About the Congress

The Brussels-Capital Region in Belgium has been selected as the host city for the 58th ISOCARP World Planning Congress from 3 to 6 October 2022, and will include ISOCARP's traditional Plenary Sessions, Special Sessions and Roundtables featuring global experts and innovative pioneering thinkers focusing on the intersection of planning and well-being and socio-economic justice, as well as innovative Workshops and Walkshops that will connect Congress Participants with the local community.

State Secretary of the Brussels-Capital Region for Urbanism and Heritage, European and International Relations, Pascal Smet, will host the congress, while the regional public service urban.brussels, will will lead the Local Organising Committee in cooperation with local partners, perspective.brussels and environment.brussels, and with the support of visit.brussels.

Announcement by the General Rapporteur 

From Wealthy to Healthy Cities: Urbanism and Planning for the Well-being of Citizens 

The past decades witnessed a flow of unexpected challenges, with profound impacts on social, economic, and environmental spheres, deepening inequalities between places and between different segments of society, and the sharpening of trends of uneven development, culminating in widespread urban crisis. Urgent issues such as climate change, bio-cultural diversity, poverty, homelessness, food security, natural disasters, migration, urban refugees, and gender inequality have become crosscutting concerns in many countries.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these global challenges. Cities around the globe are trying to cope with the impacts of the health crises triggered by the pandemic, which shone a powerful light on other forms of inter-connected crises induced by longstanding pro-growth policies. The pandemic health crisis has intensified existing socio-spatial inequalities and vulnerabilities, denoting a paradigm shift that urges us to rethink the way we build our cities. Improving the quality of our living environment can foster a more sustainable and resilient approach to public health, putting prevention and promotion of health at the forefront while reducing fossil fuel reliance.

There is a clear need for a vision for a new era of pandemics and long-term plans for recovery. In that sense, the pandemic also opens a window of opportunity for transformative action. Many cities are already debating how to respond to complex issues of environmental, health, and socio-spatial injustices and to "(re)-build better".

Highlighting such a paradigm shift, ISOCARP and the Brussels-Capital Region will welcome city-regions in both Global North and South to come together at the 58th ISOCARP World Planning Congress to advocate for transformative action based on equitable, resilient, and inclusive planning for the well-being of our societies.

The Congress will provide an opportunity to envision ways to heal and start "building better" with healthy people, healthy planet, healthy economy, and healthy governance as the driving force to bring us closer to an economy that is socially, spatially and ecologically just.

Building on the theme and outcomes of the 57th ISOCARP World Planning Congress on "Planning Unlocked: New Times, Better Places, Stronger Communities," this year's Congress will further explore a "New Planning Agenda" to foster the implementation of the United Nations New Urban Agenda as well as the European Territorial Agenda and related European Green Deal, both centred on the notion of "healthy cities for all". 

Zeynep Enlil, General Rapporteur

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