Agenda and Minutes

Second Meeting of the Board of the International Association for Urban Climate

Thursday, May 23, 2002

Riverview Room, Sheraton Norfolk Waterside, Norfolk, VA, USA


1.    Welcome
2.    Agreement on agenda
3.    Items arising from the inaugural Board meeting (University of California, Davis, 15 August 2000)
        a.   increasing international representation
        b.   new appointments to the Board
        c.   personal vision statement from the President
4.    President's remarks
5.    Board Procedures and Terms
        a.   Assignment of Board members to groups to rotate off
        b.   Conduct of future elections
6.    ICUC-5
7.    Urban climate web sites
8.    IAUC logo
9.    Other business
        a.   Call for ICUC-6 proposals
        b.   Co-sponsorship of ICUCs
        c.   Association bank account
        d.   Scope of IAUC and rules/constitution
        e.   Use of IAUC list of members
        f.   journals
        g.   training in urban climatology (WMO)
        h.   Update on 2004 AMS Urban Environment meeting


Present: Arnfield (Sec.), Bornstein, Eliasson, Grimmond, Klysik, Mayer, Oke (Pres.), Roth, Voogt.  Also present was Krzysztof Fortuniak representing the Local Arrangements Committee for ICUC-5 (Lodz, Poland).

Not Present: Bitan, de Dear, Nakamura.

The meeting was opened at 6 p.m.  After a brief interval to record the event photographically , the meeting proper began.

Item 1: Welcome

Tim Oke welcomed Board members to the meeting.

Item 2: Agreement on Agenda

John Arnfield reminded those present that the minutes of the last meeting in Davis, CA, had been accepted previously by email exchanges among Board members.

Item 9h was added to the agenda by Sue Grimmond.  Bob Bornstein proposed a motion to accept the revised agenda (seconded by Sue Grimmond).  The motion was carried unanimously.

Item 3: Items Arising from the Inaugural Meeting Minutes

Item 3a: Increasing International Representation

Sue Grimmond, Chair of the Increasing International Representation Committee, explained the function and organization of this committee, which is charged with getting news of IAUC events and business out to under-represented geographical areas and acting as a conduit for ideas from those areas.  A motion to formally adopt the committee organization and activities established by Sue was proposed by Ingegärd Eliasson (seconded by Bob Bornstein) and passed unanimously.

Item 3b: New Appointments to the Board

In accordance with provisional Board procedures, Tim Oke reported that the local organizer of the Sydney, Australia, ISB-ICUC conference, Richard de Dear, has accepted an invitation to join the Board to provide additional expertise in regard to ICUC-5.

Item 3c: Personal Vision Statement (Tim Oke)

Tim Oke reported that the IAUC has received informal recognition from WMO, including acceptance of IAUC's adoption of the name International Conference on Urban Climate (ICUC) as the name for our conference.  Kenneth Davidson (Chief of the World Climate Programme at WMO) is the contact person at the Organization, but it has not nominated anyone for the Board.  Davidson will not formally be a member of the IAUC Board but will be added to the email list (buco) that is used for IAUC Board discussions.

Tim Oke indicated that distribution of his personal vision for IAUC has been delayed by technical problems but that it will be distributed to the Board for comments before being made available to the membership at large.  [Tim's personal vision statement is included below as Addendum A (Sec.).]

Item 4: President's Remarks

Tim Oke reports as follows.  Since last meeting, IAUC has achieved steady progress. We have agreed on the location of ICUC-5 and preparations for that are proceeding well; we have gained recognition from WMO and their interest in co-organizing the meeting; WMO also asked us to nominate representatives to CClXIII the core meeting of the Commission on Climatology; they asked me as President to give an overview of the field for the Technical Conference on Climate Services for the 21st Century; several of our members have been invited to serve on the WMO Expert Team on Training in Urban Climatology; the AMS agreed to our co-sponsorship of their Symposium on the Urban Environment in Virginia; the IUGG recognised us as the source of a recommendation for an invited speaker for their Congress in Sapporo. Such recognition of the field and IAUC's leadership of it, by major international agencies is very healthy and should be built upon.

