Invitation by the President of ISOCARP, Milica Bajic-Brkovic

Within the very heart of the planning profession is the continuous quest for better and more responsive ways of dealing with the challenges of urban development and growth. The 51st ISOCARP International Congress provides an outstanding opportunity for planners, architects, policy makers, urban managers, and all those who are involved in the place-making to share their knowledge and experience in making it happen. Some of the most important planning, research and decision making issues are on the agenda of this year gathering: how to build cities in a cooperative way, how to create a sustainable knowledge region, how to react when traditional industries move away, how to build a trans-boundary urban system, how to sustain water and energy resources, and many others that cities and regions nowadays are faced with.

This year congress coincides with the 50th Anniversary of ISOCARP which inspired us to make it new and different. Twelve cities in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, recognized for their support of innovation and for their world-beating achievements in planning and governance, will host 2-day interactive workshops. The  „conclusions and lessons learnt“ will be debated at the plenary session in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

The Congress will also include an Education Forum, technical tours, and special events and seminars.

In honor of the 50th ISOCARP Aniversary a special session will be organized. I am delighted that our Jubilee Year celebration will be part of this exciting congress and with great pleasure I extend an invitation to you to join us at this very unique event of celebrating cities and our profession.

ISOCARP, with individual and institutional members from more than 80 countries worldwide, will be happy to greet you at the 51st ISOCARP International Congress. We stay convinced that your knowledge and experience will greatly contribute to our mission in reinventing planning and making urban places sustainable and liveable for all.

Milica3I look forward to meeting you at our 51st ISOCARP Congress in October this year. With warm thanks for your support and commitment,

Milica Bajic-Brkovic


Welcome by ISOCARP Vice-President Events Slawomir Ledwon

The last ISOCARP Congress was held in Gdynia, Poland. The theme of Urban Transformations – Cities and Water gathered speakers and delegates from all over the world. The perfect organisation by the Gdynia Local Organising Committee, and the excellent work of General Rapporteur  Amos Brandeis and his Congress Team, contributed to this successful and unforgettable event.

After visiting such places as Australia, Russia, China and Kenya, last year the ISOCARP Congress came back to Europe. And now it is actually returning to its founding roots: the Netherlands to conclude the year of the 50th Anniversary of ISOCARP. Therefore it is also a special occasion to meet and celebrate together.

The 2015 ISOCARP Congress will be also very special as it will be held in a new format. Instead of having parallel tracks, the congress will start with 12 parallel workshops in 12 different cities in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. In each of the host locations a different themes will be discussed by a group of international and local delegates, who are experts in those topics. Then the results will be showcased in the closing plenary event, which will take place in Rotterdam.

This year’s topic “Cities Save the World – Let’s Reinvent Planning” is looking into the future of planning and the issues that cities are facing nowadays. Owing to the new concept everyone participating in workshops will be contributing to the outcome and findings of the congress. The central debate will be a unique opportunity to share the results and discuss them in the plenary. Other events will also take place, including the Mayors Summit and Matchmaking Event, where delegates will have the opportunity to share and discuss their ideas with the audience. We also plan to focus at the future of ISOCARP and planning education.

This conLedwon_ISOCARPgress is a joint result of the efforts by ISOCARP, the Local Organising Committee and the organisers of the workshop in various cities – successfully overcoming all the challenges of the complex organisational logistics. We all hope that delegates will enjoy their time, will be satisfied with the contents and will remember this congress for long time.

Slawomir Ledwon – ISOCARP Vice-President Events 

 Welcome by the General Rapporteur Judith Ryser

Dear colleagues, dear friends,

My appointment as General Rapporteur of the 51st congress of ISOCARP in 2015 is a great honour. It is also a pleasure to contribute to the celebration of ISOCARP’s 50th anniversary where it was founded in 1965 by a group of planners who were passionate about planning and the planning profession. The 50 congress themes illustrate how often ISOCARP has been at the forefront of the planning debate, and in the ISOCARP tradition the 2015 congress is truly innovative. Reflecting the adaptation of planning to the networked society twelve cities in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany will work on specific themes before the synthesis event in Rotterdam. The focus of the congress is firmly on cities – the drivers of local economies and global progress. The themes cover a wide range of planning issues: feeding cities, cross-border cooperation, using spatial policies to regenerate the economy, taking advantage of energy for urban development, rethinking the relation between cities and governance, creating post-industrial cities, promoting sustainable use of resources, connecting cities globally, creating synergy between cities and major actors such as ports and universities, and last but not least involving people actively in planning and managing cities.

The congress will make use of all available forms of communication technology to foster interaction among planners, as well as to engage politicians and those at the receiving end of planning throughout the world.

I am looking forward to an inclusive networked cooperation with the congress organisers and ISOCARP members from all parts of the world.

Judith Ryser, London – General Rapporteur 



Welcome and invitation by the Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee Rudger Smook

ISOCARP2015 will be a congress as never shown in the professional community.

It provides a rich palette of workshops and discussion platforms where the participant is invited not only to experience what colleagues on a podium have to tell, but especially himself to have an input around the main topic: how we should give a new future to planning to our profession and us as planners.

The congress will take place in 12 locations in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. The first part will be meetings for two days in these 12 locations around specific already defined themes, with workshops, working visits and discussions with experts and ‘workers in the field’. The role which our young colleagues will play in the program in shaping and contributing to the discussions is very important during the complete congress and will be a very new aspect of an ISOCARP congress.

The second part of the congress will be three days of plenary sessions in Rotterdam in exchanging the results of the workshops and to further deepen the various themes. Key-note speakers will comment the formulated suggestions and on top of that a selection of Mayors will ‘interrogate’ the professional community about the contribution of the planners and thus discuss the future role of the planner.

This set-up will ask a lot of the Local Organizing Committee, of the General Rapporteur Judith Ryser with her 24 co-rapporteurs, of the Young Planners, but in particular also of the participants who continuously are defied of bringing forward their ideas about planning, the profession and the ‘reinvented planner’ himself.

P1070747ISOCARP2015 will become, thanks to you participant, a larger, better and more important congress than every other congress which you know and will experience in future.

Most welcome in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany to face this challenge.

Rudger (Roger) Smook – Chairman of the LOC

LOC Members:
Rudger Smook, Peter Jonquiere, Aafke Nijenhuyzen, Markus Appenzeller, Andries Geerse, Roelf Bollen

The interactive ISOCARP2015 Platform

During the 51st ISOCARP Annual World Congress (19-23 October 2015), several cities in Belgium, Netherlands & Germany will open their doors to city professionals from around the world before coming together in Rotterdam. The 12 congress themes will be hosted in 12 local workshops, during which local professionals will work with colleagues and experts from  around the world to develop…

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50th Anniversary Celebrations

This year 2015 it is 50 years ago that ISOCARP was founded.
A reason to look back and reflect, but also to celebrate and look forward!

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