Congress Tracks 2019

TRACK 1: Limitless cities and urban futures: planning for scale
TRACK 2: Besides the megacity and other cities: planning for balance
TRACK 3: Liveable places and healthy cities: planning for people
TRACK 4: Knowledge economies and identity: planning for culture
TRACK 5: Smart futures and sustainability: planning for innovation
TRACK 6: Changing environment and risks: planning for resilience
TRACK 7: Urban governance and planning profession: planning for future

TRACK 1: Limitless cities and urban futures: planning for scale
congress team: Peter Newman, Australia & Luo Wenjing, China


Reasons why megacities and city regions are growing and leading planetary urbanisation
Global influence and competitiveness: the role of megacities
Megacities as leaders in low impact energy, food, and resources consumption
Linkages, relationships, disparities, synergies and connections: opportunities for the whole and its parts
Prospects, visions, futures, predictions, forecasts and scenarios for megacities in the future

Through holistic exploration, this track will provide an opportunity to discuss why megacities are emerging, how they are influencing the world (positively and otherwise) and how planners can think ahead about their future. Megacities and city-regions are challenging the notion of the traditional city and even the metropolis. Larger and more powerful than countries, they become global nodes of migration, trade, knowledge exchange and innovation that seem to be limitless. Are megacities unstoppable and the fastest way to a prosperous future?

The track also explores the needs and impacts of megacities, from infrastructure to food and waste, and the range of strategies needed, imagined or already being explored, to make them lead the way towards efficiencies of scale and innovative resource management. Are they part of a global interconnected network that can lead planetary change or a threat to life on Earth?

How best to plan for an efficient, liveable and regenerative megacity? What lessons can already be learned from the leaders in this journey?


  • Session 1.1 Understanding Megacities: Scales (1/2)
    How can one understand the growth of megacities? Are megacities limitless? This session discusses the scales of megacities as well as the method of controlling the growth boundary of megacities.
  • Session 1.2 Understanding Megacities: Linkages and Structures (1/2)
    How can one understand megacities as a whole and as individual parts? This session explores the structures of megacities including linkages, relationships, disparities, synergies and connections.
  • Session 1.3 Understanding of Megacities: Scales (2/2)
    How can one understand the growth of megacities? Are megacities limitless? This session discusses the scales of megacities as well as the method of controlling the growth boundary of megacities.
  • Session 1.4 Understanding Megacities: Linkages and Structures (2/2)
    How can one understand megacities as a whole and as individual parts? This session explores the structures of megacities including linkages, relationships, disparities, synergies and connections.
  • Session 1.5 (Special Session) How to Plan Ahead: Wuhan Metropolis Experiences
    This session specifically focuses on Chinese megacity planning using the case study of Wuhan, located in Central China. With a population of more than 11 million and an area of more than 8,000 square kilometres, it aims to become a sustainable, efficient and liveable megacity.
  • Session 1.6 Planning for Megacities: Sustainability
    How can one plan for a sustainable megacity? This session focuses on resource consumption, resource utilisation, and environmental preservation in planning strategies of megacities.
  • Session 1.7 Planning for Megacities: Efficiency
    How can one plan for an efficient megacity? This session focuses on improving the efficiency of megacities, especially in the areas of transit-oriented development, smart cities and the like.

TRACK 2: Besides the megacity and other cities: planning for balance
congress team: Tathagata Chatterji, India & Fedor Kudryavtsev, Russia


Role and future of cities that aim for balance rather than limitless scale in the global race towards agglomeration advantage
Alternatives to the megacity through regional networked urban clusters
The megacity backside: shrinking settlements, disappearing villages and other similar externalities
Planning for spatial balance: rural-agrarian productivity, wildlife and urbanisation equilibrium of metropolitan areas
Neither urban nor rural: emerging lifestyles, urban forms and economics beyond megacities

This track explores alternative themes beside and beyond the megacity: one explores the paths of cities that aspire to being influential, but also aim for balance and perhaps containment (to provide an alternative model where there is less pressure and life is more balanced).

The other looks at aspects of the regions around megacities: the hinterland and its rural towns, which play an essential role supporting and providing resources to the megacity, sometimes being left behind by the economics and policies of large urbanisation, and sometimes reaping the benefits of nearby growth, prosperity and innovation.

