Words of Welcome to Bodø

Welcome by the Mayor of Bodø, Ida Pinnerød

Bodø is proud to have been selected as the host city for ISOCARP’s 54th Congress.

Today, 54% of the world’s population live in urban areas, a proportion which is expected to increase to 66% by 2050. The UN declares that managing urban areas has become one of the most important development challenges of the 21st century.

When we develop our communities for the future, we must do it in a smart way. How we live, move, and meet each other will prove even more important when facing big global challenges such as climate change. The key focus here in Bodø is to develop our community together with and for the people living here.

Bodø, a city located above the Arctic Circle, surrounded by magnificent nature and awe-inspiring mountains, offers unique opportunities for urban development. New solutions and approaches explored here in Bodø can be adopted and implemented by other Arctic cities facing similar challenges and opportunities.

We pride ourselves in being an attractive conference city. This repute is achieved by offering both high-class accommodation and facilities, but also by sharing with our visitors a unique combination of outstanding nature and genuine hospitality.

Welcome to Bodø!


Invitation by the ISOCARP President Ric Stephens

Climate change is the existential threat that will define this century. It will not only dominate the environmental sphere of sustainability, but also the social and economic spheres. It will create the absolute necessity for urban resilience. And, it will create a wonderful opportunity for urban regeneration on a global scale. The positive effects of climate change adaptation and mitigation will not only ensure a more sustainable future, but a more safe, healthy, equitable, and vibrant present.

The 54th Annual International Planning Congress will examine these challenges and opportunities with the theme “Cool Planning: Changing Climate and Our Urban Future.” The Congress tracks will provide insight on urban planning and design for climate change action from international and multi-disciplinary perspectives of benefit to practicing planners, local government officials, private sector experts, environmental managers, educators, students, and the public.

Bodø, Norway is an extraordinary setting for this international event. Located just north of the Arctic Circle, Bodø is positioned to be an Arctic Gateway with smart, sustainable city planning and design. The Nordland coast, nature reserves, and towns are all uniquely beautiful, and the area is famous for the world’s strongest tidal current (Saltstraumen), the Northern Lights, and many other attractions.

I invite you to be part of this singular experience of a lifetime that is certain to be both meaningful and memorable. Help implement the “Climate Action” Sustainable Development Goal: “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.”

With much appreciation for your interest and commitment to “Knowledge for Better Cities.”


Welcome by Rakel Hunstad, Chair of the Local Organising Committee

The Local Organising Committee is very happy to welcome you to the 54th annual ISOCARP Congress in Bodø. We are excited that you have decided to venture the trip to the exotic high north! We will do our utmost to give you a unique experience, both with respect to the congress programme and this year’s congress location in the heart of our vibrant and urban, yet compact city, between steep mountain chains and the Norwegian Sea.

Bodø is currently undergoing large and exciting transitions. The Norwegian Armed forces will phase out their operations in Bodø by 2021/2022. It has been the largest employer in the post-war era. Furthermore, there is an urgent need for a new runway at the current airport. These two events have triggered one of the greatest projects of urban development in the history of Norway. It will liberate an area equivalent to 800 football fields of “blank space” for innovative and sustainable urban development. The developments will strengthen Bodø’s position as an intermodal hub for transportation, and create and test solutions for environmental friendly and people friendly cities of the future. Zero emission neighbourhoods, innovative energy communities, new renewable energy technologies, mobility as a service and much more is at the core. The journey to “The World’s Smartest City” has begun. We invite you to take part in this first-hand for example through a pair of Hololenses while visiting Bodø, in our Living Lab in Stormen Concert Hall.

Bodø’s transition to a low carbon economy aligns perfectly with this year’s congress theme “Cool Planning: Changing Climate and Our Urban Future”. We look forward to discuss this theme – a theme of utmost relevance for all cities and communities at a global level – in the setting of our Arctic city in rapid development.

Further to a solid congress programme on a timely subject, we hope that you will be blinded by the nature and impressed by the urbanity, intrigued by local cuisine and amused by local brewery.



Welcome by ISOCARP Vice-President Congresses and Events Slawomir (Slawek) Ledwon

ISOCARP has travelled around the world – from the Netherlands in 2015, through Durban, South Africa (2016) and Portland, Oregon, USA (2017) – to finally come back to Europe again. This year we will have the pleasure to visit Bodø in Norway and discuss the issue of “Cool Planning: Changing Climate and Our Urban Future.”

The theme and the location perfectly align. We will discuss climate change impacts, sustainability and resilience, not only on the global scale, but also in relation to specific cities, such as those that are located on the coast, are remote and in the high north – particularly relevant to the Arctic Circle. Speakers address the issues related to technology, infrastructure and social networks. For a global perspective there will be a special track related to contemporary planning practice, where a more general approach will be presented.

The congress sessions will take place in different buildings – including the amazing Stormen Concert Hall and Stormen Library – all of which are conveniently located in the downtown of this compact city. So this year Bodø will be the congress venue! We expect an extraordinary line-up of speakers, many abstracts and presentations. We are welcoming interactive session proposals, research papers as well as case studies from practice. Everyone will be able to find sessions relevant to their interests and learn from a truly international set of experts. There will be an extensive social programme and opportunities to visit the region before and after the congress.

I would like to invite you to Bodø – not only to take part in the congress and immerse yourself in the walkable city, but also to experience the city and its residents with their most welcoming hospitality, nature and great food. Possibly the Northern Lights will make your stay memorable.

We all hope that the delegates will enjoy their time, will be satisfied with the contents and will remember this congress for long time.

Join us in Bodø! Submit your abstract and register!



Skip to toolbar