Special Sessions

1. The Lancet Global Health Series on Urban Design, Transport and Health, and the Global Observatory of Healthy and Sustainable Cities 
The session reports on a follow-up 2022 Series, showing how those indicators can be used to measure urban design and transport policies and features in cities. The Series consists of five papers reporting on policy analyses and built environment and transport features using geospatial indicators in 25 cities in 19 lower-middle and high-income countries. Identified are thresholds for built environment interventions to help achieve the World Health Organization's target for decreasing physical inactivity by 15% by 2030. Series researchers have established the Global Healthy and Sustainable City-Indicators Collaboration to continue this work. 


2. ISOCARP and Cities & Health Journal Special Issue Workshop "Planning for the well-being of citizens in neighbourhoods 
Evidence shows us that, in towns and cities all over the world, our urban local living  environments frequently detract from population health and can exacerbate health inequities. Unfortunately such situations are also found in neighbourhoods that have  received recent investments as new build, renewal or renovation. Research shows us what to do, but not how to act and achieve the health and health equity outcomes we seek. We need to open us cross-sectoral conversations from research to practice and back again; and between all the built delivery professions, including public health.   

This workshop will exploring 'on the ground', research, practice and delivery of support for population well-being and good health through planning and design interventions. The focus is the urban neighbourhoods and local environments. This workshop allows participants explore this agenda with each other and experts. Moreover, this workshop will invite participants, especially those outside academia, to help shape an open call for contributions for a special issue of Cities & Health, by exploring these questions and identifying a few more: 

  • How can we grow the lay, policy and professional communities for evidence-informed 'on the ground' work? 
  • When and how can we use experiences of what works for accelerating international learning? 
  • What do case studies demonstrates in the way of moving from good intentions, to policy, implementation and robust outcomes? 


3. Current Challenges for Spatial Planning Profession and Education in Transition- Core Requirements for Planners` University Education 
Newly demanded quality of spatial development and transformation processes towards sustainable, digital knowledge based, innovation oriented and above all towards a healthy, equitable and just society appears to be the mandate of our turbulent times. The multitude of crises exacerbated by the COVID19 pandemics, pose multiple substantial and procedural challenges for planning practice and education. Meeting new demands and requirements on spatial development is not possible without strengthening the position of spatial planning in the society, but at the same time the changes in the profession of planners. They need to be reflected in the profile of professionals involved in the planning processes and their education. The academic society jointly with the representatives of spatial planning professionals needs to exchange on the fundamentals or core requirements of planning education reflecting on the specifics of different planning cultures, positions of planners in professional practice and of educational systems. 

The session brings together the representatives of planning schools (GPEAN, AESOP and others) and of professionals (ISOCARP, ECTP) on exchange about core requirements for planners` university education. The discussion will be based on the outputs of the work done by the AESOP working Group in planning education to update the minimum requirements on planning curricula. 

It will also build on the discussion and results of the special session on "Planning Education and Practice in Transition" in the Virtual Pre-Congress of ISOCARP, which brought practitioners and educators together to reflect upon the challenges ahead of us and to co-create a new agenda for planning education and practice with  urban health, socio-spatial justice and climate resilience in mind.   


4. Pathways from Positive Energy Districts to Climate-Neutral Cities 

The Session will serve as an arena for documenting and discussing the processes that take place in the projects, exploring cross-cutting challenges, exchanging experiences, and developing solutions.  

Facilitated by +CityxChange and ATLIER, two Horizon 2020 smart city Lighthouse projects, this Special Session delves into the implications of energy transition related to EU-funded research and innovation projects  in the rapidly changing European context, drawing on the experiences and learnings gained from +CityxChange and ATELIER, as well as the larger ecosystem of city-led European Smart Cities and Communities Lighthouse projects (SCC1 / Scalable Cities). Linking +CityxChange's objective- to enable the co-creation of a liveable future by developing processes, frameworks and supporting tools to build Positive Energy Blocks and Districts (PEBs/PEDs)- and ATELIER's objective- to realise Positive Energy Districts in Amsterdam and Bilbao to save 1,7kton of CO2 emissions, demonstrating that integrated smart urban solutions support the deployment of PEDs and their replication in six Fellow cities-  with current projects, we will explore how best to transfer knowledge and innovations to policy makers, local authorities, businesses, civil society and the research community, and the role of new initiatives in this innovation ecosystem like Scalable Cities, EU Mission Climate Neutral Cities, European Bauhaus or NetZeroCities. 