Are megacities the only option? What would be the future role of secondary or non-global cities? Can they only be subservient or irrelevant? How to strengthen economic roles of smaller cities as counter magnets – to generate more job opportunities closer to home and reduce population pressure on megacities? How does megacity expansion transform the countryside and their own hinterlands? How can megacities and peri-urban areas develop a synergetic and maybe positive relationship? How is rural development providing spaces and resources for city dwellers? Does it make sense to invest and modernise agriculture around a megacity and reinvent the rural into a new model?


  • Session 2.1 Beyond Megacities: Key Challenges and Alternatives
    Discussions under Track 2 broadly explore two key areas – the contemporary urbanisation context under which the megacities, their scale economies and their regional linkages are embedded, and what the possible alternative spatial models are. These two broad themes then lead to more detailed explorations around seven sub-themes. This introductory session, involving keynote speakers from all the sub-themes would touch upon key challenges and alternatives in planning at a regional scale and lead to further deliberations under specific sub-topics.
  • Session 2.2 Megacities Backside: Peri-urban Interface
    Peri-urban interfaces of dynamic metropolitan regions are spaces which are forever in a state of flux, where land use patterns and built forms frequently undergo rapid change, where urban and rural land livelihood and lifestyle patterns coexist, often within a person’s everyday routine. Hereunder this sub-theme, we not only explore some of the complexities involved in peri-urban transformation, but also seek to understand how megacities and peri-urban areas can develop a synergetic and perhaps positive relationship.
  • Session 2.3 Metropolitan City and Its Shadow Regions
    Megacities and global metropolitan regions often tend to cloud our imagination through the sheer magnitude of their scale, their glitz and glamour, and their deprivation and squalor. Needless to say, megacities dominate and overshadow their hinterlands. Here, we seek to shed light on such shadow regions. We ask what it means to be a shadow region. Can life be good in the shadow of the megacities? How does megacity expansion transform the countryside? What are the conflict points and how are they being negotiated?
  • Session 2.4 Urban Expansion and Food Supply: Megacities Resiliency
    Rapid expansion of urban footprints-often in unplanned chaotic ways-are harming our ecosystems and green covers; fertile agricultural lands are shrinking; wetlands and waterbodies are depleting. This sub-theme explores how we can manage urban expansions more sustainably. We shall discuss how to implement global sustainability goals through local processes. What are the linkages between peri-urban agriculture and urban sustainability goals? Does it make sense to invest and modernise agriculture around a megacity and reinvent the rural into a new synergetic model?
  • Session 2.5 Managing Megacities and Hinterlands Relations – Planning at a Regional Scale
    Megacity – hinterland relations are often seen as one-way traffic, where market advantages of agglomeration economies dictate flows of population and material resources. Here we question how we can bring greater balance through innovative regional planning strategies. How do we strengthen economic roles of smaller cities as counter magnets – to generate more job opportunities for rural migrants closer to their home and reduce population pressure on megacities?
  • Session 2.6 Alternative Models of Spatial Development: Neither Urban nor Rural?
    Here we discuss settlement typologies beyond urban-rural binaries. We try to understand what the possible alternative models of spatial development are, and which ones are neither urban nor rural. How to strengthen rural economies, culture and lifestyle, in this age of rapid urbanisation? How do newly planned cities impact existing rural settlements? How are land and environmental conflicts being mediated?
  • Session 2.7 Beyond Megacities: Role of Mega Infrastructure in Hinterland Development
    Mega logistics hubs, such as special economic zones, container terminals, and ports; and network infrastructure, such as railway corridors and highways anchor global supply chains in megacities. But how do such mega-infrastructure projects shape regional settlement patterns and backward linkages? How do they shape industrialisation and urbanisation processes?
  • Session 2.8 The future of urbanization: decentralization of functions, dispersal of urban form?
    Discussions under the theme would revolve around various alternative possibilities regarding mega-urban regions – What are national level planning strategies regarding spatial concentration or dispersal? Is it still necessary for capital and other core administrative and economic functions to be co-located in a single urban centres? Or is it possible to envision that constellation or a network of different small towns connected by smart technologies will surpass megacities of today? And why do countries still need centralized cities as it was thousand years ago despite the all-around digital maze of our times?

