Cities Save The World
Let's Reinvent planning


Cities Save The World
Let's Reinvent planning

ISOCARP 2015 Congress

The ISOCARP2015 congress comes at a time of unprecedented global urbanization. Voices from the global level down to the ground - in both the public and private sector - are calling for a ‘planning’ approach to address the complex challenges that this brings. The congress is therefore an opportune time to open up to the world, work together and learn from each other. It is being hosted by The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Everyone who cares about the city is welcome to join the discussions on this platform or to join us in 2015!


ISOCARP2015 is built around themes brought forward by networks and cities in the Northwestern Europe Agglomeration, representing complex urban development issues. These themes were selected due to their urgency at the local level together with their international relevance.

You are invited to join in building the congress themes and workshops. Keep up to date and network with fellow congress participants.

Stay connected with congress!


Isocarp2015 congress a big success!

With the closing of ISOCARP2015 last Friday, we look back on an extremely successful and special 51st ISOCARP Congress. Approximately 600 participants joined the workshops in 12 cities in The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, while almost 450 participants joined the central debate in Rotterdam. We would like to thank all congress participants and organisers who contributed to its success. Special thanks also to our sponsors who made this event possible. Click the links below to download the…


First participants arriving!

The first participants to ISOCARP2015 are already flying in. This year the Congress has reached an unprecedented peak of around 600 participants. In addition to the almost 450 subscribed participants, there are around 150 urban professionals exchanging ideas in the local workshops taking place in twelve cities in Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany. Two of the top three largest country delegations will work on ‘How to leverage growth from spatial projects’ in the city of urban regeneration Dor…


The Small Time Crooks live @ the celebratory Boat Party on October 22

The Music of The Small Time Crooks is super high energy music mixed with cigarettes, drink, German sausages, beards and a brotherhood! These guys bring back to life the long forgotten skiffle music and will blow you away with some 'interesting' lyrics and an incredible journey of sounds, rhythm and sing-a-longs.


Celebratory 50-years ISOCARP Boat Party Dinner

At the ISOCARP2015 congress we bring everything together; nice people, hard work, high-quality results and amazing food & music. This spectacular evening will bring flavors from all around the world. We have guests from nearly 70 countries and are making sure the variation in food and music follows the beat of the international night. The special celebratory ISOCARP 50 years birthday party will bring you the true international feel on an evening network cruise in Rotterdam! Sneak-peak at…


Congresses can be fun ... and ISOCARP2015 will show you how

ISOCARP2015 will be a congress to remember! Although the twelve interactive workshops are focused on productive and effective congress results, that does not mean we have forgotten the importance of having a great time. We are proud to present our Day Chairman of the Central Debate in Rotterdam (October 21 & 22), Tarik Yousif. He is well know in the Dutch public and journalistic scene due to his energetic, daring and humorous spirit. His colorful portfolio includes experience chairing…


Urban experts will reflect on the workshop results

On October 21, urban experts Maarten Hajer (director, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency), Yusuf Patel (director, SpatialiZe Pty) and Rajni Abbi (former Mayor of Delhi), will reflect on the collective debate and present their competing visions for planning. This is followed by the Grand Synthesis where General Rapporteur Judith Ryser will address her reflection on the Central Debate and the congress climax: the "Marketplace". The Marketplace offers the perfect opportunity…


Dine @ some of the Netherland's finest Urbanists & Architects

The welcome by the Rotterdam's Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb in the City Hall will be followed by 'walk-able' Office Dinner tours. Participants will have the opportunity to get to know different offices in four routes and get to meet and greet new colleagues while enjoying quick bite to eat and a nice drink. ISOCARP2015 hopes to give all participants and accompanying persons a great opportunity to enjoy Rotterdam by night! 'Walk-able' Office Dinner tours: A – Schieblok-Hofbogen, Zomerhof kwartier B – Gro…


our Urban Safaries are the "new fashion" for all urban experts

ISOCARP2015 offers it's participants an introduction to Rotterdam by organizing three urban safaris through the city. The safaris will start at Rotterdam Central Station where a guide and the ISOCARP team will take the participants on one of the three carefully selected routes to the venue of the congress, the Submarine Wharf. The Urban safaris consist of routes and stops and are linked to various Rotterdam themes: Urban Safari #1 : Entrepreneurs + Architecture Urban Safari #2 : Entrepreneurs +…


Sneak peak to our extensive congress guest list

Networking opportunities and new collaborations are complementary to what the ISOCARP2015 congress has to offer to this year's participants. Do not miss out the opportunity to be part of the larges group of innovation team working towards Actions responding to current and future urban planning issues and challenges.


