Martin Dubbeling, President of ISOCARP

"If there is one dramatic and basic change in planning and designing our cities induced by the COVID pandemic, it is the need for much more public spaces and parks. We now realise more than ever before that we need to redesign our cities and public spaces for our citizens in order to recreate, exercise and meet while keeping distance. Building better places and fostering stronger communities will need to be on the top of the agenda of cities."


Successful cities are famous for their public spaces, parks, boulevards, gardens, squares, markets, piers, bridges and embankments. "Planning Unlocked, New Times - Better Places - Stronger Communities", the 57th ISOCARP World Planning Congress, aims to identify the post-pandemic layout of cities. We cordially invite urban and regional planners, landscape architects, developers, politicians and NGOs to meet and discuss the future of our cities and the approaches that will help us make cities and communities more healthy and more resilient. 


ISOCARP is a worldwide members-led network association of urban and regional planners. Every year our members of the extensive ISOCARP network meet at our annual congress. We arrange a wide array of activities for and with our members such as publications, workshops, awards, and training programs. This learning network is the greatest asset of ISOCARP. Our members meet, connect, get to know each other, learn from each other and support each other with ideas and through the exchange of knowledge and experience.


I look forward to exploring the challenges and opportunities our hybrid World Planning Congress. The inevitable challenges for our cities resonate in the key question of our congress: how to unlock and build back better our cities and communities. I am convinced that this hybrid congress will be an excellent continuation of our three recent and very successful congresses "Post-Oil Cities", our first fully virtual congress (2020), "Beyond the Metropolis" in Jakarta (2019) and "Cool Planning" in Bodø (2018). 


ISOCARP congresses are meeting places of all planning professionals working for regions and cities, for local and international consultancies and institutions and in the academia and research institutes. Therefore, ISOCARP welcomes your interest, contributions and commitment to our motto "Knowledge for Better Cities". 


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