The Session will discuss overarching themes of climate neutrality and sustainable urban transitions, but is also cross-cutting, relating directly to three of the congress tracks: Track 2, Healthy Planet, exploring pathways to decarbonisation of cities; Track 3, Healthy Governance, creating new top-down approaches with urban authorities and bottom up approaches through citizen engagement which help accelerate the adoption of PEBs/PEDs; and Track 4, Healthy Economy, forming innovative partnerships and promoting prosumer economies.   

5. Justice for What? Ecological (space) Justice of NbS in the Cities 

The special session is derived from the EU Horizon 2020 project, JUSTNature**. The overall objective of JUSTNature is the activation of NbS by ensuring a just transition to low-carbon cities, based on the principle of the right to ecological space. Cities represent a complex setting; where environmental and climate impacts are not distributed evenly and environmental qualities are becoming increasingly exclusive to high-income households. This refers to the right to clean air and indoor/outdoor thermal comfort for human health and well-being, as well as thriving biodiversity and ecosystems. As such, the project introduces an ethical baseline or compass, which frames the various actions of the project, which however requires an extensive exchange on questions of justice for 'making sense' together. 

This special session discusses the questions posed in the JUSTNature project, which relate to Track 1 Healthy People, Track 2 Healthy Planet, and Track 3 Healthy Governance. 

  • Track 1 Healthy People: JUSTNature considers the right to clean air and indoor/outdoor thermal comfort for human health and well-being, and how this can be ensured by a defined activation of NbS 
  • Track 2 Healthy Planet: JUSTNature also considers how NbS can be activated to support thriving biodiversity and ecosystems, and the duty of not constraining the ecological space of others, in relation to the mitigation of climate change and measures required for reducing GHG emissions. 
  • Track 3 Healthy Governance: By activating just implementation of NbS, the JUSTNature project aims to drive the co-design, co-creation and co-decision of supporting interventions and looks into how effectively enabling co-governance.

* Karrie Jacobs: Toronto wants to kill the smart city forever. The city wants to get right what Sidewalk Labs got so wrong. MIT Technological Review. July/August 2022. The Urbanism Issue. https://www.technologyreview.com/magazines/the-urbanism-issue/ 

** The EU Horizon 2020 JUSTNature project. 


6. Empowering Women, Public Space & Climate Change 
 This special session will include scholars/experts representing international organizations sharing their experiences about 'Empowering Women, Public Space and Climate Change' from their perspectives. Accordingly, this special session intends to search for answers to the following - but not limited to - questions:

  • What is the role of empowering women and gender equality in creating inclusive cities and public spaces for women? 

  • Can public spaces and public services be better designed to create 'gender equal cities?'  

  • How can those working in decision making positions in policy, administrations, private sector and civic society organisations better support and better leverage the importance of gender equality for more sustainable cities as an efficient tool for the fight against climate change in the Global North/South? 

  • What is the role of those designing and planning inclusive and sustainable public space in designing cities for women? 

  • How can we promote the intersectionality and inclusive/diverse aspect of empowering women across communities and cities, which are needed for the fight against climate change?  

  • Can we create positive transformation and gender equal cities through the taking a 'radically inclusive and intersectional' approach via the multi-stakeholder networks designing our public space and cities?  

7. Planning the bio-based city: Rethinking urban policies for a sustainable and carbon-neutral future 
With the building sector responsible for nearly 50% of the annual GhG emissions and more than a third of the total waste produced in cities, reducing the embodied emissions in the urban built environment represents a critical priority for the next decades, set to reshape development policies at all levels through new strategies, certification systems, regulations, guidelines and standards. While cities in Europe already elaborate strategic plans to address climate change issues through energy efficiency measures (eg. SEAP, SECAP, SUMP), none of these currently address the embodied energy and carbon challenge for achieving true carbon neutrality. There is a real need to provide knowledge and evidence-based support for public administrations to implement the EU Green Deal (Renovation Wave Strategy, New European Bauhaus) to prepare for Fit for 55 and to better cope with development pressures and market demand.  