TRACK 3: Liveable places and healthy cities: planning for people
congress team: Jens Aerts, Belgium/USA & Mahak Agrawal, India


Health, safety, prosperity for all: children, elderly and other vulnerable people
Environmental justice, spatial equity, the right to the city
Digital connectivity and social innovation to improve and measure well-being
Access to urban services and a clean and safe environment
Collective space and building the community (formal and informal)
Frameworks and tools to measure liveability
Planning with people and communities: universal design, co-production and open data
Livability as a universal or cultural value

Migration, unplanned urbanisation and urban inequities affect the well-being of city dwellers on an individual and collective scale across the world. Cities expand more rapidly than can be sustained by infrastructure and services, and the cost of living is rising far more rapidly than wages. Lack of basic services affect a sizeable part of the population. In addition, the physical urban environment introduces new types of vulnerabilities that require a systematic approach through urban planning: obesity, mental diseases and the decrease of play and physical activity, multiple forms of exposure to pollutions and unsafe public spaces. These challenges come with a high cost for the weakest but also for the community, leading to high public health costs, social unrest, fragmentation, urban violence and terrorism, ethnic tensions and more.

Planning for and with people is at the core of creating a viable future: Improving the quality of life together, planning safe spaces and clean infrastructure, promoting child-responsive and multi-generational environments. Engaging communities in the process of planning will spark innovation, improve knowledge and decision making for the best solutions, accelerate change and ensure citizens adopt sustainable behaviours from early age on.

Is liveability a luxury or a human right? How can it be defined and measured? Can we plan for it? Are there universal principles or different ones depending on culture?


  • Session 3.1 (Special Session) UNICEF Opening Session: Children and Cities, Planning for the Future
    Discussions under track 3 highlight the complex relation between urban health issues, spatial inequity and environmental challenges. Especially in large and fragmented urban contexts, this requires a focus on equity and people-centred urban planning approaches, to ensure urban development and upgrading translates in healthy, safe and inclusive spaces. Analysing the evidence, successful initiatives, strategies and projects, this opening session, organised by UNICEF and supported by a panel of experts, will highlight priorities for action in order to build and plan healthy cities for children and their communities.
  • Session 3.2 Planning and Design for Collective Space and Transport for Children and Communities
    Public space networks are the backbone of many planned cities and allow access to the city on various scales and in all its meanings: as a functional place to undertake a journey, but also to meet, play, learn and grow up to become a citizen, to build the community for all generations. If all children have access to public space, cities are successful for everyone. This session shows how crucial planning and placemaking approaches for collective spaces and safe mobility are for children and communities.
  • Session 3.3 Participatory Planning and Multi-generational Well-being
    Community-led planning is more and more recognised as a sustainable approach to address urbanisation challenges, in absence of or as a complement and alternative to formal planning. Various examples show that participatory planning ensures inclusion in decision making and fosters community development on a neighbourhood level, as fundamental building stone of any size of city.
  • Session 3.4 (Special Session) Planning Sustainable Urban Childhoods for the Youngest
    Planning and designing a city to better meet the needs of babies, toddlers and the people who care for them is one of the best investments a city can make. Growing evidence from neuroscience, public health, education and economics makes it clear: Experience shapes the developing brain. One of the best ways to ensure good experiences is to support the people who care for babies and toddlers, beginning in pregnancy. City planners have a big role to play: If you could experience a city from 95cm – the height of a 3-year-old – what would you change?
  • Session 3.5 Sustainable Mobility and Streets for People
    Despite the potential of urbanisation to reduce distances, increase density of activities and enhance walking, biking and mass transit, transportation planning seems to prioritise individual car use. This leads to clogged street spaces, traffic injuries and polluted air. This session explores sustainable urban mobility strategies that prioritise the well-being of people and looks for inclusive solutions for all (gender, ages).
  • Session 3.6 Data, Indicators and New Paradigms for Public Health
    Data is key for sustainable urban planning: to collect it, to use it for decisions making, to evaluate initiatives and to monitor progress. There is quantitative and qualitative data, to be collected with new technologies, but also through social innovation, as this allows communities to engage and to share knowledge. This session explores the sense of open data, indicators, evaluations methods and mapping tools that foster community engagement, to support better planning of healthy and just cities.
  • Session 3.7 Public Space, Public Life
    Public spaces are the core of cities. They can be formally planned, but the public life can be informal at the edges and make unexpected spaces more inclusive and welcoming for specific vulnerable groups such as migrants and women. This session explores the relation between urban form, liveability and values of public spaces and how the latter is also about the daily process of making meaningful places from neutral spaces.
  • Session 3.8 The Right to Housing and Livelihoods
    Housing is more than four walls equipped with basic services of water, sanitation, drainage or electricity. Housing is a human right, strongly interlinked to livelihood, and a critical part in redressing the complex multi-dimensional challenges of poverty, inequalities, inequities and exclusion. The sub-track discusses and reflects upon lessons learnt from housing plans, schemes and projects in different parts of the world. It also explores varied perceptions to housing and livelihoods across various generations in diverse geographies and the feasibility of select tools and techniques that can tackle housing issues.

