Message General Rapporteur

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Message from General Rapporteur Judith Ryser (June 2015)

The congress team is complete

We are pleased to announce that the congress team led by the General Rapporteur has been constituted in May and has been busy working towards the congress. It consists of twelve local co-rapporteurs from among the workshop city teams and twelve co-rapporteurs from among the international ISOCARP membership designated among applicants by ISOCARP according to given criteria. 36 young professional planners were selected by an ISOCARP jury to benefit from sponsorship obtained from the Dutch government. Four YPPs are sponsored by the Marc Jacobs and Peter Ross Foundations. They all form the ‘creative engine’ which will make an innovative contribution to the congress and cooperate actively with the congress team.

Amsterdam: Ana Peric (Switzerland and Serbia) and Khashayar Ghiabi
Antwerp: Lineu Castello (Brazil) and Annette Kuhk
Brussels: Natasa Pichler-Milanovic (Slovenia) and Dirk Van De Putte
Delft: Eranda Janku (Albania) and Frank van der Hoeven
Deventer: Madina Junussova (Kazakhstan)  and Peter van de Laak
Dortmund: Alex Camprubi (Mexico-China) and Jan Polivka
Eindhoven: Dara Golubovic Matic (Serbia/ Germany) and Irena Itova
Groningen: Samuel Mbutu Mwaura (Kenya) and Katharina Gugerell
Maastricht: Hongyang Wang (China) and Martijn van Bussel
Rotterdam: Peter Robinson (South Africa) and Martin Aarts
Schiphol-Amsterdam: Martina Juvara (UK/Italy)  and Maurits Schaafsma
Wageningen: Olusola Olufemi (Canada) and Helena Heyning

Congress participant contributions

Almost three hundred abstracts from 64 countries have been submitted towards the twelve congress workshops, consisting of academic papers, case studies, planning projects and examples of planning practice worldwide. The congress team has selected contributions and approved their allocation to the twelve workshops which, in turn, are drawing on these ideas when developing their programmes further.

The full contributions will be submitted in July, peer reviewed when appropriate and incorporated into an ISOCARP publication. The young planning professionals will extract highlights from the contributions as basis for the plenary congress debates on the future of planning and the planning profession. All workshop participants are invited to contribute their knowledge and experience actively also without submitting prior papers.

City workshop contents

To date, the workshop cities  have summarised their themes as follows (in alphabetic order).

“How to build the city in a cooperative way”? Amsterdam

In Amsterdam, the local government, housing corporations and commercial developers have traditionally played a prominent role in area development. However, due to financial crisis it has become difficult to bear the financial risks of (re)development projects. Thus, innovative spatial solutions demand collaboration between the municipality, residents, local experts and other stakeholders. The cooperative city development brings up new questions and challenges, but it also requires different skills and new knowledge. In fact the whole playing field is changed, leaving much to be discovered. Amsterdam workshop will show some lessons learned, trying to observe the extent of their implementation in other places all around the world (Ana Peric).

“How to rework the productive city?” Antwerp

If the expression “How to rework the productive city” is to be meant literally in its innovative terms Workshop 2 may be a little bit short of prodigal attainments. Of the 20 or so Abstracts accepted for the Workshop, only a limited few can be considered as involved with possibilities for the “reinvention of Planning”. There are 10 Cases/Projects; 10 working papers; and 1 research result. The most promising for any attempts to reinventing Planning deal with the topic of reworking the productive city per se (abstract 272) the use of labour mobility as data for  structural city analysis (abstract 25) unifying production (and living) with the city (abstract 72) renewal of ports as placemaking strategies (abstract 282) industrial estates designed as places (abstract 101). In my view, planning cities including these five themes will lead to a likely progress in Planning (Lineu Castello).

“How to reconcile local expectations with strong international challenges when renewing a city?” Brussels

Brussels is a capital city inspired by the inhabitants of its neighbourhoods and also by the stakes of its international role: as a Euro-city, as a Belgian metropolis, and also as a ‘world city’. As is the case in many other European urban regions, the development of Brussels has to both meet the expectations of local inhabitants in terms of jobs, infrastructure, housing and other service and facilities while reflecting the growing importance of this international dimension. The workshop will therefore focus on finding the answers to this question and local & global expectations especially in urban renovation policy field. (Natasa Pichler-Milanovic)

“How to create a sustainable knowledge region?” DelftThe Hague

Delft is a knowledge city. Its economical development is strongly linked with the development of the TU Delft campus, the nearby business park (Technopolis) and the redevelopment of the station area (Nieuw Delft). Delft is a mid-sized town of 100.000 inhabitants that serves the Rotterdam/The Hague region with millions of inhabitants. This creates tensions on the housing and labour market, congestion on roads, but it also creates new opportunities. In this setting we aim to explore by urban gaming the role of business incubators, creative industries as opportunities, and the climate change & energy-efficiency challenges the city faces (Frank van der Hoeven).