400 participants will visit the ISOCARP2015 congress

This year's congress is already the IT place to be in October for planning professionals from all over the world. The participant count has reached its peak of 400 subscriptions from 65 countries. The Netherlands, China, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Kenya, Nigeria, Switzerland and The United Kingdom will be so far represented by the largest delegations. It is still not too late to subscribe. Workshop and congress places are still available! Join the world's urban and regional planning leaders…


Smart Solutions for Sustainable Cities – the Best of Urban Development

On October 22, during the Market Place / Matchmaking session, the congress will host a consecutive Business Table Discussion. The Business Table's topic is Smart Solutions for Sustainable Cities – the Best of Urban Development. Four business parties join the discussion; BPD (Bouwfonds Property Development), Doppelmayr, ENGIE and KfW (German Development Bank) Each speaker has 15 min for presentation, 1,5 hour for moderated discussion and questions. Is your business interested to join them in the l…


Maastricht workshop is still available for subscribing!

The pioneer Maastricht euro-region provides the perfect venue for international exchange on planning for cross-border cooperation and their links to local developments, a pressing frontier theme for planning in today’s globalized world. They will charge their participants with the following quest: Shall we planners foresee a transnational city for such a region and how will the borders not become barriers for this vision? Or shall we just accept it as an international cooperative region with m…


Matchmaking Event fully booked!

On Thursday October 22 twelve ideas will be pitched in the exciting Matchmaking Event. Here are two highlights: Njeri Cerere will present the idea for the first of its kind wildlife estate in Nakuru County, Kenya. Ana Marques will call for contributions for composing a guidance for low carbon new development and redevelopment. Keep an eye on the screens in the Main and Lounge Hall, where all initiatives in the Matchmaking Event will be announced, and join the pitchers!


Eindhoven workshop still has places available

Our workshop will show participants a new dimension of making of places. By the use of the interactive method Hackathon, the workshop will re-examine the role of the urban planner/designer/architect in the society. Hackathon will bring focused innovation efforts in city-making, while mixing input of people with different backgrounds, regardless of setup constraints. The outcomes of this method are scenario driven and location specific with capacity to offer ready-to-use solutions per se.


Rotterdam Workshop Fully Booked

The congress is only three weeks away! With this being announced, we have the great privilege to inform that another one of our workshops has reached its capacity. "How to develop unprecedented port-city synergy" hosted by the City of Rotterdam has officially closed the doors for participants and is ready to commit to very exciting and yet challenging working process during the congress days.


Young planning professionals Meetup3:ISOCARP2015 Unplugged

We are thrilled to have established the pioneering group of young, ambitious and visionary planners that can look above and beyond the contemporary planning practices. On September 5&6 the 12 Dutch young planners from the group of 39, at De Ceuvel in Amsterdam, one of the most innovative developments, met the local congress teams and the General Rapporteur and kick-off their vision for their workshops and mapped their first draft of their publication Action Book. You are welcomed to join…


Amsterdam workshop fully booked!

Eight more weeks to go, and our workshop in Amsterdam: How to build the city in a cooperative way? is fully booked! Rotterdam: How to develop unprecedented port-city synergy? and Antwerp: How to rework the productive city? are not far behind from closing down for participants. Hurry up and make your choice today! For more details on workshops and their availability please follow the link.


Congress venue location and design unveiled!

ISOCARP2015 Local Organizing Committee is happy to announce that the congress venue location has been confirmed! That is the former Submarine Wharf at RDM Rotterdam. We're very pleased with having secured this iconic location. WELCOME!


Mayor of Rotterdam to attend Isocarp2015

The mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, has confirmed that he will attend the Isocarp2015 congress.