TRACK 4: Knowledge economies and identity: planning for culture
congress team: Nasim Iranmanesh, Iran & Piotr Lorens, Poland


The value of locality and identity to the globalizing world
Local identities and cultures as assets within the megacity
Unspoken pasts: the role and legacy of colonial heritage
Knowledge as the foundation of a high-value urban economy
Culture, heritage and identity as economic drivers
Tourism as consumption or tourism as a promoter of the locality

Culture and heritage are both taking globalising cities forward and being put at risk by them. Relentless pressures of urbanisation and ‘urban marketing’ initiatives sometimes promote an image of the city that hides or even removes local diversity and ‘unwanted pasts’. Yet culture and heritage are essential to retain cohesion and create local identity in a megacity, which would otherwise be faceless.

Within the themed sessions the interrelations between locality, local identity and megacities will be explored, focusing on the four key sub-topics:
– Historic cities, local identities and city branding
– Design for urban regeneration
– Culture-sensitive approaches to city planning
– Culture, heritage and sustainable development.

In addition, a special session dealing with culture as urban renewal resource will become an introduction to the entire track. Accompanied by keynote speeches, all sessions will build a vast picture of contemporary issues associated with ‘planning for culture’.

As a result, it will be possible to discuss how local identities and modern approaches towards dealing with heritage can be reconciled with global marketing of city and globalising urban models. Also, the issues associated with shaping the planning strategies for culture and identity different in a megacity will be dealt with. These shall allow reflection on the role of cultural development and creative industries in contemporary city planning and development along with redefining the approaches to mass tourism and its role in preservation of the local identities. At the same time, within the sessions it will be possible to discuss the reverse questions: How can cities and megacities promote their culture and local identity to establish a dynamic knowledge economy, capable of shaping locally sensitive urban solutions?

Each of the track sessions will start with the pre-selected keynote presentation. This will be followed by a discussion panel, during which each of the presenters will be asked by both track coordinators questions regarding the most important messages associated with their papers. Afterwards, a more general discussion with active participation of all session participants will follow. Such a structure shall allow focusing on key messages delivered within the papers submitted and-at the same time-drafting clear conclusions regarding the sessions’ topics.