Organized by the Build-in-Wood Project Consortium (2019-2023, Horizon 2020), this special session aims at interactively exploring planning policy roadmaps for making buildings "less carbon-intensive over their full life-cycle" (EC, 2020) through a circularity and whole-life carbon perspective on the potential of multi-storey wood buildings. The session will feature a dive into challenges, solutions and visions for the bio-based city, presenting viewpoints of experts coming from four different backgrounds: research and development, urban planning and policymaking, engineered timber architectural practice , as well as the city-regional perspective. The workshop part itself will aim to understand the technical and policy bottlenecks to mainstreaming wood construction as a healthier, more sustainable option for the built environment of the future.  

8. The street as a barrier to better health on Middle Eastern Cities 
 This Session is an output of an ongoing Research Project, supported by the LSE Middle East Centre and the Emirates Foundation, a collaboration between LSE Cities and the Department of Architecture and Design of Abu Dhabi University. 

Participants of this session will present research papers on the relationship of the street and the urban form on the Gulf Cities and their reflection on urban health. The Gulf Cities remain as some of the finest testbeds for novel urban models because of their contextual, sociocultural and governance particularities, as combined with the rising risks on natural resources and sustainability. 

9. Change 4 Resilience : Young Planning Professionals Special Session 

Young Planning Professionals Special Session, "Change 4 Resilience" is designed to open a dialogue on future imperatives for a resilient city that meets the current needs of the city, improves the quality of life, protects and develops ecological values, and contributes to the transformation of the environment of the project areas with holistic and just approaches. Major questions to explore are: Can current urbanization practices tackle these challenges? Can public space be the driver towards a more resilient city and society? How health contributes to this vision considering the trilogy of people, planet and governance? 

10. Co-producing transitions towards circular cities and regions  

Circular economy is becoming the new sustainability paradigm. The concept is also increasing promoted by policies and strategies across the world. Most of these, however, tend overlook the spatial implications of 'going circular' and the potentials that circular economy brings to rethink regional and urban economies, regenerate degraded urban and peri-urban areas, and promote social cohesion and bottom-up community activity. Circular activities, such an recycling or remanufacturing, have specific spatial needs in terms of proximity, infrastructure and spaces to transport and store materials or buffers to minimize negative externalities of these activities. Circular economy initiatives can also play an important role in reorienting regional and urban economies towards new business models and innovations, while creating opportunities for regeneration of degraded, often polluted, and post-industrial areas and development of new urban fabric in ways that reduce consumption of materials and generation of carbon emissions.  

At the same time, shifting towards circular economy can stimulate creation of new innovative businesses capitalising on regional material flows and of new jobs, not only highly technical and design-oriented ones, but also ones that require currently neglected manufacturing skills and offer opportunities for marginalized social groups. Finally, there are potentials that circular economy brings for regenerating natural ecosystems, creating more healthy urban spaces and mobilising grassroots engagement of communities in local initiatives to reduce waste generation. Reaping those potential benefits of circular economy, however, requires overcoming numerous barriers related to governance of transitions, planning and policy levers to promote development of circular built environment, as well as awareness of circular principles among decision-makers, businesses and citizens. This session will explore those neglected potentials and challenges through spatial lens, offering the participants opportunities to engage in a lively discussion with the panelists.  

11. Energy transition of cities 

How can we accelerate the process in frames of the emerging energy crisis? 

The cities governance is different from one continent to another. And so is the relationship between different public and different private stakeholders. What does energy transition mean ? what does it mean to be carbon neutral or even carbon positive? How can we improve the energy efficiency and energy performance of the city services and utilities, but also for the buildings, transportation, etc. What concretely cities today can do to better control the energy prices with the current geopolitics in Europe and outside Europe? Making sure it will not double or triple? Also the higher the fossil fuels energy prices are the faster the energy transition can be processed, at least from the perspective of energy savings and energy performance contracts. 

