congress team: 

Rajendra Kumar (India) & Matej Niksic (Slovenia)

Al-Majlis derives from the Arabic root word ('to sit') and it describes a venue that is typically used for social gatherings. This term can loosely be described as a 'council' where extended family members often meet each other to socialize and discuss the happenings of daily life. Al-Majlis is also used as a semi-private space to receive and entertain guests. Majlises also acted as venues for decision-making and was an element of shared governance rooted in Arab and Islamic history. The tradition today continues to be celebrated, where governmental bodies responsible for decision making in many states are referred to as Majlis Al-Shura (Advisory Council). 

"There is no logic that can be superimposed in a citypeople make it, and it is to them, not buildingsthat we must fit our plans". - Jane Jacobs 


People are empowered through various avenues. Inclusive planning tries to include the various dimensions of user-oriented urbanism into the process of planning formulation and its implementation. These dimensions have great impacts on the livelihoods of people, especially disadvantaged groups, such as the urban poor or the socially marginalised. Various dimensions of urban disadvancement can be classified as income and social poverty, education poverty, environmental poverty, or health poverty, to name the few. Issues such as employment insecurity, unskilled labour, lack of access to and opportunities in the job market, lack of access to governance and decision-making, macro/micro-economics crisis, unaffordable cost of living, lack of safety nets and labour protection, lack of assets, personal insecurityconstrained access to education, inability to afford the school expenses, lack of access to quality education to all, exposure to crime and violence as well as lack of reliable, affordable and good public transportation and urban mobility constrain the quality of life of too many citizens across the globe. These issues must be incorporated in the mainstream urban planning agenda to overcome the growing socio-economic gaps of contemporary societies.  

Advocating for the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups is one form of addressing these issuesYet fully inclusive and participatory approaches, where the power is given to the people themselves, may be the strongest wheel of change for the futureEmpowerment can hardly happen without yielding decision-making to citizens. At the same time, they need to possess basic skills and the means to be able to play the game (the know-how, social skills, financial sources etc.), and the process must be moderated for foreseen outcomes 

The issues that need to be addressed vary greatly across the globe, from e.g., inadequate housing, tenure insecurity, precarious living condition of people, risk of disaster to settlements in hazard prone areas, inadequate access to water and sanitation, lack of access to solid waste facilities, exposure to hazardous industrial waste and exposure to air and water, land and noise pollution, to less elemental, but equally important ones related to the further improvement of living conditions and quality of life in relatively well-off environments. There are many countries and cities that have adopted the inclusive urban planning initiatives at macro and micro level of planning at the declarative levels to address such issues, but less has been truly successfully implemented in practice 

Track-1 attempts to discuss the issues of policymaking, process-management, practical implications as well as research insights in the field of inclusiveness and empowermentIt aims for a better understanding of the ways for a meaningful inclusion of communities in the decision making of their own future, and their full empowerment for the participatory urban planning and place making across all strata of societyThe contributions to this track will ideally focus on urban renewal and upgrading of the living condition in any kind of settlementsContributions are welcome on (but not limited to) the following themes:

  • Bottom-up planning and participatory practices  
  • Community development and community-based leadership 
  • Inclusion and inclusive design 
  • Empowering specific social groups – incl. women, children, elderly, informal workers etc.  
  • Socio-economic accessibility of urban environments for disadvantaged groups 
  • The role of solidarity and generosity in urban planning 
  • Human (dis)abilities and urban planning  
  • Identity Minorities 
  • Housing issues 
  • Role of public space for empowerment and inclusive planning  
  • Forms of urban exclusion 
  • Policymaking and management for more inclusive cities 


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