Academic Events

Designing Cities – Principles and practices of city planning in the past and present -symposium in Beirut April 27–30 and May 1, 2020


AACCP (Architecture, Archaeology and Contemporary City Planning) is a multidisciplinary and progressive network, which has gathered together researchers, experts and practitioners from various fields to discuss topics related to urban development and city planning since 2014. One of the main aims of the network is to promote collaboration between different actors and increase understanding of the profitable co-existence of the past, present and future in urban environments.

With this task in mind, we are happy to invite you to the eighth AACCP symposium organized in collaboration with the Finnish Institute in the Middle East in Beirut, Lebanon in April 27–30 and May 1, 2020.

With the theme Designing Cities – Principles and practices of city planning in the past and
we are inviting contributors to present papers that fall within the cross section of architecture, archaeology and city planning and are related, but not limited, to the following topics:

      • Urban development, redevelopment and regeneration
      • Visions, ideas and realizations – principles in practice
      • The role, (mis)use and utilisation of heritage in city planning ­and building
      • Collaboration between city planners, architects, archaeologists and developers
      • Public–private–people partnership in urban planning
      • Climate crisis, cities and cultural heritage
      • Interrelationship between public and private spaces
      • Production of urban space from social perspective
      • Land use, transportation and traffic
      • Functionality, sustainability and attractivity of cities

If you wish to participate in the symposium and present your studies, experiences and ideas at the AACCP2020 in Beirut, please send your paper proposal with an abstract (maximum 300 words) by January 15, 2020 to Liisa Seppänen ( and / or  Sinan Burat ( You may also participate in the meeting without a paper. In this case too, we would appreciate your contact.

The programme consists of presentations and discussions, excursions in and outside Beirut as well as social activities which have proved to be very fruitful and to bring interesting ideas for new kind of research and collaboration. The full programme will be published by February 10, 2020 together with the acceptance of papers.

The premises of the meeting are kindly provided by the Finnish Institute in the Middle East, who will take charge of arrangements related to accommodation (hotel reservations), meals and excursions. Participation for the symposium is free, but each participant will be charged for the accommodation and according to the attendance at other activities and excursions.

Because of the final booking of premises, hotels and excursions, all participants need to register to the symposium to Mrs Manal Chatila ( by February 28, 2020. More detailed information about the registration will be sent for those who have expressed their preliminary interest in participating in the symposium by January 15.

The proceedings of previous symposiums have been published as e-publications, and we intend to publish the papers of the AACCP2020 as well.

We are looking forward to highly interesting and productive days in Beirut in spring 2020. Warmly welcome to AACCP2020!

Organization committee of AACCP2020:

Raija Mattila, Dr., director, Finnish Institute in the Middle East (
Liisa Seppänen, Dr., Adj. prof., University of Turku, University of Helsinki  (
Sinan Burat, Dr., Asst. prof., University of Mersin (
Per Cornell, Professor, University of Gothenburg (
Giorgio Verdiani, Professor, University of Florence (

Image: Samuli Lähteenaho

Past events

From the Mountains to the Sea: The Relations between Animals and Humans in Lebanon through Time –workshop, 13–14.9.2019, Beirut

Workshop was organized by the Finnish Institute in the Middle East (Dr. Raija Mattila), the Department of Arts and Archaeology at Lebanese University (Dr. Jwana Chahoud) and the Department of History and Archaeology at the American University of Beirut (Professor Dr. Hermann Genz).

The Eleventh Nordic Conference on Middle Eastern Studies 14-16.8.2019, Helsinki

The Eleventh Nordic Conference on Middle Eastern Studies ‘Breaking and Creating Boundaries in the Middle East’ . The conference is organised by The Nordic Society for Middle Eastern Studies (NSM) and hosted by the Finnish Institute in the Middle East and the University of Helsinki.

”Formative Tendencies in Near Eastern Religions and Ideologies” Workshop, 15-16.4 2019, Beirut

The workshop organized by the Centre for Oriental Studies of the University of Tartu and the Finnish Institute in the Middle East (Beirut).

Shrines workshop, 29.-31.8.2018, Beirut.

In collaboration with the Erasmus University and Recreating Pluralism, an international academic program.

Fifth Finnish Colloquium of Middle East and North African Studies “Transformations of Identity and Space in the Middle East and North Africa”, 29– 31 May 2017, Joensuu.