  • Session 4.1 Cool Planner in South East Asia: City Resilience Design
    Understanding urban conditions of our cities in a new way – embracing informality, reconsidering built environment policies, and encouraging formation of new public landscapes – is at the very base of climate change resilience. What is the role of designers and planners in this process, in the Asian context?
    At this year’s World Planning Congress in Jakarta, ISOCARP continues with its interactive Cool Planner Talks, tackling the challenges, the thrills and the responsibilities planning profession faces in the context of climate change. The upcoming Cool Planner Session focuses on South East Asia and examines the profile and the design skills Cool Planner needs in this region, in order to help cities become more resilient. As the first Cool Planner Session during 2018 ISOCARP’s 54th World Planning Congress in Bodø, (Norway) has shown, the profession of urban planning is no longer limited to urban space. It has expanded to other fields and merged with other expertise. The aim of this year’s Cool Planner Session is to showcase and discuss examples and challenges of “designing for resilience”. Can we frame the main ingredients of the City Resilience Design? How can we further develop and promote it? What is the role of technology and what do planners need to know and learn in this field? How can design help make realistic, bankable climate resilience projects for neighbourhoods and districts? The Session will host four short talks from invited speakers and a peer-to-peer experts’ panel. The talks will highlight projects, best practices, and experiences from urban professionals across many fields of climate change resilience, with relevance to Asian, South Asian and particularly Indonesian context. Guests and speakers at this year’s Cool Planner SEA Session are experts from international planning practices, financial institutions, academia, cities governances and governmental planning institutions.
  • Session 4.2 Culture-sensitive Approaches in City Planning
    The scope of the topics associated with this session will include a vast array of issues associated with city planning in culture-sensitive areas. Both the tangible and intangible cultural assets and issues will be dealt with. At the same time the issues associated with minority cultures and specific manifestations of cultural activities and heritage will be discussed. On this basis the specific concepts and solutions for diversified places, cities and regions will be presented, with the special focus on “non-traditional” heritage sites. The cases analysed will include location in Europe and Asia, with interesting presentations from – among others – Germany, China and Indonesia.
  • Session 4.3 Historic Cities, Local Identities, and City Branding
    Within this session the issues associated with managing local identities will be discussed. Topics dealt with will include both reinventing heritage as notions of local identities as well as development of interrelations between heritage and city branding. A number of issues will be discussed, including the “shared heritage” (e.g., colonial cities), non-traditional types of heritage (e.g., hydraulic infrastructure or underground built heritage) as well as interrelations between heritage and socioeconomic development. Also, the ways of using the new technologies and concepts for the purpose of shaping the modern urban development strategies will be part of the session discussion. The cases analysed will cover a wide range of locations, including China, Dubai, Indonesia, Central Asia, Iran and others.
  • Session 4.4 Beyond Heritage: Culture as Urban Renewal Resource (Special Session)
    The Beyond Heritage: Culture as Urban Renewal Resource Session focuses on the contemporary approaches in using cultural heritage as a tool for urban renewal. Based on the results of the recent two very different UPAT workshops in China – Suzhou’s “Panmen-Shantang Street in the Grand Canal National Culture Park” and Wuhan’s “New Hangzheng Avenue” – the Session will look beyond the layers of history, and examine how to use heritage as a motor to promote cultural values, restore social cohesion, foster sustainable economic growth and revive public spaces.
  • Session 4.5 Design for Urban Regeneration
    This sub-theme will include a number of papers / presentations associated with new approaches toward design for transformation of cities. Both general concepts and particular tools will be discussed, including the real-life cases. These will span from regional to very local scales and include the discussion of both analytical and decision-making tools and instruments. In addition, a number of concepts associated with urban regeneration, such as resilient planning and healthy cities will be discussed. The cases analysed will cover mostly Asian locations, although a strong set of references to other parts of the world will be made.
  • Session 4.6 Culture, Heritage and Sustainable Development
    The main purpose of this session is to discuss the culture and heritage issues in the wider context of the sustainable development concept and practice. In particular, the interrelations between urban form, socioeconomic issues, environmental concerns as well as heritage and identity aspects of urban transformation will be put in the centre of this debate. On that basis, more specific issues will be dealt with, such as roles of various types of development and economies as well as emerging and re-established knowledge hubs in the process of sustaining urban and regional development. Furthermore, social problems associated with gentrification and social exclusion will be debated on. The cases analysed will include both (but not exclusively) Asian and African cases, including South African, Nigerian, Indonesian and Chinese ones.
    In addition, a special session dealing with culture as urban renewal resource will be organised. Accompanied by keynote speeches, all sessions will build a vast picture of contemporary issues associated with ‘planning for culture’.
    Session 4.7 Panel Session on Culture-led regeneration: Issues and challenges for planning and development processes

TRACK 5: Smart futures and sustainability: planning for innovation
congress team: Dorota Kamrowska-Zaluska, Poland & Awais Piracha, Australia


Smart cities, automatisation, financing and technological advances
Shared and inclusive innovative economies and digital transformation
Citizen-focused smart services
Disruptive and sharing technologies and their impact
Strategic and real-time data-based policy and data management
New mobility and its influence on urban form

Smart cities are appearing everywhere and are sometimes little more than marketing devices for new towns. Yet there is no doubt that all cities are moving towards automatisation and data-driven provision of services. In addition, it is thought that smart technologies will drive cities’ economic capacity and global position in future. Within this frenzy of change, we need a pause to explore critical theories and successful case studies on smart cities, smart regions and smart communities. We need to understand how virtual worlds (and our data alter egos) will interact and shape the real one; and how disruptive technologies (block-chain, crypto-money, robotisation of production, drones, hyperloop, autonomous mobility) will change the management and planning of cities and urban life. How will it change the urban form and public space? What will be the habits and behaviours of urban citizens?

