International Conference


2018 International Conference


2018 Theme: Public Policy for Sustainable Metropolitan Development

The 2018 APPAM International Conference in Mexico City, Mexico was held held on July 19 – 20, 2018 at the campus of the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM). The LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and the Instituto Tecnólogico Autónomo de México (ITAM), along with APPAM, jointly organized the 2018 conference. 

The conference hosted nearly 50 sessions and three plenaries built around the seven primary policy areas. Attendees also enjoyed two receptions and generous lunch schedules for optimal networking opportunities. Researchers from around the world came together as they shared unique perspectives on sustainability and development.

Read the short blog from APPAM's President, David Johnson: The 2018 International Conference Was Truly Focused on the Theme and Location.

Thank you for a great conference in Mexico City! 
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Preliminary Program Policy Areas Schedule at a Glance Panel/Roundtable
Participant Guidelines
Participant Guidelines


Located in one of the world’s largest metropolitan areas, the 2018 conference took place some 18 months after the 2016 bi-decennial UN-Habitat III conference in Quito and the adoption of the “New Urban Agenda” (NUA). The NUA presents a paradigm shift based on the science of cities and lays out standards and principles for the planning, construction, development, management, and improvement of urban areas along its five main pillars of implementation: national urban policiesurban legislation and regulationsurban planning and designlocal economy and municipal finance, and local implementation.

The NUA also incorporates the United Nations 2015 sustainable development agenda which sets goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all, embodied in 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs propose specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years and include: Poverty, Good Health and Wellbeing; Quality Education; Clean Water and Sanitation; Affordable and Clean Energy; Decent Work and Economic Growth; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Climate Action, etc.

For further details on the New Urban Agenda and SDGs and targets, please visit the Habitat III and United Nations websites.

AnchorSchedule at a Glance

Explore the core policy areas and categories and view the conference program as a PDF.


Thursday, July 19

8:15 am - 9:15 am Breakfast and Registration
9:15 am - 10:30 am

Opening Plenary Session
Environmental Challenges andSustaina bility of Large Metro Areas

Adapting to environmental challenges requires attention to vulnerability and the goals of policy, as well as attention to collaboration from the social and natural sciences and the technology industries. Exclusively planned by the host university, and moderated by ITAM Professor Dr. Juan Carlos Belausteguigoitia-Rius, this plenary will delve into environmental challenges in Mexico City.

10:45 am - 12:15 pm Concurrent Sessions
12:15 pm - 1:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm Concurrent Sessions
3:15 pm - 4:45 pm Concurrent Sessions
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Plenary Session
Presidential Election Results: The Implications of the July 1 Electionsfor the Public Policy Agenda,Directions, and Implementation

On July 1st, Mexico will elect a new President for a non-renewable six year term starting December 1st, 2018, along with a new Congress and almost 3000 local mayors and seven governors who will take office in September. Focusing primarily upon the Presidency, expert academic panelists will offer commentary on the likely policy directions and challenges facing the new administration in relation to Mexico-US Relations across several principal sectors: trade, energy, migration, governance and political reform, and international relations writ large.


  • Antonio Azuela, IIS at the UNAM, and former Attorney General for the Environment
  • Amparo Casar PhD, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, Mexico City
  • Manuel González Oropeza, PhD, Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas, UNAM and former Minister of the Federal Electoral Court, 2006-16
  • Vidal Romero, Departamento Académico de Ciencia Política, ITAM
  • Duncan Wood, Director of Mexico Institute, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm Welcome Reception and Posters


Friday, July 20

8:15 am - 9:15 am Breakfast and Registration
9:15 am - 10:45 am Concurrent Sessions
11:00 am - 12:30 pm Concurrent Sessions
12:30 pm - 1:45 pm Lunch
1:45 pm - 3:15 pm Concurrent Sessions

3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Plenary Session
Metropolitan Sustainability andMayo ral Challenges for Large Multi-Jurisdictional Cities

This panel will feature six current and past mayors from Mexico and the USA to discuss the complex policy challenges of achieving sustainable governance across a metropolitan area comprising multiple jurisdictions and governments. The conversation will focus upon two dimensions of governance: environmental policy and resilience; and planning and public engagement. Conference participants may also be interested in watching Evan Smith's interview with Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City.


  • Serge Dedina PhD, Mayor of Imperial Beach, California and Executive Director of Wildcoast
  • The Hon. Julián Castro, former mayor of San Antonio, 2009-14; US Secretary of the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, 2014-16
  • Jorge Morales Barud, PhD, Former Governor of State of Morelos, and Mayor of Cuernavaca, 2013-15
  • Hector Robles Peiro, PhD.  Former mayor of Zapopan, Guadalajara
  • Peter M. Ward,  Professor, Dept. of Sociology and at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin (Moderator)
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm Closing Reception

Anchor2018 Hosts