Item 5: Board Procedures and Terms                       

Item 5a:  Assignment of Board Members to Groups to Rotate Off

The Procedures and Terms for the Board of the IAUC require that elected Board members will be rotated off at staggered yearly intervals to ensure continuity.  Because all current elected Board members began their terms simultaneously, with the founding of the IAUC in 2000, current members' terms must be of unequal length to initiate the process of overlapping terms.  To facilitate this, those elected members present drew lots to determine the year in which their term would end: absent members Arieh Bitan and Yasuto Nakmua were represented by Tim Oke and John Arnfield, respectively, in this process.  The results were as follows:
    •    Terms ending 2003: Eliasson, Roth
    •    Terms ending 2004: Grimmond, Mayer
    •    Terms ending 2005: Bornstein, Nakamura
    •    Terms ending 2006: Bitan, Voogt

Item 5b:  Conduct of Future Elections

The Board discussed the document "Draft Board Procedures and Terms" (version dated May 23, 2002), which governs the constitution of and election procedures for the IAUC Board. Suggestions for modifications were made by various Board members and it was agreed that a revised draft would be prepared by the Secretary and circulated to the Board for final approval.

Item 6: ICUC-5

Kasimierz Klysik and Krzysztof Fortuniak presented an update on arrangements for ICUC-5 at Lodz, Poland and provided copies of brochures describing the event.  The Board expressed its pleasure over the appearance and scope of the brochure.  A wide ranging discussion on various aspects of the arrangements for the conference ensued in which several issues were explored.  These included the following.
(a)    A differential fee structure to encourage Eastern European and Third World participation.
(b)    The possibility of pruning some of the included social events and to use the money saved to fund small travel grants.
(c)    The possibility of offering reduced fee registration and help with accommodation for participants from "states in transition".
(d)    It was suggested that employed registrants from countries able to afford standard registration fees should be charged an amount in the vicinity of US$280 (with a US$40 discount for early registration) and that student fees would be US$100 (US$80 for early registration).
(e)    Wilhelm Kuttler is to be invited to join the local arrangements committee given his special expertise as the successful organizer of ICUC-3 and his knowledge of European sources of support.
(f)    Handling the registration fees creates some problems for the local arrangements committee because of local laws governing income for University of Lodz sponsored events.  It was suggested that the registration fee income would best be handled outside Poland and payments made to the local arrangements committee to cover expenses as needs arise.  It was suggested that university foundations might be available to handle registration fee income and might also be able to offer web-based registration with fees paid by credit card and other payment conveniences.  Bob Bornstein and Jamie Voogt agreed to look into this.
[Subsequent to the Norfolk, Virginia, board meeting, it was established that the San Jose State University Foundation could provide an account for the IAUC and such an account was established, under the direction of Bob Bornstein.]
(g)    A US$50 nonrefundable abstract submission fee was deemed essential to minimize "no-shows" of presenters at the conference, with this amount being applied to the registration fee.
(h)    The need for practical assistance to participants in handling transportation from arrival points in Poland to the conference site in Lodz (e.g. pick up and travel by bus etc).
(i)    Advertizing for the conference is critical.  The conference web site will be linked to the IAUC site and notices will be distributed on urbclim and CLIMLIST.  John Arnfield offered to send notices to selected journals if Board members would      suggest appropriate outlets and provide contact information.  Distribution of brochures is to be facilitated for North America by Bob Bornstein, for Southeast Asia and Japan by Matthias Roth and for Europe by Ingegärd Eliasson and Helmut Mayer.
(j)    In the event that the conference makes a loss, this will be underwritten by the University of Lodz and IAUC will have no responsibility.  If the conference were to make a profit, this would create difficulties under Polish law but, if funds are held outside of Poland (see item (f)), such a profit could assist in providing start-up funds for ICUC-6.