12. Addressing extreme urban heat through nature-based solutions: A global perspective 

This session proposal addresses the issue of extreme urban heat and its consequences on urban health. It also brings to the discussion the tools and methods available for cities in addressing the issue through nature-based solutions.  

This roundtable discussion is organized by the Global Public Space Programme at UN-Habitat with participation from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the Arsht-Rockefeller Resilience Center. 

The session is organized around three key questions: 'How can we empower cities to address extreme heat and build climate resilient urban communities through tools and methodologies', 'What role can planners, experts and local governments play in reducing biodiversity loss and improving ecosystem management?' and 'How can nature-based solutions mitigate extreme urban heat effect in cities?' 

13. Health care in spatial planning 

This panel offers the audience to learn from and discuss with experts that work in the care and urban planning sector and are specifically experimenting and developing methodologies and projects that bridge two sectors that often do not work together. What is the role of urban and spatial planners in health policies. How can the built environment promote health and care? How can they work hand in hand with the health and care sector and how can they achieve this? Which specific insights and methods, developed by experts from the health sector, will help to make urban planning more effective as a public policy and investment? These are some questions the presenters will answer, followed by a discussion with panelists and the audience.  

14. Refugee shelters planned differently: From permanent temporality to permanent infrastructures for temporary housing- developing long-term and sustainable spatial visions on refugee accommodation in Belgian and international contexts. 

From permanent temporality to permanent infrastructures for temporary housing: developing long-term and sustainable spatial visions on refugee accommodation in Belgian and international contexts. 

In response to the sudden drafting of emergency decrees and building of emergency shelters to accommodate the influx of Ukrainian refugees, the Flemish Association for Spatial Planners (VRP) wrote a joint opinion piece on the topic of refugee shelter in March 2022 together with refugee organisations ORBIT and Mondiale Werken (MoWe) and socio-spatial researchers from Endeavour, KU Leuven, Gent University and the University of Antwerp. 

The main argument that we made at the time was that this emergency approach towards refugee shelter lacks a long-term spatial vision. As elsewhere, both in the Global North and South, refugee accommodations, be it reception centres or camps, are opened and closed down in response to migration peaks and dips resulting in a never-ending cycle of lost investments in emergency solutions. As the need for temporary housing to accommodate refugees is recurring and as refugees are not the only group of people 'in transit' in the city, it becomes urgent to develop more long-term and sustainable spatial visions on temporary housing. Such alternative visions frame refugee accommodation against the background of rising housing shortages in a way that both questions are simultaneously addressed. 

In this panel we welcome papers that, both in Belgian and international contexts, reflect on alternative spatial visions for refugee accommodation that go beyond housing newcomers in permanent temporality. Such spatial visions take into account changing patterns of urbanization and migratory settlements and tackle multiple issues, such as the location of refugee accommodations vis-à-vis existing urban centres or villages, the residents' pathways for inclusion both during their stay and when leaving the accommodations (in different functional domains, among which housing on private rental markets), the residents' access to services and provisions and the solidarity networks enabling this access, the architectural features of the accommodations that break with the emergency aesthetics of containers and tents, etc. As (forced) migration is not likely to disappear from the urban agenda, and as (urban) planners and policy makers have been too long absent in this domain, this session aims to work towards a paradigm shift in planning and policy regarding the accommodation of refugees. The initial opinion piece can be found on the VRP website: www.vrp.be/nieuws 

15. Health at the bedside of the city: How the issue of climatic well-being renews the practice of urban planning? 

During this session, we will discuss about issues and lessons learnt resulting from taking actions, particularly through 3 strategic stakes: 

  1. Active strategy to foster nature in the city (correlated to increasing soil permeability): planting trees, creating more inclusive design for water in public space, accounting for private gardens in global thermal comfort, awareness-raising actions through tactical design, etc. :  

