Special Session “Current Challenges for Spatial Planning Profession and Education in Transition: Core Requirements for Planners` University Education – 58th ISOCARP World Planning Congress, 5 October 2022, Brussels, Belgium, 16.00-17.30 CEST

This Special Session is co-organized by Maros FINKA (AESOP, Vice President, SPECTRA CE EU at STU, Slovakia) and Zeynep ENLIL (ISOCARP, GR/58thWPC, GPEAN, Chair, Yıldız Technical University, Turkey) with the participation of Simin Davoudi, Andrea Frank, Paulo Silva, Ana Peric, Zeynep Günay, Piotr Lorenz, Elisabeth Belpaire, Ulrich Graute and representative(s) of ECTP


1. Context/Background

Newly demanded quality of spatial development and transformation processes towards sustainable, digital knowledge based, innovation oriented and above all towards a healthy, equitable and just society appears to be the mandate of our turbulent times. The multitude of crises exacerbated by the COVID19 pandemics, pose multiple substantial and procedural challenges for planning practice and education. Meeting new demands and requirements on spatial development is not possible without strengthening the position of spatial planning in the society, but at the same time the changes in the profession of planners. They need to be reflected in the profile of professionals involved in the planning processes and their education. The academic society jointly with the representatives of spatial planning professionals needs to exchange on the fundamentals or core requirements of planning education reflecting on the specifics of different planning cultures, positions of planners in professional practice and of educational systems.

2. Short Description of the session

The session brings together the representatives of planning schools (GPEAN, AESOP and others) and of professionals (ISOCARP, ECTP) on exchange about core requirements for planners` university education. The discussion will be based on the outputs of the work done by the AESOP working Group in planning education to update the minimum requirements on planning curricula.

It will also build on the discussion and results of the special session on “Planning Education and Practice in Transition” in the Virtual Pre-Congress of ISOCARP, which brought practitioners and educators together to reflect upon the challenges ahead of us and to co-create a new agenda for planning education and practice with urban health, socio-spatial justice and climate resilience in mind.

3. Objectives of the session

  • Reflect on a new agenda for planning education and practice with urban health, socio-spatial justice and climate resilience in mind. 
  • Stimulate discussion on recent and expected substantial and processual challenges for spatial planning and contribute to providing linkages to the education of spatial planners
  • To contribute to the harmonisation of the positions of core requirements for planning education reflecting different planning cultures and systems
  • To discuss the potential of joint activities towards better positioning of spatial planning profession in society and spatial planning programmes at the universities

4. Format of the session

Round table discussion based on introductory presentation on outputs form the working group

5. Programme/Agenda

Moderator: Zeynep Enlil, Yıldız Technical University, ISOCARP GR, GPEAN, Chair

Presentation by: Andrea Frank, University of Birmingham, AESOP chair of WG

“Exploring the common core knowledge and skills for 21 st  century planners”

Panel Discussion:

1. Simin Davoudi, New Castle University, former president of AESOP

2. Maros Finka, SPA-CE.net speaker and AESOP vice-president

3. Paulo Silva, University of Aveiro, GPEAN, Vice-Chair

4. Ana Peric, ETH, Zurich, ISOCARP

5. Zeynep Günay, Istanbul Technical University, ISOCARP

6. Elisabeth Belpaire, International Urban/Spatial Planning Advisor, ISOCARP

7. Piotr Lorenz, ISOCARP, City Architect, Gdansk, Gdansk University of Technology, ISOCARP

8. Ulrich Graute, ISOCARP

9. ECTP / (tbc)