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October 24, 2002 Opening the door on housing trends





by Mirjana Vrbaski

As Montrealers start their annual moving frenzy, engineers, architects, and scientists from around the world will gather at Concordia to tackle housing issues. The 31st International Association of Housing Science (IAHS) World Congress will take place here June 23 to 27.

It’s timely, given the increasing pressure on the Quebec government to relieve a shortage of affordable lodging, said conference organizer Adel Hanna, of Concordia’s Department of Building, Civil and Environmen-tal Engineering.

“The Congress represents an all-encompassing exchange of ideas, ranging from architectural aspects of building houses to relevant social, environmental, technological, and governmental issues.”

One hundred and fifty specialists from over 40 countries will participate in the exchange. Among the keynote speakers are Anna Kajumulo, the executive director of UN-Habitat, Nils Larsson, executive director of the International Initiative for a Sustainable Built Environment, and various other experts from such countries as Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Croatia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Portugal.

Among the guests are Mayor Gérald Tremblay, the rectors of Concordia, UQAM and McGill University, as well as the presidents of the Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation and La Société d’habitation du Québec.

The conference will tackle information technology, housing policy and planning, sustainable building, government legislation, construction technology, design, and affordable housing.

“It’s a unique opportunity to create awareness of both novel developments and solutions to pertinent problems,” Hanna said. “Communication in this business is critical. To have maximal progress, everyone from engineers and architects to material developers and designers must know about what is going on in each other’s fields.”

It’s also a chance to show off Montreal, and the organizers have scheduled tours, both technical and leisurely, of the city and the region. Co-organizing the event are UQAM’s Roger-Bruno Richard and McGill’s Saeed Mirza.

For more information about IAHS, headquartered in the US, visit the Web site at www.iahs31.com.