Students inspired by Smart Cities Conference in Indonesia

Students at Smart Cities Conference in Indonesia

Engineering students Rylan Gildersleeve-Price and Emily Vierrether, along with International Affairs student Niki Capaldo and Psychology student Hana Mahyoub, joined Engineering professor Justin Henriques at the 11th annual International Student Conference 2024 in Bandung, Indonesia, from Jan. 22 to 27.

Parahyangan Catholic University hosted the ISC this year in collaboration with the International Network of Universities. The conference, themed “Empower Youth and Local Voices for Human-Centric Sustainable and Inclusive Smart Cities,” united students and educators from 60 countries for workshops, lectures, and cultural experiences.

Henriques played a pivotal role as a workshop facilitator, focusing on bioinspired design approaches to sustainable urban landscapes. Throughout his sessions, he emphasized the importance of sustainable cities in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11, which aims to make cities safe, resilient, and sustainable.

“The world is rapidly urbanizing, and by 2050, 68% of the world’s population will live in cities,” Henriques emphasized.

During the conference, students experienced diverse cultural perspectives by exploring Bandung’s sustainable sites and conversing with residents about initiatives to develop their smart cities.

“I think any event that encourages intercultural learning is beneficial,” Gildersleeve-Price reflected. “I had an opportunity to talk with other participants and learn about their country’s struggles and politics. It helped me to think differently about my issues and possible solutions.”

Vierrether shared her experience visiting a self-sustainable village. “The residents showed us their greenhouse and demonstrated their process of repurposing waste into sellable items, generating more resources. It was great to see what we learned in practice,” she recalled.

“We learned how an urban farmer provided nutritious foods to others within a small space,” explained Gildersleeve-Price, motivating him to explore smaller-scale farming as a viable sustainability option.

The conference provided a platform for interdisciplinary collaboration and cultural exchange, fostering a deeper understanding of sustainable urban development among participants.

Back to Top

by Maya Winder (’24)

Published: Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Last Updated: Thursday, May 2, 2024

Related Articles