36th AESOP Annual Congress 2024 Paris, France
“GAME CHANGER? Planning for just and sustainable urban regions”


The Future of Planning: What are we facing and how do we prepare?

This Special Session is hosted within Track 12


  • Thorsten Wiechmann, TU Dortmund & ARL


  • Petra Hurtado, American Planning Association
  • Marion Klemme,  Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development
  • Thorsten Wiechmann, TU Dortmund & ARL
  • Sila Ceren Varis Husar, Slovak University of Technology
  • Milan Husar, Slovak University of Technology

The main theme of the AESOP Congress 2024 asks what are real "game-changers" for the development of just and sustainable urban regions. This question cannot be answered without a deep consideration of the current and future megatrends that frame the future of planning.

We live in a world of rapid change. Technological innovations as well as political and social trends mean that tomorrow's world will be different. Change offers opportunities but also threats. So far, however, there is hardly any debate about how spatial planning can adapt to new realities. It will not be able to escape this. 

The aim of the session is to present scenarios of alternative futures for spatial planning and to discuss the need for action resulting from the scenarios. It is about thinking about the planning of the day after tomorrow, about the societal value of integrative approaches of responsible spatial development in the 21st century.

For this purpose, the results of various research projects on the future of planning will be presented and discussed, including the Trend Report for Planners by the American Planning Association (APA) and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, the scenarios of the ARL on the future of planning and the study 'The city of the day after tomorrow' by the German Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR). In addition, there will be a contribution on the future of planning from AESOP's YA Network.

The Special Session is organized by the Academy for Territorial Development in the Leibniz Association (ARL).

Keywords: Future planning; Foresight; Scenarios; Uncertainties; Trends