In collaboration with the University of Eastern Finland, Faculty of Theology, and the University of Helsinki, including the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions. 

Melammu Symposia 11 “Evidence Combined – Western and Eastern Sources in Dialogue”, 3.–6.4.2017, Beirut 

In cooperation with the Melammu Project. The Melammu Project investigates the continuity, transformation and diffusion of Mesopotamian and Ancient Near Eastern culture from the third millennium BCE through the ancient world until Islamic times.

Workshop: New Forms of Trans-border Mobility10.-12.11.2016, Beirut

In cooperation with The Migration Institute of Finland, Åbo Akademi University and The Academy of Finland Center of Excellence RELATE from the universities of Oulu and Tampere. 

Religion and Empire in the First Millennium BCE, 22.-25.10.2016, Beirut

In cooperation with American University in Beirut and the University of Helsinki

Animals in Mesopotamia: their relation to gods, humans and things, 14.-15.12.2015, Helsinki

In cooperation with the Intellectual Heritage of the Ancient Near East Project

Euro-Mediterranean Refugee and Migration Crisis: Magnitude and European Response 30.11.2015, Cairo

In cooperation with Center for Migration and Refugee Studies (CMRS), American University in Cairo and the Embassy of Finland in Cairo

Today’s Iraq in Focus, 15.10.2015, Helsinki

In cooperation with the University of Helsinki

Translation and Transmission in the Eastern Mediterranean 500 B.C. – 1500 A.D., 24.-25.9.2015, Rome

In cooperation with Finnish Institute in Rome, Finnish Institute in Athens and Intellectual Heritage of the Ancient Near East -project

Ninth Symposium of the Melammu Project – Conceptualizing Past, Present and Future, 18.-20.5.2015, Helsinki

In cooperation with Intellectual Heritage of the Ancient Near East -project

Fourth Finnish Colloquium of Middle East and North African Studies, 24.-25.4.2015, Helsinki

In cooperation with the University of Helsinki and the University of Tampere. 

Workshop: “Lessons from Finland in History Education”. 6.12.2014, Beirut

In collaboration with Riitta Mikkola, Lebanese American University and Lebanese Association for History.

Media Role in Revolution, Counter-Revolution and Democratization in Arab Spring Countries, 19.–26.10.2014, media course in Cairo

In cooperation with University of Tampere and The American University in Cairo.

The Changing Role of Media in the Contemporary Middle East, 26.9.2014, Helsinki, Finland

FIME, Anna Lindh Foundation and  University of Helsinki organized an open media seminar.

Third Finnish Colloquium of Middle East and North African Studies, 2014, Turku, Finland

In cooperation with Donner Institute for Research in Religious and Cultural History, Åbo Akademi University, and Tampere Peace Research Institute (TAPRI). The theme for the multidisciplinary conference was “Concord, Conflict and Co-existence: Religion and Society in the Middle East and North Africa”

Ancient Arbela: Pre-Islamic History of Erbil, 2014, Iraq

In cooperation with Institut français du Proche-Orient and Salahaddin University.

Arab-Nordic History Seminar: EXPLORING COMMON HISTORY 2013 Cairo, Egypt

In cooperation with The American University of Cairo and Tampere Peace Research Institute (TAPRI).

The II Finnish Colloquium of the Middle East and North Africa Studies 2012, Tampere, Finland

In cooperation with Tampere Peace Research Institute (TAPRI), Anna Lindh Foundation, the Finnish Egyptological Society, the Finnish Oriental Society, the Department of World Cultures and the Faculty of Theology of the University of Helsinki.

Pedagogies Across Cultures 2011, Amman, Jordan

In cooperation with Queen Rania Teacher Academy, University of Jordan, Hashemite University, Jordan Ministry of Education, Dahiet Al Rasheed School for Girls, The Ahliyyah School for Girls, The Bishop’s School for Boys and UNRWA.

The 1st Middle East Colloquium 2011, Helsinki, Finland

In cooperation with Foundation of the Finnish Institute in the Middle East (FIME), University of Helsinki and Tampere Peace Research Institute.

Conceptual Histories of the World and Global Translations. The Conceptualization of the Social in Eurasian Comparison 2010, Damascus

Law and Administration in the Ancient Near East 2008, Damascus