  1. characterization of the urban heat island to prevent from heat wave impacts : at the neighbourhood scale, by a temperature measurement campaign carried out over several years, which results in a mapping of indicators (vegetation, building height, soil sealing, etc) 

  1. Support/ coaching collective transformations in behaviours and lifestyles: changes in lifestyles, local solidarity, and crisis management, etc. to make prevention a long-term priority and to minimize the impact of associated health risks 

Each strategic axis will be illustrated by a specific urban project, recently developed in Grenoble:

  • The "canopee planning " developed by Grenoble Alpes Métropole
  • INSPE Urban project is the reconversion of an educational site with a transitional urban planning  
  • Cambridge urban project is a new neighbourhood with advanced study on environmental parameters 


The first feedback and results of these different approaches/ projects will be presented and discussed during this panel discussion. Obstacles will be addressed. Concrete levers will be shared to enhance the effectiveness of preventive management strategies to all urban development operations.  

16. Shifting (urban) economy: What place for economic transition in the city? 

Brussels, as many other European cities has embraced the paradigm of Circular Economy (CE) as a key element of its Economic Transition Strategy.  Indeed, through the shift towards Urban circularity cities aim to anchor the economic production locally, stimulate the creation of new jobs and reduce environmental impacts. However urban CE policies have shown a set of contradictions and limitations in delivering their socio-ecological transformative potential. This panel will discuss which spatial planning perspectives would foster urban circularity practices which are more inclusive, enable local communities' empowerment and contribute to the city socio-economic-environmental resilience. 

17. Resilient Public Spaces for Healthy Living 

This special session will include scholars/experts representing international organizations - AESOP, ISOCARP and CSA, sharing their experiences about 'Resilient Public Spaces for Healthy Living' from their perspectives. Accordingly, this special session intends to search for answers to the following - but not limited to - questions: 

  • What is the role of public space in creating resilient cities? 
  • Can public spaces be designed in such a way that they support better resilience and healthy living in cities? 
  • What is the role of resilient public spaces for healthy living? 
  • How can we promote resiliency and healthy living through public spaces? 
  • Can we create positive transformation and better resilience in cities through the good design of public spaces? 
  • Can public spaces provide networks of resilience through our cities? 

18. The 15-minute city: a cotemporary approach to proximity planning

An issue raised is that planning for proximity might not be too sensitive to context, with the risk that planning interventions would mostly respond to average needs and therefore result in homogeneous urban development. Other commentators wrote that the 15-minute city, through investment in central urban areas, could amplify social inequalities between such densely populated centers and more suburban areas. Furthermore, the question arises of how useful the 15-minute city is in daily planning practice, where public and private amenities each follow their own location logic and are therefore only moderately susceptible to planning interventions. 

19. Metropolis pilot project: Increasing the effectiveness of urban planning and impact measurement by assessing the well-being and quality of people's living environment. 

As cities recognize their role into the day-to-day wellbeing of their citizens, they also seek to develop adequate measures to ensure the efficiency of their actions. Economic measures and official statistics aren't sufficient to inform the decision makers about abstract concepts such as perceptions and sentiments of the population. For the last two years, the cities of Montreal, Barcelona and Brussels have worked together to propose a conceptual framework that would allow the local administrations to produce their own measures of living conditions and perceptual wellbeing. The results will ensure a better alignment between the territorial needs and concrete measures of urban planning. 

20. Cities and Global Events: A Critical Examination: Shattered Promises or Fulfilled Dreams? 

The session will critically discuss the impact of hosting such global events on the prosperity of the city and enhancing its local and regional economy. Related to the theme of the Congress, a crucial topic would be the impact on the health and wellbeing of the city and the region's dwellers, such as with the provision of new green open spaces, protection of existing natural landscapes and promotion of physically active lifestyles. In sum, participants will contest the concepts of legacy, sustainability, resilience, economic development, health and well-being, and social and environmental impact, all in the context of the unprecedented competition between cities to host global events. 

