About Institute

The ISOCARP Institute – “Centre of Urban Excellence”

With over five decades of accumulated knowledge and expertise manifested in both our members and within the society, ISOCARP has initiated “The Institute” as a platform and formal body for generating and disseminating knowledge for better cities.

During the past fifty years, ISOCARP has successfully organized annual international congresses receiving numerous papers, articles and contributions thus accruing a wealth of knowledge. Furthermore, ISOCARP has initiated many international workshops, regional seminars as well as training sessions with and for young and senior planning professionals and has published numerous reports and articles in the annual Review. With this legacy, ISOCARP has accumulated the resources, skills and deep-rooted know-how central to initiating the Institute as a formal body and a “Centre of Urban Excellence” committed to knowledge generation, documentation and dissemination.


The Institute is initiated as “a world class knowledge bank and think tank for planning excellence which empowers individuals, organizations and institutions to achieve better human settlements”.


The Mission of the Institute is to enrich the knowledge base and develop the capacity of individuals, organizations and institutions responsible for, or partaking in, the shaping and development of human settlements. The Institute strives to bridge the gap between planning theory and practice while contributing to knowledge generation and dissemination, holding in best interest the sustainability and effective functioning of human settlements.


The Institute’s prime objectives include: strengthening cross-border collaboration globally; upholding professional excellence in planning; advancing sustainable planning; increasing awareness of major development trends and promoting best practices; all while serving as a “Urban Think Tank” facilitating the generation and dissemination of knowledge for better cities.

Core Functions

The Institute’s core function is to design and deliver capacity building and continuing education programs to individuals, organizations and institutions; conduct research and promote knowledge transfer; as well as offer advice and short term consultancy services to government, non-government and international bodies worldwide.

As an “Urban Think Tank”, the Institute offers services and processes across multiple thematic areas including:  Sustainable Planning & Design; Hazard Mitigation & Disaster Risk Reduction; Placemaking; Liveable Cities; Community Planning; Mobility; Urban Management; Urban Regeneration and Revitalization; Green Infrastructure; as well Real Estate.

The Institute caters primarily to professionals (urban and regional planners, urban designers, architects, engineers and landscape architects); civil officials; government, non-government and international bodies; as well as any entity interested and / or involved in city and regional planning.

Program Offerings

The main aim of the program offerings is to enrich the knowledge base and provide hands-on experience to professionals responsible for, or engaged in, shaping and development of human settlements. Intensive training courses set within thematic areas or modules offer sound planning principles, best practices and effective implementation methods. It is intended as capacity building for professional planners, architects, engineers, landscape architects as well as civil officials representing private, government as well as non government organizations involved in city and regional planning.

Custom programs could however be crafted on-demand to cater to specific needs of an organization, institute and / or the expertise of the trainees. This includes grouping custom designed course offerings as well as offering intensive training sessions as modules to fit the needs, context and desires of the host.

Operational Structure

The Institute is governed by a Board of Directors headed by the Vice President of Academic Development. The board formulates the policies and principles governing the Institute’s activities, structure, programs and budget and meets at least twice a year. A Board of Trustees supports the Board of Directors.

The Institute is located in The Hague – same address as the ISOCARP Head Office – and is registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce N0. 65202260

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