2020 Winners Gerd Albers Award

Gerd Albers Award (GAA) was established in 1999 in honour of professor Gerd Albers, a co-founder and past president of the Society, who placed a particular emphasis on the task of publishing as a means of elucidating both the current debate and practical achievements in the planning field. This reputable award is bestowed for the best publication (book, book chapter, journal article and/or published project report) of the ISOCARP members.

In 2020, in total thirteen GAA entries of high academic standards covering a range of topics of wide professional appeal were submitted – three books, one project report and nine journal articles:

  1. Cities and Local Governments in Central Asia: Administrative, Fiscal, and Political Urban Battles, by Madina Junussova
  2. Underground Urbanism, by Elizabeth Reynolds
  3. Transnational Architecture and Urbanism: Rethinking How Contemporary Cities Plan, Transform, and Learn, by Davide Ponzini
  4. The Global Knowledge Mobility Nexus: Vancouver Strategic & Integrated Resaerch, by Grant Duckworth
  5. Aspirations and realities of polycentric development: Insights from multi-source data into the emerging urban form of Shanghai, by Tianren Yang, Ying Jin, Longxu Yan and Pei Pei
  6. Understanding commuting patterns and changes: Counterfactual analysis in a planning support framework, by Tianren Yang
  7. Cool Planning: How Urban Planning Can Mainstream Responses to Climate Change, by Peter Newman
  8. Comparison of perceived sustainability among different neighbourhoods in transitional China: The case of Chengdu, by Zhang Qi, Esther Hiu Kwan Yung and Edwin Hon Wan Chan
  9. Modeling urban growth using video prediction technology: A time-dependent convolutional encoder-decoder architecture, by Ahmed Hassan Jaad and Khaled Abdelghany
  10. Planning for the temporary: temporary urbanism and public space in a time of COVID-19by Lisa Law, Simona Azzali and Sheila Conejos
  11. The Entanglement of Class, Marriage and Real Estate: The Visual Culture of Egypt’s Urbanisation, by Mennatullah Hendawy
  12. Beauty and the Beast: The Ordinary City versus the Mediatised City – the Case of Cairo, by Mennatullah Hendawy
  13. A meta-analytical review of outdoor thermal comfort research: Applications, gaps and a framework to assess low-income settlements in Indian megacities, by Shreya Banerjee and Subrata Chattopadhyay

The jury composed of the Scientific Committee members – Juanee Cilliers (South Africa), Jesus Garate (Spain), Hendricus Simarmata (Indonesia), Junyan Yang (China) – as well as Ana Peric (Switzerland) as the ISOCARP Director for Awards and the jury president, decided on the winners as follows:

GAA ‘Best Book’

Davide PONZINI, Transnational Architecture and Urbanism: Rethinking How Contemporary Cities Plan, Transform, and Learn

Tackling the contemporary narrative on ‘flow of planning ideas and practices’ induced by globalisation and network society, the book takes a critical perspective and justifiably questions the phenomena of urban megaprojects, loss of identity, and starchitects’ influence, among others. More precisely, led by the place-based approach to transnational urban transformations, the book offers a contextual analysis of the planning practice as exemplified in a plethora of case studies around the globe. Taking into account architecture and built forms as outputs of a certain planning process, the book reaches out to a broad audience of architects, planners, and policy makers interested in the intrinsic production of space in contrast to the (con)temporary trends.



GAA ‘Best article’

Peter NEWMAN, Cool Planning: How Urban Planning Can Mainstream Responses to Climate Change

The paper presents a rich contribution to the overarching topic of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. It highlights diverse and nuanced approaches to deal with changing climate applicable to different urban patterns within various communities. Written in an appealing language, supported by the original theoretical framework of urban fabrics theory, and through numerous tools tested on various cities across the globe, the paper proves as a valid reading of interest to a wide public – from academics to planning professionals and policy makers.




GAA ‘Special mention’

Elizabeth REYNOLDS, Underground Urbanism

 The book presents a comprehensive analysis of the topic of underground space, which has recently gained considerable attention among urban planners and designers. Starting with an extensive overview of the aspects that determine the use of urban underground, followed by a series of case studies, the book highlights the architectural dimension in creating underground space as equally important to the ground-level built environment. Rich in graphical representation and written in a clear language, the book culminates with the elaboration of the criteria for designing sustainable, competitive and quality places that lie beneath our cities.



Congratulations to the winners and a big thank you to all authors who submitted a book or an article. We look forward to successful GAA submissions the next year, too.

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