our politicians.

In the evening there was a Keynote address given by Professor John McCloskey, of the University of Ulster at Coleraine, on Earthquakes and Tsunamis.