The inaugural Island Cities and Urban Archipelagos conference was held in Copenhagen in October 2014 and we now welcome you warmly to the second conference here in Hong Kong. An island city itself, amidst a still urbanizing archipelago, Hong Kong manifests many facets of the theme of this conference, both historically and in its contemporary situation, as several presentations will indeed show. Island cities are localities strongly defined by transnational and global connections, in multiple ways, demanding comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives, and this will be richly evident this week, as we will listen to presentations by scholars and professionals from twenty-three countries in architecture and urban planning and design, geography and environmental studies, anthropology and sociology, law and public policy, economics and art and literature. The conference theme offers a unique opportunity for all of us to become aware of and learn about fields and sites and methods other than our own and we invite all participants to join the Island Cities and Urban Archipelagos research network and to consider publishing their papers in the journal Urban Island Studies. The conference also offers opportunities to explore Hong Kong’s urban island environment on the ground through a number of excursions, including a boat tour of the container port, city walks and a tour of the New Territories. The conference dinner will take place on neighbouring Lamma Island.

We are excited to be able to show the Asian premiere of Vilsoni Hereniko’s film, Moana Rua: The Rising of the Sea, documenting a stage production by the Oceania Dance Theatre and the Pasifika Voices choir of the University of the South Pacific, which dramatizes the impact of climate change on island societies in Oceania through dance, song, music and film. And we are thrilled too to be able to offer you an opportunity to glimpse the results of a collaboration, the first of its kind, between students of Landscape Architecture and Creative Writing at HKU, inspired by the conference theme. The production, Urban islands: HKU Campus and Undergraduate Intersections, will be set up in the Black Box Theatre during the conference and you will be able to view it during the lunch break on Friday.

We look forward to a week of enlightening, lively and stimulating presentations and discussions and hope you will have time to catch up with old friends and make new ones and that you’ll stay in touch.

Adam Grydehøj and Otto Heim
Conference conveners