21. How a feminist approach challenges methods of research and governance in urban planning? 

In this session on gender and urban planning, the angle of approach is rather what methods are used and to be used to implement a feminist approach in our planning professions. What has been the impact of the methods used, what are the results? The session will start with a short presentation of each panel member, their work, results and methods used (10 min per person). More and more architects, planners and institutions are questioning the relevance of urban governance and integrating a feminist approach. However, our knowledge of the tools to promote this approach is limited. Different researchers will explain their case studies and approaches and will debate with the audience. 


22. Post-conflict and post-disaster Rebuilding and Regeneration 

Day-in, day-out the latest bad news end up in our email boxes, out social media streams or on the headlines of our newspapers and -websites. Many of them tell us about the latest disasters, wars or conflicts, events that profoundly change the lives of those affected. In many cases infrastructure, buildings, entire cities or regions are destroyed and often it takes decades to rebuild what has been lost in a matter of minutes, hours or days. Often the disaster or the conflict is followed by an agonizing time of waiting and provisional solutions that regularly become 'permanent temporarity' locking people into their fate and depriving them of a better life that is possible. As planners and urban designers we could play a crucial role in shaping that better future but all too often we are not involved while we are having the knowledge that can have a positive impact on post disaster or post conflict rebuilding. But since each of these watershed event is different and each of them happens in a local context, we believe exchange of our own expertise is important and imminent. In this session we therefore want to discuss and exchange our own experience in post conflict and post disaster regeneration and rebuilding. We want to do this on the background of the war taking place on Ukrainian soil but also on flooding events that drowned 1/3 of Pakistan or earthquakes that hit Taiwan. Do you have experience in the subject or do you want to learn about it? Do you want to connect to colleagues working in the same field or do you want to get involved? Then join us! 


23. Co-creating a Healthy City: A Serious game to understand the role of health in urban development 

In this session, we share practical insights learnt from the field and – based on experience – propose a new lens through which to consider urban health. Looking through this lens, we imagine a simplified framework that can be used to tackle the problems faced by practitioners, which are: 

  • Health is seen as yet another positive transition that will require additional space, resources, and investment - next to all the other transitions such as climate, mobility, and energy that cities are working towards. As such, the impression policy makers have is that there is not enough capacity within city governments to work on urban health. 
  •  Achieving a positive health impact requires cross-sectoral collaboration, since health is interlinked with many other conventional city services. Most city governments do not have the organisational setup to facilitate such cross-sectoral collaborations. 
  • As with most policy measures, there is a need to quantify health impact of measures to help prioritize a starting point and justify any investment at all. This can be difficult in real world scenarios where there are too many variables at play. 

We use the format of a serious game to share what we have learned from practice and mediate discussions on dealing with the challenges mentioned above. The practical insights we have learnt from the field are translated into health measure cards that are used as part of the gameplay and for knowledge transfer. 

24. Underground urbanism for climate resilience and healthy cities 

 Cities around the world have used these spaces to lay down service lines - for water, sanitation, electricity, telecommunication - or for parking and transport. However, the multifaceted value of underground spaces is largely overlooked in planning processes - focusing on the horizontal and vertical expansion of urban areas above the surface. This neglect of underground spaces is linked to a limited understanding of the value of underground spaces and the importance of spatial planning to effectively utilise these spaces. Even cities that are exploring the underground spaces for entertainment, commerce and mobility, or embedding principles of circularity to move data infrastructure underground, are constrained by challenges of unknown conditions, geology, geochemistry, government regulations and legal barriers. Moreover, without a coherent city-level vision, and appropriate legal, policy, fiscal and planning instruments, the use of underground spaces for a sustainable, liveable, healthy, inclusive and climate-resilient future remains fragmented and chaotic.  

Utilising the often-ignored underground spaces for a climate resilient and responsive urban future thus requires planners, designers, engineers, architects, managers, and innovators to tap diverse opportunities lying deep in the subsurface. Strategic planning, design and management of these spaces beneath our feet can help us move miles ahead in our vision for a sustainable, resilient and inclusive urban and planetary future.  