Item 7: Urban Climate Web Sites

[Board members were joined by Andreas Matzarakis for discussion of this issue.]

There are currently three general urban climate-related sites on the web.  These are IAUC's own site, the Urban Climate Network (run by Benjamin Hertzberg) and Urban Climate/Stadtklima (run by Andreas Matzarakis).  Recently, Benjamin Hertzberg offered to IAUC the domain names for the Urban Climate Network site, as well as any of the content on that site that the Association might want to use.  This would be advantageous to the Association since it would give us access to a domain name ( that is consistent with our name and objectives.

John Arnfield conducted a web-based survey of the IAUC membership seeking its views both on the idea of rationalizing the various sites' offerings and on which types of content were felt to be most useful.  The results of this survey were described indicating that the membership supported the idea of collaborative endeavors among the sites and showing most interest in content relating to urban climate conferences and events, a searchable bibliographic database on urban climate articles (with abstracts), IAUC administrative and contact information, urban climate news, and links to urban climate related websites.

The Board agreed to take over the domain name and to use the it as the "official" IAUC site, superceding the current Ohio State site.  This would promote flexibility for future IAUC webmasters once John is no longer on the Board.  Initially, the site would be physically located on the Ohio State Geography server but shifts to another server later can be achieved transparently by altering the domain name-IP number mapping.  John agreed to consult with technical staff in the Department of Geography at OSU to work out details for transferring documents and to ascertain what costs are associated with the domain name registration etc.

The content of the site was discussed: Board members agreed to spend time carefully reviewing the contents of the current site and suggesting which items should be retained under IAUC management and to report their preferences to
John Arnfield.

Andreas Matzarakis agreed to work with the IAUC in coordinating and rationalizing the offerings of the two remaining urban climate web sites following this change, including the provision of links between the two.

It was suggested that, if a more complex IAUC site entails a greater workload, an "editorial board" might be established to maintain the site.

Item 8: IAUC Logo

Matthias Roth presented samples of possible logos for the Association.  Given the shortage of discussion time available, it was agreed that the Board members would communicate any strong feelings about the logos to Roth and that a vote of the membership on a culled set would be held at a later date.

Item 9: Other Business

Item 9a:  Call for ICUC-6 Proposals

Tim Oke suggested that the time is approaching when proposals for the ICUC-6 should be requested.  If the choice of location for ICUC-6 is completed by September 2003, the chair of the local arrangements committee for ICUC-6 would be invited to join the Board when Richard de Dear (representing ICUC-4) moves off.

Item 9b:  Co-Sponsorship of ICUCs

Tim Oke indicated that he would write to several bodies that share our ideals to invite them to co-sponsor ICUC-5.  A discussion followed as to what co-sponsorship would imply and agreed it was essentially limited to such items that we can reciprocate - advertising of meetings in organs of the body (web, bulletins, email lists, at conference desks etc.) and that we might earn a reduction in registration fees, as we had done with AMS for the Virginia meeting.

Item 9c:  Bank Account

The Board discussed the notion of having an IAUC bank account because funds would naturally accrue from Association activities.  Experiences were explored on how to do this with least fuss, including revisiting the trust account option. No decision was made: this should await the reports from Jamie Voogt and Bob Bornstein (see item 6(f)).

Item 9d:  Scope of IAUC and Rules/Constitution

The issue of a formal constitution for IAUC was discussed.  This issue was raised by Arieh Bitan through correspondence with Tim Oke.  Arieh feels the need for more formal rules and regulations to guide IAUC activities. Discussion in his absence showed no wish for increased formalism at this point and the matter was deferred by unanimous consent.

Item 9e:  Use of IAUC List of Members

No discussion.

