Welcome To The ISOCARP 2021 Congress

The 57th ISOCARP World Planning Congress on the theme "Planning Unlocked: New Times, Better Places, Stronger Communities" was successfully celebrated on November 8-11, 2021. A two-day Virtual Pre-Congress preceded the in-person Congress on October 28-29 and hosted only fully online sessions. 

The hybrid format made this year's Congress unique. It provided both a safe in-person gathering of city and regional planners in Doha, Qatar, and an online platform to join the virtual sessions from all over the world. The programme included a total of 53 sessions, workshops, and social events with more than 280 papers and case studies and was attended by 650 registered delegates, 386 of which were in-person participants.

Congress Highlights

Congress Overview

57th ISOCARP WPC – Doha Declaration

2021 has been a year marked with extreme weather events of all categories – heat waves, droughts, storms, floods, tornados, etc. They took place across the globe, in both hemispheres, and from the tropics to the polar caps. They are affecting the urbanized regions unevenly – such as in the Middle East, where droughts have always been a problem but are now even worse, and in the face of rapidly growing populations – but they are affecting the whole world. The extraordinary scale, intensity and frequency of the events has forced scientists, mainstream media, political leaders and the public to
realise that the climate HAS changed. Climate change is no more a prediction but a crisis.

So, 2021 has been another ‘different’ year, in the wake of the also ‘different’ year 2020, when a novel coronavirus triggered the Covid global pandemic, with enormous public health, economic and political consequences. But both years have also been hailed as an excellent opportunity for radical societal and economic transformation. Disappointingly, we have yet to see strategic plans and actual development in that direction, rather than attempts to return to the ‘old normal’.
Instead of bold and transformative visions, we have so far seen in most nations and cities shock and bewilderment and the stalling of spatial development plans. Instead of mobilizing planning more than ever, we have seen planning paralysis. Not only have entire nations, regions and cities been put into lockdowns, but planning itself has been locked down.

How to unlock and build back better cities and communities?

The congress includes 5 tracks. The theme of each track is conceptualised to stimulate unlocking thinking on what planning is and may become. The aim is to open up broader topics and set of issues and to approach innovatively towards the presented papers and case studies.

Photo Gallery 

The Main Keynote Speakers

Klaus Kunzmann

Jean Monnet Profesor
at TU Dortmund

Eleanor Mohammed

President of Commonwealth Association of Planners

Ibrahim Jaidah

Group CEO at
Arab Engineering Bureau

Caroline Bos

of UNStudio

Helle Soholt

Founding Partner and
CEO of Gehl


 isocarp logo 2017

ISOCARP Secretariat

Waldorpstraat 17
2521 CA, The Hague
The Netherlands

Tel: +31 (70) 346 2654