Several very successful international conferences on urban climate have been held since the late 1960s. One set was organized by the WMO (also WHO and sometimes with CIB) in Brussels, Moscow and Mexico City. A second set was run by IFHP in Herzliya-on-Sea and Karlsruhe. The two merged to hold joint International Conferences on Urban Climatology (ICUC) together with other occasional cosponsors (e.g. AMS, ISB) in Kyoto (1989), Dakha (1993), Essen (1996) and Sydney (1999). In Sydney there was a general consensus that ICUC should be constituted as a more formal entity than it currently is, but that it should be a loosely structured organization without expensive trappings.
In order to move this notion forward, it was decided in Sydney to form an interim board to create this organization. For simplicity, the unofficial board consisted of a member from each of the organizations involved in the Sydney meeting (Professor John Arnfield [IGU]; Professor Arieh Bitan [IFHP]; Professor Sue Grimmond [AMS]; Professor Tim Oke [ISB] and a representative from WMO). They considered it useful to move to the next stage and:
- create an organizational structure that has representation from the full range of the urban climate community, and
- issue a call for proposals to host the next ICUC, probably to be held in 2002 or 2003.
Subsequently, membership in this urban climate organization was sought via the internet (specifically through the Indiana University-based urban climate list and CLIMLIST) and the election of a ten person board took place, also via the internet.
The board met for its inaugural meeting at the AMS Urban Environment Symposium in Davis, California, in August, 2000.
Among the decisions at that meeting was to take the final choice of the organizations’s name to the membership and a vote (open to all members) was conducted in September and October 2000 which resulted in the selection of “International Association for Urban Climate”.