What kind of policy is needed so that smart technologies answer citizens’ needs and promote equitable solutions? How to encourage co-creation in the post-digital era? How to protect people from disruptive virtual worlds?


  • Session 5.1 Mobility in Smart Cities
    Case studies in this track explore how smartness can assist in improving mobility. The topics in this area range from electric vehicles, smart mobility, promotion of non-motorised transport, freight analysis to autonomous vehicles and underlying themes in this sub-area.
  • Session 5.2 Knowledge Economy and Innovation Milieu
    Papers in this session explore how new knowledge and innovation can lead to enhanced smartness and sustainability in the city. Some of the topics explored in this session are Green Heritage Tourist Circuit Design, transforming Indonesian petroleum cities into innovative green economies, improving space structure of traditional resources-based cities in China, and building energy efficiency in urban planning.
  • Session 5.3 Cities of Future ? User-oriented Services
    This session looks into how user-oriented services can be provided in cities using big data and other smart technologies. Use of big data such as mobile phone, smart travel card and other large data in planning is fast emerging as a very promising area of study. Papers in this track present case studies of big data use for providing user-oriented services for improving various planning related issues such as land use, housing provision, mega projects, commercial activities and more.
  • Session 5.4 Co-design and Participation in Smart Cities
    Papers in this session present case studies which discuss how to ensure participation of citizens/beneficiaries in planning projects. Research in this session grapples with the following questions: Are citizens able to participate in co-creation or at least consultations related to shaping smart polices and solutions? Are their voices being heard? What are the instruments ensuring that quest for smartness does engage with the marginalized? Or is smartness leaving sections of society even further behind?
  • Session 5.5 Smart City Strategies in Urban Planning and Design
    Along with the positives that come with densely populated cities in terms of human capital and increased productivity, there also arises the need to tackle increasing challenges such as traffic management, access to public resources, and waste management. The focus of this session is to examine how urban planning and urban design professionals are responding to these challenges within an ICT-led smart city framework.
  • Session 5.6 Smart Public Spaces
    Papers in this session discuss how public spaces can be made to interact and inform public in matters that are useful and easy to understand for the public. In particular, how can planning and design professionals engage design strategies in conjunction with the new ICT technologies to make outdoor public spaces smart?
  • Session 5.7 (Special Session) Cities and Digitisation: Perspectives and Challenges of the Smart City Technologies on Urban Planning and Design
    The session will be chaired by Southeast University of China, based on the outcomes of the ISOCARP-SEU International Digital Urban Design Week that happened in June 2019 in Nanjing, China. The perspectives, impacts and future challenges of urban studies, planning and design disciplines will be discussed under the angle of digitization, big data, Internet of Things and blockchain communities, with practical illustrations.

TRACK 6: Changing environment and risks: planning for resilience
congress team: Juanee Cilliers, South Africa & Markus Appenzeller, The Netherlands


Climate change and sinking cities
Vulnerability to disasters and how that can be mitigated
Waste, urban footprint
Re-naturing, biodiversity, and urban metabolism
Building, evolving, securing quality of life
Triggering leverage – planning for more than a single purpose

Continuing the conversation from last Congress in Bodø and the need to urgently address disaster prevention and adaptation to the consequences of climate change: Jakarta and other megacities are showing dangerous vulnerabilities to extreme pollution, sea level rise, salt-water intrusion and water shortages. This is, however, matched by steadily decreasing poverty that runs in parallel to the increasing urbanisation. If cities with their consumerist nature are part of the solution to poverty, what models can they use to minimize their impact on the environment and become leaders in the fight to respond to climate change? What is already being done and what are the outcomes?

