One of the main activities of ISOCARP is the organisation of our annual World Planning Congress which focuses on a planning theme of foremost international interest. Attended by some 500-750 delegates, ISOCARP World Planning Congresses are small enough for a personal interchange of ideas on a given theme, yet big enough to encompass a broad professional and international range. The Congresses are open to ISOCARP Members (reduced congress fees), but our Society warmly welcomes non-members (individuals, parties or organisations). The Congress provides a platform for establishing professional as well as personal contacts with colleagues from all around the world.
The 56th ISOCARP World Planning Congress (Nov 07, 2020 - Feb 04, 2021)
While dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, we need to plan ahead to be more health resilient as a largely urban species. This needs to be combined and aligned with our imperative planning challenge to halt and reverse global warming and critical loss of biodiversity.
Therefore, we must move away from oil, gas and coal to reduce pollution, reduce various other environmental concerns and mitigate the processes of anthropogenic climate change.
Today, because most of the human population lives in cities and the trend of massive (and frequently unordered and uncontrolled) urbanisation is accelerating, the urban areas are in the foreground of this "battle for the future"; to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
To win this battle many cities and local authorities are already developing new approaches to urban planning, but efforts need to be stepped and scaled up in this Decade of Action to implement the SDG's by 2030.
These new plans and strategies will include ideas associated with reshaping the overall city structure, including redistribution of uses, rethinking the transport system, greening of the urban structure and the provision of people-oriented design solutions to make our cities more health-resilient. Within these plans are new considerations about the nature of economic development and concerns to insure proper employment. And, as usual, the needs and expectations of local communities are a central part of this planning discussion. All of these elements constitute the core of the process to achieve sustainable urban and regional development designed to achieve health- and climate-responsive actions and policies. Since our cities differ a lot, reflecting the various geographies and cultures of the world, it is hard to define one set of solutions that will work globally. Globally acclaimed planning principles need a place-based and people-centred approach.
As cities produce their own place-specific plan – which may be generically referred to as their "Urban Green Deals" – a wealth of experiences is developed containing ideas to understand the problems, recognise possible solutions and identify ways to implementing changes. These Urban Green Deals are about ensuring the well-being of citizens while profoundly changing the way cities operate within the ecosystem. In light of this effort, the main purpose of the congress is to discuss how these Urban Green Deals may be shaped, which of the issues are most important in particular settings, how to plan and implement them, as well as discussing how they can contribute to the Global Agenda.
The Gulf States have been largely developed thanks to oil and other non-renewable resources exports. Their fast growing and thriving smart cities as forerunners in the region and beyond. At the same time, the cities and states in this region are facing environmental, social and economic consequences of this model of development. Therefore, there is a growing understanding of the need for complex action to solve these problems. Hence, the Gulf-cities' leadership has initiated and propagated the need for a new planning paradigm of carbon-neutral, liveable and loveable, knowledge-based cities that has inspired planners and decision-makers from all over the world.
Selected topics and issues for Future Post-Oil Cities include:
- Track 1: Understanding Urban Metabolism
- Track 2: Ensuring the Economic Diversity and Resilience
- Track 3: Planning for Urban Connectivity
- Track 4: Safeguarding the Urban Resilience
- Track 5: Focusing on Heritage and Smart Culture
- Track 6: Creating Healthy and Inclusive Urban Environment
- Track 7: Shaping Liveable Places
- Special Track: The Future of Hot Cities
ISOCARP Congresses rally a fine sample of urban and regional planners from across the globe and they also provide a unique platform for dialogue with decision-makers and other urban and planning stakeholders, both from the Global South and the Global North.
Dates to remember:
15 May 2020: Deadline for Abstract Submission
22-29 June 2020: Notification of Acceptance or Rejection
08 October 2020: Final date for authors to register and pay in order to be included in the Congress Programme and Proceedings