Introductory film to International Society of City and Regional Planners

The principal objective of ISOCARP is to bring together recognized and highly qualified planners in an international network. With 700 members spread across over 90 countries, ISOCARP offers planners and other urban experts opportunities to share and learn about cutting edge urban issues via events worldwide. The society's knowledge pool is established through several urban expert bodies including the Urban Planning Advisory Team, the Young Planning Professionals Programme, the Intensive…


Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam: one week before Isocarp2015

The next edition of the Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam will take place one week before Isocarp2015! Screenings and other events will be located around the city from October 8-11. If you're participating in the congress, consider coming to Rotterdam a week earlier to take part. The selection of films is diverse: documentaries, dramas, sci-fi and biographies from around the world. This year's theme is 'Global Home'. Feeling at home is no longer related to a specific place or house, as…


Former mayor of Delhi confirmed as final keynote expert

ISOCARP2015 is pleased to announce that Rajni Abbi, former mayor of Delhi, has been confirmed as the third and final keynote expert. She joines Maarten Hajer, director of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and Yusuf Patel (South Africa), director of SpatialiZe. The three experts play a pivotal role in the congress. On Thursday, October 22 they will each give a 30-minute address linking the results of the twelve workshops to their own vision for planning. Participants can then…


Interdisciplinary talks and lively debates at BIG Meet-up in Groningen

We welcome all City makers and Urban Thinkers that have out-of-the-box ideas to share them with us on our interactive platform!


Call for Young Planners!



Call for abstracts open now!

Planning professionals from all over the world are welcome to make a contribution to one of the 12 workshops and participate in the plenary debate on 'rethinking planning'.


Rwandan planners awarded bursaries to ISOCARP2015

Two young and promising Rwandan professionals have been awarded bursaries to attend ISOCARP2015, courtesy of the Marc Jacobs Foundation. After narrowing down a wide field of applicants, Emmanuel Nyirinkindi and Ntwari Serge were selected as the award recipients. They will receive all travel, accommodation and entrance fees for the congress week. ISOCARP2015 is strongly promoting the 'next generation' of planners, and is therefore developing ways to support bringing other young professionals to…


Who Makes Netherlands?

2015 is the Year of the Spatial in the Netherlands. Under the motto "Who makes the Netherlands?", the country is organizing a broad debate about its spatial future. ISOCARP2015 will be a major contributor to this debate. The goal of the initiative is to look for new spatial perspectives, especially other ways of working together with users of space. Everyone is invited to give his or her vision and each initiative will get 'a spot on a clothesline', as the Dutch say. With this the…


Urban experts wanted for Seoul pre-congress event!

Soran Park, Hyeri Park and Vitnarae Kang are the driving forces behind the international planning conference that will be held in Seoul from March 12-15, 2015. The theme is "Beyond Big Plans; Let's reinvent planning". In their South Korean practice they have seen how existing physical and social structures are disrupted by large-scale developments. In their international projects they gained experience with different development models. Soran, Hyeri and Vitnarae now want to match both…


Official kick-off in Gdynia, Poland

Today the digital platform is being launched during the ISOCARP Congress in Gdynia, Poland (September 22-26) by Andries Geerse, from the Dutch Local Organizing Committee. Eleven cities in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany have already confirmed their participation for the 2015 edition of the congress. Each of these cities responded with a global challenge: How to overcome national borders How to feed the world’s metropolises How to sustain water and energy resources How t…


And then there were 11 . . . Amsterdam joins ISOCARP2015

Amsterdam's a great world city for many reasons. But perhaps less known is that it's also pioneering new approaches to city-building, based on cooperation between a diversity of parties. Luckily for us it wants to share its experience with the world and it also wants to learn from the world. The City of Amsterdam is the latest workshop host to join ISOCARP2015, bringing the total number of hosts to 11. They are taking on the global theme: How to develop the city in a cooperative way.’ If this p…


New logo for ISOCARP2015 unveiled

Every congress worth its salt has a flashy logo. And ISOCARP2015 is no exception. We're therefore pleased to unveil our new logo, which is a playful twist on the existing ISOCARP 'circle'. We hope you like it! (and if you don’t, we hope you’ll tell us.) The logo is designed by WellDoneWell.


Global congress themes taking shape

Thirty enthusiastic professionals gathered in Rotterdam yesterday evening to give an update on their ISOCARP2015 workshop. Judith Ryser, the General Rapporteur, flew in from London and Jan Polivka, representing the theme 'How to leverage growth from spatial projects', skyped in from Dortmund, Germany. There was a lot of creativity around the table as participants brainstormed how they and their network can contribute to the main congress theme, namely: what solutions can planners offer to…


Marc Lampe joins Local Organizing Committee

Rome wasn't built in a day. Neither, by all accounts, will ISOCARP2015. Working hard to make it all happen is the Netherlands Local Organizing Committee (LOC), a volunteer group of planning professionals. The LOC recently added a new member to its ranks: Marc Lampe. Marc is an independent consultant from the Netherlands with a wide range of experience in urban planning, design, and research. We're happy to have him on board, as his energy and fresh outlook is already proving invaluable to the…