Food, water, transport and energy systems need resilience to climate change to avert catastrophic events and to cope with a further increase of global and urban populations. Pollution and waste demand the urgent understanding of urban metabolism to achieve better social justice and to safeguard the balance of the planet. What are cities doing to transition their urban economies to achieve improved well-being and environmental justice and to transform dependence on non-renewable materials to resource-efficient and renewable flows and better management of ecosystems? What role should planning/planners play in developing resilient plans, designs, buildings and infrastructures?


  • Session 6.1 General Introduction: Climate Change – Globally
    Climate change is probably the biggest man-made global threat we are currently facing. This comes in a time where our cities are growing in an unprecedented way – often in areas that are affected the most by climate change. This session wants to give a general introduction to the topic, outline its main fields of impact and evaluate what we can do to steer measures globally.
  • Session 6.2 The Currencies of Climate Change: Water
    Water is the currency of climate change. It is the impact of too much or too little water that will have the biggest impact on human lives. This session will evaluate the scale of impact and how water can and ideally should be dealt with in different urban conditions.
  • Session 6.3 (Special Session) Planning for Climate Change
  • Session 6.4 The Currencies of Climate Change: Heat
    One of the main consequences of climate change is global warming. In the future we will not only see higher overall temperatures but also more extreme heat. Without measures, this can very well lead to places, especially cities becoming uninhabitable. The session will look at planning tools and approaches that help mitigating the effects of heat, especially in those global regions that will be affected most.
  • Session 6.5 Climate Change and Operating Cities – Metabolism
    The biggest indirect-and therefore a lot less directly mitigatable – impact climate change has on mankind is through the changes in the ecosystems. This puts our food base at risk, and it threatens other species. This session will investigate the order of challenge and identify possible ways forward.
  • Session 6.6 (Special Session) Planning for Liveability Building Unique Cities: An Imperative for Sustainability and Liveability in the Global South
  • Session 6.7 Climate Change and Operating Cities – People
    Climate change affects the lives of people. At the same time, its those very people that have to be the agents to limit climate change and to implement measures for its mitigation. Planning that involves local communities is imperative in achieving the goals set out. This session investigates means and processes to involve the local residents in climate change mitigation.
  • Session 6.8 Climate change and Urbanism: Planning Tools
    Next to all other players, we as urban planners, designers and policy makers need to take responsibility for the effects of climate change. This session looks at our own tools, the tools of the planner and how they (can) accommodate this responsibility.
  • Session 6.9 Planning – Looking Forward
    In this session we want to summarize the findings of the previous days and we want to define a set of planning measures, paradigms, policy proposals for planning for more resilient cities from now on.

TRACK 7: Urban governance and planning profession: planning for future
congress team: Eric Huybrechts, France & Jennilee Kohima, Namibia


Planning, policy and politics surrounding the megacity
City production by the people: participation and informality
Governance: from models to pragmatic paths, from top-down to bottom-up approaches
Addressing the mega-scale and the neighbourhood
Organisation and technical support for managing the megacity
Taking the lead through diplomacy, branding and international networks
Non-state actors in urban governance

Large cities and megacities are a main feature of human settlement in the 21st century. The level of complexity of large cities requires new governance systems that are different from traditional urban and municipal administration. Soft power is necessary to mobilise actors from different levels of government, sectors, and territories. Multiform management across sectors and issues (water, economy, environment, mobility, housing etc.) need to share visions, strategies and policies with the support of technical bodies, political platforms and a variety of actors. Building the structures of a functioning megacity is an iterative process, which ranges from the very local to the regional and metropolitan scales. New methodologies are emerging, and this will be an opportunity to share the experiences of building large scale governance and consider the consequences on planning. People participation is different in a megacity, with more complex relations between local communities, local governments, and metropolitan governance. Informal dynamics also represent a bottom-up approach to the expansion drive of the city.

