50 th ISOCRAP International Planning Congress

1 Maggio, 2014

Urban Transformations – Cities on water

50 th ISOCRAP International Planning Congress

Gdynia, Poland

23-26 September 2014

The conference

The ISOCARP conference is being hosted in 2014 in the City of Gdynia on the Baltic Sea, a city which is recognized for its contribution to the planning discipline and for their strive for innovation, change and making their city sustainable and liveable.

Focusing on the relationship of cities and water, the conference “Urban Transformations – Cities and Water” opens the opportunity to explore different aspects of the newly arising issues of urban development, and the inherent relationship between urban design, economic development, infrastructure development, social and environmental sustainability, and governance. The themes are timely chosen as many cities around the world are challenged with these issues in a different and previously not experienced way, or with newly emerging questions which were never present in earlier times.

Water related issues are significant in planning of any type and scale. The cities around the world were built along waterways, or along a coast of an ocean, sea or lake. The multifaceted relationships between urban planning and water has structured and influenced the development of metropolitan areas, cities, towns, rural areas and villages. The congress opens the opportunity to touch all aspects of urbanity, urban transformations, and the inherent relationships between the urban planning and water issues, from all angles, in all disciplines, and various scales.

Today, water related issues, and their role in urban and regional planning set major challenges which are addressed almost in any plan or project worldwide, and cause urban transformations in many aspects. There are water related places which champion urban planning and livelihood of cities and demonstrate the essence of urbanity and the quality of urban life, like urban waterfronts, city centers in proximity to rivers or coasts, neighborhoods, ports or other parts of the urban fabric.

The theme of the conference “Urban Transformations – Cities and Water” opens the opportunity to touch all aspects of urbanity and the inherent relationships between the urban planning and water issues, from all angles, in all disciplines, and various scales. Urban planners, environmentalists, sociologists, infrastructure planners, economists, river restoration planners and managers, decision makers, researchers and other professionals will enlighten their aspects and views. People from diverse disciplines, countries and professional backgrounds will present analyses of the past or the present, predictions of the future, research, planning or teaching.

The topics

The concurrent sessions of the congress will be held in 6 topic.

Topic 1: Urban Design, Landscape and Livable Cities

Water-related urban planning, design and vision; waterfronts and city centers close to or along rivers, oceans, seas, lakes; residential, commercial, industrial areas linked to water bodies; marinas; urban nodes and institutions along the water; sustainable and water sensitive related urban planning; cities on cliffs; underwater buildings; historic cities and towns, and heritage patterns or buildings along water and their development, renewal, or preservation; environmental design and sustainable development; waterways and parks along them; open spaces and connectivity along waterways; culture and water; urban life, festivals, performances, activities along waterfronts; inspiration of water; water related arts and cultural events; etc.

Topic 2: Social Aspects, Collaborations and Governance

Water as a connection or divider between cities or regions; water related collaborations; national or local cross-border cooperation; formal and informal networks across territorial limits (water, rivers), at local level in waterfront development, or at regional level along riverside areas; people and water; demographic aspects; migration and its impacts; public participation; stakeholders engagement; grassroots initiatives; governance and decision making processes and water related planning processes; legal aspects as building along coasts and rivers, water use and water rights, planning laws in relation to water issues; etc.

Topic 3: Economic, Leisure and Tourism Aspects

The economic impacts of waterfronts, urban renewal projects near water bodies, and development plans along coasts, beaches and rivers; cost benefit analysis of water related planning/water sensitive planning/river restoration projects; water and water related development as an economic catalyst in urban development; real estate issues along waterfronts, in relation to water views and along greenways; the impact of urban parks; urban growth and water issues; ports as an economic catalysts and factor in urban growth or depression of shrinking port activities; tourism along urban coast lines, beaches and rivers; tourism on the water; marinas; water sport; beach sport; bicycles paths; urban parks; etc.

Topic 4: Water Management

Water management; floods, flood plains, and flood protection measures and their impacts on urban planning; urban friendly and water sensitive water planning and engineering; hydrology and geohydrology in the city; river and lake restoration; cross-border rivers and lakes; water quality and pollution; drinking water issues; water related illness and health problems; underground water quality; water quantity, changes in water level and their impacts on urban areas; water harvesting; desalination; water recycling and reuse; greywater; links to nearby agricultural areas; etc.

Topic 5: Environment, Ecosystem and Climate Change

Environmental issues in urban and water related context; ecosystem services in urban areas; coasts and beaches; carrying capacity; protected areas and nature reserves in urban patterns; urban nature; conflicts between nature and urban development; ecological corridors; ecosystem preservation and restoration of rivers, lakes and sees with urban impacts; ecosystem health, diversity and quality of life; climate change impacts on urban areas; floods and droughts; climate change adaptation; rising of sea level, impacts and solutions; falling down cliffs; role of green spaces in urban areas for climate change; cities in water-scarce regions; coping with natural disasters (floods, typhoons, tsunamis); etc.

Track 6: Ports, Transportation and Infrastructures

Ports programs and planning; changes and future trends; relations with cities; impacts on cities and regions; reuse of industrial waterfronts; hinterland activities and links to the city; mixed uses; openness; transportation to the water and on the water; bridging waterways and their urban impacts; highways and roads along rivers and coasts; infrastructures near the water; overcoming infrastructure barriers; ports and infrastructures; flood defense and water harvesting infrastructures; dams; etc.

Congress Program:


Congress website and more information:



Founded in 1965 in a bid to bring together recognised and highly-qualified planners in an international network, the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP) has grown to become a global network of city (80 countries worldwide) and regional planners, creating and sharing knowledge for better cities, promoting education and planning practice, and supporting city and regional planners in all places and all fields of activity-professional practice, administration, policy making, teaching and research. 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.

ISOCARP Urban Planning Advisory teams (UPATs) assists sponsor organisations by offering the extensive experience and expertise of ISOCARP members to work on important local or international planning projects, programmes and policy initiatives.


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.

ISOCARP’s main event is the annual World Congress, which focuses on a planning theme of foremost international interest. The Congress takes place in a different city every year. ISOCARP has held congresses on vital topics in the field of city and regional planning in every year since 1965. Combining a unique, triple perspective in theory, policy and practice, ISOCARP has pioneered the focus of the planning profession on issues such as regional urban planning (1966), urban regeneration (1981), planning for land and water (1998), the creative economy (2005) and low carbon cities (2009).





International Society of City and Regional Planners

Laan van Meerdervoort 70

2517 AN The Hague

The Netherlands

E-mail: isocarp@isocarp.org

Web site: www.isocarp.org

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