Open Call for ISOCARP members to join the new Community of Practice and Research on MENA Urbanity

ISOCARP Community of Practice and Research on MENA Urbanity
(CoPR MENA Urbanity)

“Towards Shaping Just and Prosperous Future Cities in MENA”

Introduction and Background

As a continuation to the excellent momentum in ISOCARP to support focused initiatives on significant urban issues, our new initiative is titled: ISOCARP Community of Practice and Research on MENA Urbanity. The intended CoPR MENA Urbanity stems from the necessity of having a more tangible impact and presence of ISOCARP in a challenging part of the world where major urban, environmental and development issues need to be confronted using the knowledge, expertise and dedication of both local assets and ISOCARP’s commitment to enhance city planning and knowledge dissemination in the world and particularly in the region of focus (MENA). The community acknowledges the significance of establishing tangible impact and strong connections with regional planners and local societies in MENA.

Target Territories

ISOCARP’s MENA Territorial Focus will cover planning and development issues in North Africa, the Levant and Mesopotamia, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Arab States, Iran and Turkey.

Vision and Objectives

The Middle East, North Africa, Iran and Turkey are all territories with unique history and challenging present. The question of envisioning the future and particularly in the domain of urbanity, city planning and development is of an existential significance and needs all dedicated efforts to be confronted.  All challenges and issues of pandemic impact, urban inequalities, urban planning, economic growth, climate change and informality are evident in the fabric of such a stimulating context. Youth and children are the majority of population in most of the cities in MENA. Hence, it is a priority to engage then in the planning process and find tools to guarantee that future plans meet their aspirations and demands. Equipped with the accumulated knowledge and expertise of ISOCARP and the rich mosaics of local and regional planners, researchers, academics, The CoPR on MENA, Iran and Turkey Urbanity, will have a number of objectives under four major interests:

  • Knowledge Share and Professional Communications.
  • Enhance Planning Practices, Capacities and Priorities.
  • Support Local Planners in Creating Future Visions.
  • Encourage Different Forms of Publications Digitally and in print.

Hence, the objectives are:

  • Emphasize the global identity of ISOCARP through the active presence in MENA.
  • Encourage local institutes, organizations, and societies to be part of ISOCARP extended efforts for better planning knowledge.
  • Encourage continuous contribution in ISOCARP website via short essays, country reports, think pieces and other forms of focused writings to inform, disseminate knowledge and raise awareness.
  • Increase memberships from the targeted countries.
  • Cooperating within ISOCARP digital platform, in a continually updated manner, to compile significant publications, reports, resources and publications related to MENA.
  • Guarantee rich representation in the annual congress of ISOCARP via presenting papers, case studies and organizing special sessions related to the CoPR focus.
  • Participate in regional and global activities.
  • Enhance the planning profession and research and support the local initiatives.
  • Establish a platform compiling the active research centers, societies, organizations and academic departments.
  • Scientific and advisory support for research projects dealing the communities focus.
  • Promote and coordinate training courses, capacity building, advisory teams and young planners’ programs and activities.
  • Develop context-based planning participatory approaches that allow for involving the community and relevant stakeholders.
  • Create and activate memorandums of understanding (MoU) with local entities in the target countries.
  • Introduce ISOCARP Institute to research centers and universities for future consultation and research cooperation.

CoPR MENA Urbanity Coordination and Collaboration

The CoPR MENA Urbanity will be led by Prof. Ali A. Alraouf / ISOCARP Board Member in collaboration with other interested ISOCARP members.

If you have interest to be an active and contributing member of the Community of Practice and Research on MENA, Iran and Turkey Urbanity, please write to Please write us a short 100-150 words synopsis suggesting your rational for joining the community. We welcome members from all over the world and not geographically or ethnically related to the community physical context. We are striving for equitable and fair representation of people of different genders and geographies in all our Communities of Practice and as such, encourage all urban designers and planners to apply, particularly woman and underrepresented groups.

We are waiting for applications until 31 July 2020.


Prof. Alraouf is an architect and urban planner interested in research and practice related to architectural, urban, sustainable design and holistic planning. He was a Visiting Scholar at University of California at Berkeley-USA. Alraouf published more than 120 journal refereed papers, critical reviews, essays, in addition to books and book chapters. He has been invited to present his research work, delivered lectures and presentations at international institutions in over 30 countries. Alraouf is the recipient of number of international teaching and research awards. He provides consultancy in numerous projects regionally and internationally and act as a consultant for international organizations include UN-Habitat, World Bank, UNESCOW, ESCOWA, ICOMOS among others. Alraouf is currently acts as Head of Capacity Building, Research and Development Unit at Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) in Qatar. He is also a visiting professor at HBK University in Qatar Education City, Adisory board member of Sustaible Qatar and the leader of Green Urbanism and Planning Group at Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC).

For any enquiries mail to


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