The special session aims to expand urbanism to think beyond the "above ground", and amplify the future of cities, which is impossible without integrating the subsurface into the urban fabric. Moreover, this event aims to highlight the value of underground spaces in the development, planning and management of a resilient and sustainable urban future, and therein the role of public policies and governance. The idea to plan and manage the use of the underground has been around for a long time. The use of the subsurface has evolved below many modern cities. It has evolved to focus on the use of the subsurface as a spatial relief valve - freeing up vital space on the surface for alternate use. In the foreseeable future, planning the use of underground spaces for a sustainable, resilient, liveable and inclusive city will become inevitable - to avoid future chaos and limitations on city development. It will require cross-disciplinary integrated urban planning and government policies where public policies and urban planning acknowledge the existence of underground space and plan its use with the development of the surface. 




Pre-Congress Virtual Special Sessions 

25. Contesting urban acupuncture: from urban health to wholesome urbanism 

This session will address a global south epistemological revision of "urban acupuncture" that leads to a construction of the emerging idea of wholesome urbanism. This means that excluded and invisible ideas, concepts and wisdom of the city would be valued and reinviticated in order to subvert the situation that locates Latin American and Asian cities as study cases (objects) analyzed from the eurocentric theoretical perspective. In this sense, the session aims to discuss "urban acupuncture" added to social symptom, burnout and well-being, allowing us to go beyond urban health, by proposing four alternative concepts for thinking wholesome urbanism in a decolonial perspective: deconstructed heritage, city sweetness, popular habitat and slow living. 

26. Spatial planning beyond economic growth: approaches for an urbanization in a finite planet 

The spatial and social well-being of cities is increasingly dependent on their economic growth. Yet, this growth comes at costs of material depletion and social conflicts. How can cities thrive while decreasing their ecological impact? How does a post growth approach to planning differ from existent approaches to sustainable development? Is a post-growth approach really possible? How do ecological priorities link to social justice goals in post growth planning? What approaches can spatial planners use in order to pursue social well-being, human health and spatial qualities while decreasing the pressure of cities on the environment? 


27. Planning a Healthy Megalopolis: the case of the EuroDelta 

The virtual and in-person Eurodelta Special Sessions during the 58th ISOCARP World Planning Congress will provide a global platform to explore challenges and opportunities of a functional transnational polycentric river-delta and global gateway on the European scale, consisting of the densely urbanized parts of the Benelux, Western Germany, and Northern France, with fast connections to the surrounding mono-centric metropolises including London, Paris, and Frankfurt. With Brussels as one of the central urban nodes, 'Eurodelta' is a potential transnational pilot area for territorial collaborative action to advance and implement the European Green Deal. By scaling up a global ambition while respecting and cultivating a very diverse microcosmos of healthy medium- and small-sized cities, Eurodelta can aspire the status of a 'glocal' megalopolis of more than 45 million inhabitants. In collaboration with Deltametropolis Association and Metrex, as well all three Belgian planning associations (VRP/CUB/FUP), ISOCARP is establishing a Community of Practice (CoP) to bring challenging and innovative Eurodelta issues and inspirations to the relevant tables of decision-making and -taking. The Eurodelta Session will take stock of most recent planning research and practices, and provide a platform to discuss and exchange megalopolis-experiences from all over the world.  

28.Planning Education and Practice in Transition 

This special session on "Planning Education and Practice in Transition" organized by ISOCARP in collaboration with Global Planning Education Association Network (GPEAN) and the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) brings together planning practitioners and educators in order to discuss the challenges ahead of us with the aim to think together and co-create a new planning agenda for urban health, socio-spatial justice and climate resilience.

In the general context of the main theme of the congress, session aims to bring into discussion how does or should planning education and practice, for that matter, respond to the pressing issues of our times marked by climate emergency, escalating crises of social, economic, health, spatial and environmental inequalities. 

The session will focus on the following questions:

  • Do our current curricula provide prospective planers with the knowledge and skills to respond to these urgent issues?
  • How can we adapt the curricula to the challenges of ecological and social transition? What changes are needed in order to prepare our students for playing an effective role in transitioning to a "better world" that is decarbonized, healthy and just? 

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