Judith Ryser selected as General Rapporteur

We are pleased to announce that the international ISOCARP board has selected Judith Ryser as General Rapporteur for the ISOCARP2015 Congress. Educated as an architect and urbanist with an MSc in social sciences, Judith Ryser is dedicating her cosmopolitan professional life to the built environment and its sustainability. She engaged in academic research, teaching, public sector posts, private practice, community groups, writing, editing and journalism. Her research in London, Paris, Berlin,…


Welcome to the ISOCARP2015 platform

The ISOCARP2015 platform is now open! This platform is more than an information point; it’s an invitation for you to join us in building the congress. Here are some of the things you can do on the platform. Got a brilliant idea for an additional congress theme? Propose your own theme! Does one of the workshop themes tickle your fancy? Submit a plan or paper! Got something to get off your chest? Start a discussion with urban professionals from around the world! Interested in the state of t…


Launch of congress themes

On June 25, 2014 the ten themes for ISOCARP2015 will officially be launched. Urban professionals representing the networks hosting the themes will join together in Rotterdam. They are now developing their contribution to the congress theme, namely: what solutions can planners offer to tackle today's urgent global problems? The themes are: How to Feed the World’s Metropolises (hosted by Wageningen Ur / Food Valley Region) How to Overcome National Borders (hosted by Euregio Meuse-Rhine) How to C…



Deadline for abstract submissions

Starts: Apr 24, 2015

Congress participants are invited to make professional contributions to one of the 12 congress workshops. This may be papers and research results, but also practical experiences, pilot projects, spatial strategies, plans or case studies. Click here for more details.

International call for inspiration

Starts: Jul 01, 2014

Passionate professionals worldwide are invited to contribute to the congress beginning in July 2014. This can be done via a best practice, a brilliant brainwave or a congress paper. Click here for more details.

MeetUp3: ISOCARP2015 Unplugged

Starts: Sep 05, 2015
Ends: Sep 06, 2015
CrossBoat, De Ceuvel, Korte Papaverweg 4, 1032 KB Amsterdam

At ISOCARP Unplugged our Creative Engines will focus on building and
sharpening the content of their workshops together with the local co-rapporteurs.
The General Rapporteur will be present to facilitate the process
and share her vision as we move one step closer to the final event in
Rotterdam! Now is the time to DREAM > DARE > DO!

Architectural Film Festival

Starts: Oct 08, 2015
Ends: Oct 11, 2015
Rotterdam, The Netherlands

This biannual film festival screens films, shorts, animations and documentaries about architecture, urban development and city culture. Visit the website

MeetUp4: Innovation happens @ DDW!

Starts: Oct 17, 2015
Ends: Oct 18, 2015
Dutch Design Week exhibition venues, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Dutch Design Week is a perfect place for YPPs to work together in the spirit innovation and design and inspire them to take urban planning to the next level!
At this point, the 40 YPPs and the 24 Co-rapporteurs will meet together to discuss the future of planning and kick-off the creative spirit for the workshop days to come.

10.00 City Hall open
10.30 Welcome by Mary-Ann Schreurs, vice mayor of Eindhoven
11.00 Introduction in transformation of Eindhoven
12.00 Welcome DDW by Martijn Paulen, director DDW
12.30 short visit to exhibition in Cityhall
13.00 Lunch for YPP’s (and other guests) at OUDE RECHTBANK
14.00 visit Dutch Design Week with guidance from Team10 members and Brabant Academy.
(optional free visit without guidance)

19.00 diner at STRP-S (or make a reservation at Oude Rechtbank)

18 October:
12.00 brunch at OUDE RECHTBANK and free visit DDW till departure to host city.
17.00 departure to host city

Dutch Design Week 2015

Starts: Oct 18, 2015
Ends: Oct 26, 2015
Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Dutch Design Week is an annual event showcasing the newest and most innovative of Dutch design. The event takes place via exhibitions, workshops, seminars and parties at approximately 80 venues. Visit the website

ISOCARP2015 Congress

Starts: Oct 19, 2015
Ends: Oct 23, 2015
Belgium, Germany & The Netherlands

Twelve cities in Belgium, Netherlands & Germany will open their doors to city professionals from around the world before coming together in Rotterdam. Join us in 2015! Download more information


Got an interesting event? Events that have a relationship with Cities Save The World: Let’s Reinvent Planning can be linked with ISOCARP2015. Contact Rudger Smook at to find out more.