Item 9f:  Journals

Tim Oke reported briefly that individuals had been approached about the need for a separate urban climate journal (e.g. web-based one such as that mooted by Matzarakis) or recognition by Agricultural and Forest Meteorology that urban-focused articles would be welcome.  However, the latter appears only want urban papers with biological emphasis and this would not meet the needs of IAUC members in general.

Item 9g:  Training in Urban Climatology (WMO)

Tim Oke indicated that WMO was putting together a team for urban climatology training that would include members of IAUC, and that he had been asked to help to suggest additional appropriate scientists. That WMO sees training in urban climate to be a priority is very significant given the diminished programme of the WMO CCl and the competition for resources.

Item 9h:  Update of the 2004 AMS Urban Environment Symposium

Sue Grimmond reported that the 2004 AMS Annual Meeting will have a cross-cutting theme "Forecasting: Urban to Global Scale".  The AMS Board on the Urban Environment will be involved in the meeting and Bob Bornstein and Walt Dabberdt have agreed to act as co-convenors of sessions with an urban theme at the meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 11:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by John Arnfield (Secretary)


Addendum A
Personal Vision of Ideals of IAUC
Tim Oke

IAUC is the outcome of a steady process I started back in the mid-1980s. My wish was to bring together the field of urban climatology. At that time research conferences were being held separately by WMO, IFHP and CIB, with occasional interest from IGU and individual Japanese and Chinese groups. Hence meteorologists, geographers, architects and planners shared a common interest but did not meet together. This was inefficient, frustrating and intellectually sub-optimal. A meeting to discuss the possibility of cooperation was held in Geneva with the main players. It was agreed to hold joint conferences with each group taking the lead alternately. IFHP did it in 1989 in Kyoto, WMO in Dakha in 1993 and the IFHP Secretary plus a consortium of industries led the 1996 Essen meeting, and ISB and WMO led in 1999 in Sydney.

The process helped develop a sense of community. There was a shared ideal that the group wanted to keep meeting like this, perhaps without the budgetary vagaries that threaten societies and agencies and hence may cause the meetings to default. They also didn’t seem to want another scientific body with
dues and political hassles.

At this point we got cheeky and decided to build on this loose group of players and make it into an organization. Nobody gave us the authority to highjack the conference sequence as ours but we did, and it seems the original organizers are happy to let us do so. In so doing we have democratically acquired the right to speak on the behalf of many colleagues, and by extension wield the power of their interest in attending meetings, or supporting journals or any other purpose we deem appropriate to the central goal of IAUC which is: “to foster cooperation and the free exchange of ideas and information about the climates of cities and their significance” – the primary medium of achieving this is to arrange for international conferences to be held every few years when the membership desires. Secondary ways of doing so involve hosting an e-mail list for exchange of information of interest to urban climatologists and to provide a web presence in support of similar goals.

Clearly my vision is one of a low key, low maintenance, low administration and near zero cost organization, with a nearly virtual presence but significant influence. It also includes almost no rules, except those that govern the running of the Board in a democratic way. IAUC should be collegial and the organization should belong to the members.

At present it owns no funds yet it has the leverage to “arrange” conferences, funded by third parties, almost purely for the benefit of the membership. Inevitably funds will come into our possession – as a result of a profit-sharing arrangement with a conference organizer, or through bequests from members, etc. We shall not try to make money out of our members, but it may be seen to be helpful to the other objectives to amass a small amount as ‘seed money’ or a cushion to facilitate future conferences or other activities.

To date much of this is eventuating. The success may well breed desires to take on other goals and the common trappings of a scientific society. People may wish to receive regular missives rather than quietude and the expectation that someone is working towards their best interests. That will be for the Board to decide in conjunction with the membership. At this point I prefer to let it grow organically. Clearly our central focus now must be ICUC-5 and the meeting beyond that. ICUC-5 will provide a forum where the membership can make their views for the future known and to indicate their willingness to make it happen by donating their time and enthusiasm.

Tim Oke, May 2002