Urban governance and planning are some of the cross-cutting themes at this year’s congress with an element of it visible in each of the other tracks. But within Track 7 these two themes will be explored and discussed in greater detail owing to the wide range of abstracts accepted for presentation in different forms, such as papers, case studies, research projects and special sessions. This track received close to 100 abstract submissions with rich and interesting content around megacity governance and planning from all parts of the world. As governance requires both top-down and bottom-up interaction in various forms between many different actors in the quest of planning, the importance of this track cannot be overemphasized. Planning for the future by exploring urban governance and planning in eight fully packed sessions of which two are special sessions will bring forth approaches, strategies and best practices for congress attendees. The sub-themes for the track include cross-border governance, territorial planning, regional cooperation, metropolis management, local leadership, metro-hub, democratic urbanism and megacities.


  • Session 7.1 Cross-border Governance
    Megacities and large metropolis are expanding out of the national or regional limits. The different spatial management systems in each country should be articulated to better manage these megapolises. How to manage functional metropolitan areas located on several national or regional jurisdictions with contradictory laws, standards and management systems? The coordination tools are crucial for managing spatial and social dynamics, offer cross-border infrastructures and services. How should these multi-actor and multi-level spaces ensure effective cooperation and collaboration?
  • Session 7.2 Territorial Planning
    Territorial planning covers different scales with strategic documents and regulations. The articulation is crucial to make policies a reality at the local level, to face huge challenges as climate change, social and spatial inequalities, heritage protection or limitation of urban sprawl. Territorial planning needs specific bodies to develop policies and strategies, to feed the public debates and to monitor the spatial development. Well-coordinated planning across different scales should speak governance.
  • Session 7.3 Local Leaderships
    Building a metropolitan governance require a flexible system of decision making with local authorities, with the support of State government. What process to build the metropolitan governance? How make efficient decision making with a large number of actors? How to manage the different scales and sectors to deliver public services and invest in infrastructures? How to foster economic development efficiency through city marketing? How to ensure social and spatial equity in metropolitan areas? Local leadership is the key to manage metropolitan areas.
  • Session 7.4 Metropolis Management
    Metropolises-as expanding-are covering several jurisdictions. Infrastructures and public services are managed on different areas. The share of competencies between the different administration levels (State, regions, local authorities) is complex. The metropolis management requires specific tool for coordinating sectors, territories and communities. The international experiences on metropolitan management offer innovation on governance and innovation mechanisms for the well-being on communities.
  • Session 7.5 (Special Session) Democratic Urbanism
    Democratic Urbanism is a method of city-building that integrates democratic ideals into the urban design process and applies broader shared governance models to the implementation of community aspirations, creating places of deep meaning that are broadly “owned” in the civic mindset. This interactive session will include a number of case studies, short films and exercises demonstrating the value of democratic approaches to city-building, highlighting communities that have applied democratic urbanism to achieve remarkable transformations across a variety of contexts. These demonstrate our civic capacity to overcome the stark challenges of the 21st century and reinvent our communities, illustrate the advantages of a democratic method for city-building that is broader than conventional practice, one based in a collaborative approach to governance that offers guidance to local leaders across the world working on the front lines of change today.
  • Session 7.6 (Special Session) Using Metro-Hub
    Metropolitan areas have a key role in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda. Despite being innovation and opportunities hubs, they encounter many challenges in governance, planning and financing. To support integrated approach to metropolitan development, UN-Habitat and its partners have developed the MetroHUB approach that embraces different aspects of metropolitan development and management including planning, governance and finance, that aims to foster capacity of metropolitan stakeholders on how to address and better manage urbanisation challenges at a metropolitan scale. It provides a vital pool of resources, tools and expertise for developing institutional and human capacity, directly contributing to the New Urban Agenda objective of leaving no one and no place behind.
  • Session 7.7 Metropolitan Governance
    Metropolises, as expanding, are covering several jurisdictions. Infrastructures and public services are managed on different areas. The share of competencies between the different administration levels (State, Regions, local authorities) is complex. The metropolis management require specific tool for coordinating sectors, territories and communities. The international experiences on Metropolitan management offer innovation on governance and innovation mechanisms for the well-being on communities.
  • Session 7.8 Debate: Governing the Metropolis
    This session is devoted to a general discussion on governing the metropolis, deliver key messages for the conference regarding governance and the role of planners and to fix recommendations for the final declaration of the conference.
    The discussion will have 4 steps: keynote; debate; synthesis; recommendations for ISOCARP and the final declaration.
Skip to toolbar