The International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP) is a global association of experienced professional planners. It was founded in 1965 in a bid to bring together recognised and highly-qualified planners in an international network. The ISOCARP network brings together individual and institutional members from more than 80 countries worldwide. As a non-governmental organisation ISOCARP is recognised by the UN, UNHCS and the Council of Europe. The Society also has a formal consultative status with UNESCO.

Although ISOCARP members work in many different fields they share a common interest in the spatial and environmental dimensions of urbanisation. They advise key decision-makers, proposing and supporting projects for intervention in a spatial context through general or specific actions.

The objectives of ISOCARP include the improvement of planning practice through the creation of a global and active network of practitioners. ISOCARP encourages the exchange of professional knowledge between planners, promotes the planning profession in all its forms, stimulates and improves planning research, training and education and enhances public awareness and understanding of major planning issues at a global level.

The association‘s main event is the annual World Congress which focuses on a globally-significant planning theme and which takes place in a different country each year.

Keep yourself updated on the most recent news by following the Facebook page of the ISOCARP organisation.

ISOCARP2015 Congress

The ISOCARP2015 congress comes at a time of unprecedented global urbanization. This is bringing challenges that differ in emerging countries, developing countries and developed countries. Voices from the global level down to the ground - in both the public and private sector - are calling for a ‘planning’ approach to address these challenges.

A planning approach rests on three main principles:

  1. linking disparate issues
  2. connecting the short & long term
  3. overcoming the inevitable conflicts between competing interests

The ISOCARP2015 Congress is therefore an opportune time to open up to the world, work together and learn from each other.

The aim of the Congress is to develop practical solutions, and will therefore will be open to everyone who cares about the city. The 500 expected participants will first spend two days in one of nine congress cities in The Netherlands, Belgium or Germany, working with local partners to exchange solutions related to each city’s topic.

The event is a milestone in the history of the ISOCARP organization: it is returning home exactly 50 years after the inaugural congress in Amsterdam. Click here to download a document with more details.

Young Professional Planners Programme

Young Professional Planners (YPPs) have always been important for ISOCARP. ISOCARP2015 is jumping even further by giving top young planners the opportunity to take a leading role in the congress.

From a pool of almost 150 international applicants, 36 YPPs have been selected - three for each workshop. Click on a link below to browse the pitches of all applicants for each workshop.

How to develop unprecedented port-city synergy (Rotterdam)
How to rework the productive city (Antwerp)
How to feed the world's metropolises (Wageningen)
How to leverage economic growth from spatial projects (Dortmund)
How to build a transboundary urban system (Maastricht)
How to implement a legal framework for local integrated planning (Deventer)
How to react when traditional industries move away - Society 2.0 (Eindhoven)
How to connect in a globalized world (Schiphol Airport / SouthAxis Amsterdam)
How to sustain energy resources (Groningen)
How to create a sustainable knowledge region (Delft)
How to reconcile local expectations with strong international challenges when renewing a city (Brussels)
How to build the city in a cooperative way (Amsterdam)

ANBI Status of Stichting ISOCARP2015

Stichting ISOCARP2015 was founded by the Netherlands Local Organising Committee (LOC) of Isocarp to formally and financially enable the LOC to organise the ISOCARP2015 Congress in partnership with ISOCARP and Dutch government bodies, local authorities, institutes and organisations. It is a non-profit organisation, working in the social-cultural domain. The Dutch Tax Law offers such organisations the possibility to be exempted from Value Added Tax, which makes it more attractive to potential sponsors and benefactors of the organisation to contribute. This so-called ANBI status has been granted to Stichting Isocarp2015. Dutch Tax Authorities then oblige the organisation to publish detailed information about the goals, organisation and financial aspects on the website of the organisation. This information is included in the Dutch text of this document. Click here for the 2014 Jaarverslag (Annual Report) of Stichting ISOCARP2015.

Who makes the Netherlands? Synopsis for ISOCARP2015 congress

2015 not only marks the 50th anniversary of ISOCARP, it is also the projection year set in the 4th Dutch national policy document on spatial planning which was published a quarter of a century ago and was finalised in 1991 with a document colloquially known as VINEX.
We consider VINEX to be the last great development-driven national plan with its 835,000 new homes to be built up to 2015.

Find to download the book here


If you have any questions, brilliant ideas, or you just want to get in touch, feel free to email us!


Find out more about our sponsors.

There are still sponsorship opportunities available! To find out more, please contact Markus Appenzeller at