“How to Implement a legal framework for local integrated planning?” Deventer

In the Netherlands there is a dense regime of sectoral laws and regulations that govern the spatial and environmental planning domain. The forthcoming Law for the Physical Environment has the objective to create incentives for integral planning and a more flexible regime to facilitate public and private initiatives. The city of Deventer investigates the potential of a local integral plan, one of the core instruments of the forthcoming Law. The focus of the workshop will be on the dilemma’s related to the bottom up governance processes and ruling regulations that govern the spatial planning domain. We have distinguished four dilemma’s: deregulated space, exchangeability of values, power balance and dancing through the scales (Peter van de Laak).

“How to leverage economic growth from spatial projects?” Dortmund

Dortmund, a growing city during the 19th and most of the 20th century met a crisis in the 1980’s and as a result the population and economy started to shrink, as many surrounding European cities did at the time. Emerging from this crisis a plan was put forward; for the past 15 years Dortmund has had a sustained urban regeneration which transformed the heavy industry onto a creative and comprehensive economic model based on urban regeneration and supported by the implementation of technology clusters. Dortmund workshop is a place to learn from the achievements made and the future challenges ahead (Alex Camprubi).

“How to react when traditional industries move away?” Eindhoven

Modern society is moving toward a world of never-ending technological revolution that increased quality of people’s life and their trending habits to live in limited urban areas. Cities have to stay economically, socially, and culturally attractive to find an appropriate mechanism to transition to an embodied resilient. Our workshop focuses on the approach of these transition and re-examines the role of urban planners and architects in future society. A key point is to get urban planners to initiate a bottom-up approach and eliminate the peculiar shift of social development created by constant schemes of planning and management into dynamic processes. (Dara Golubovic)

“How to sustain energy resources?” Groningen

The city of Groningen and the surrounding region is among the prime places where sustainable energy are a political and practical planning challenge. Referred to as the Dutch Energy Valley the area is home of one of Europe’s larger gas fields that is gradually seeing the end of economic viable gas extractions, causing increasingly problems with earthquakes in the regions. Facing this challenges sustainable energy could also be reinterpreted as a new strategy to create a new economic base for a liveable region, benefitting from the strong institutional network that is already existing (Katharina Gugerell).

“How to build a trans-boundary urban system?” Maastricht

Although a political invention, the Euroregion has no political body and has neither a capital nor a centre. The ambition of the Euroregions is to improve the performance of the European Union. National borders should not restrict axes of knowledge and cultural cooperation. The next months we want to partner with workshops in Maastricht, Hasselt, Liege, and Aachen to discuss the (im) possibilities of a transnational urban unit. Each workshop will be in a central region and asked to formulate a contextual vision on the issue of cross-border agglomeration from a spatial-economic perspective. The collected results are shared with international experts to be reflected upon during the ISOCARP Workshop and Congress in October (Martijn van Bussel).

“How to develop unprecedented port-city synergy?” Rotterdam

In the workshop, we will discuss the contemporary port-city interface, which is beset by efforts to ‘renew the relationships’ between the port and the city, to make them both become more competitive. Professionals from different port cities will attend to exchange their knowledge by sharing their best practices and to learn from each other. The workshop starts on Monday morning and ends on Tuesday with a dinner and a boat trip. It  is built around 2 main themes you can choose: -link the economic networks of the port and the city together; -develop a new waterfront redevelopment strategy based on the new economic development strategy (Anouk van Helvert).

“How to sustain connectivity in a globalising world?” Schiphol – Amsterdam

The world has never been as interconnected as it is today. Technologies and transport are changing at a very rapid pace and offering new opportunities and possibly new urban forms and new relationships between infrastructure and city. As well as considering the new SmartCity agenda, this workshop will use Schiphol as one of the early examples of an airport developing into an airport city. Due to the close proximity of airport and city, the integration of airport and city in terms of environment, noise, social-economic development and transport is an urgent planning issue. Against this background the workshop will aim to explore connectivity and urban development in theory and practice (Martina Juvara).

“How to feed the world’s metropolises?” Wageningen

On food security, there are numerous spatial dimensions and design aspects both in the city and in the surrounding environs. The seminar ‘Hungry City, Insatiable Metropolis’ focuses on the intersection of food and spatial design. Participants will examine and integrate concepts, innovations and theory in the workshops’ fast-paced ‘pressure cooker’ situation (2 days) at different scales (metropolitan and supra-regional), looking at the food chain – from farm to fork. Both small-scale urban agriculture and peri-urban agriculture as upcoming major and large-scale innovative farming systems are discussed. There will also be a Design Lab in the workshop whereby the ‘Worlds of Food’ will be mapped: see how the city and surroundings can look like in the future (spatial quality), identify which problems are solvable (Helena Heyning).

The detailed programmes are being posted progressively onto the congress website www.isocarp2015.org and ideas, suggestions, comments from ISOCARP members and all those who plan to participate in the workshops are welcome.

Feedback and outlook

The feedback from the city workshops takes place at the plenary. Participants will visit city market stalls where key outcomes are presented. Discussions about these planning issues will continue at the mayors’ summit and three debates in parallel led by the keynote speakers: Maarten Hajer, scientist on environmental issues and discourse analysis Netherlands; Yusuf Patel, developer South Africa; Rajni Abbi, ex mayor of New Delhi, professor of law India, stimulated by the young planning professionals. Lessons will be drawn from the workshops for the future of planning and the role and responsibilities of planners.

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