Urban migration will be the underlying theme of the Utzon Lecture, which will take place on 4 May at UNSW Kensington.

International disaster risk reduction expert Professor David Sanderson will deliver the Utzon Lecture on urban growth and resilience on Wednesday, 4 May while international experts will focus on urban migration at a panel discussion on Thursday 5 May.

Continuing urban migration has resulted in over half the world’s population living in urban areas, with the situation reaching a crisis point in cities, especially when it comes to managing potential overcrowding, poverty and natural disasters.

In the Utzon Lecture,Sanderson, UNSW’s inaugural Judith Neilson Chair of Architecture and international disaster risk reduction expert, will discuss how to increase post-disaster community resilience by focusing on the reduction of risk, and the capacity to ‘bounce back’. Sanderson, who co-authored the recently released Urban Disaster Resilience: New Dimensions from International Practice in the Built Environment (Routledge), will critique current practice and provide suggestions on how built environment professionals can contribute to building lasting resilience.

On 5 May, Sanderson will host a panel discussion, Urban Migration and Crises: a 21st century challenge, with international experts in humanitarian response and the built environment.

The panellists will include Jerold S Kayden, the Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design; Paul Currion, a consultant focused on system change in the humanitarian sector, with particular interest in technology, migration, and urban response; Andrea Rodericks, an independent consultant who has worked on humanitarian and development issues for the past 25 years, mostly with CARE International; and Anshu Sharma, an urban planner who has also trained in architectural design, building construction, regional planning, disaster and environmental management, community participation, economics and law.

What: Utzon Lecture, Judith Neilson Lecture in Architecture: Resilient Neighbourhoods? and Urban Migration and Crises: a 21st century challenge panel discussion

When: Utzon Lecture: 7­–8.30pm on 4 May; and Panel: 7pm on 5 May

Where: Utzon Lecture – Mathews Theatre B, Mathews Building, UNSW Kensington; Panel – Law Theatre G04, UNSW Kensington