Host of the conference

University of Florence, Department of Architecture

Organizing Committee

Valeria Lingua, University of Florence
Verena Elisabeth Balz, Delft University of Technology
Agnes Förster, RWTH Aachen University
Cristina Cavaco, Universidade de Lisboa


Joao Pedro Costa, Universidade de Lisboa
Giuseppe de Luca, University of Florence
Carlo Pisano, University of Florence
Alain Thierstein, TU Munich
Wil Zonneveld, TU Delft

Objectives of the conference

  1. Understanding regional design in the context of transformative planning approaches Attention to critical issues such as urban sprawl, climate change, and growing socio-economic disparities – all affecting areas that comply with neither fixed administrative boundaries nor traditional government-led jurisdictions – has triggered demands for new, more transformative, soft and adaptive planning approaches. Spatial visioning and regional design-led planning practices have been gaining momentum world-wide in this context. Practices involve knowledge about spatial particularities to foster tailored place-based spatial solutions while also envisioning the position of places in wider, regional settings and mediating between views in often contested multi-actor settings. A first objective of the conference a more sophisticated understanding of the performance of regional design in the realm of emerging modes of regional spatial planning and of the processes that support their institutionalization.
  2. Spatial planning for resilience - learning from the SARS-CoV-2 pandemicThe advancement of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic renders regions as important planning arenas for the provision of basic needs, the organization of daily life, and the safeguarding of a resilient economic base. It also underlines that regional spatial development requires strategies that address social, economic, political and societal change coherently. The conference will raise questions concerning the pandemic’s assumed effects, and how these reinforced or disrupted prevailing regional spatial development, planning, and governance. Its second objective is to learn lessons on how planning for resilience can be supported by involving spatial knowledge, foresight and imagination.
  3. Preparing a special issue on “Regional Design: A Transformative Approach to Planning”
    The AESOP Thematic Group Regional Design currently preparesa special issue on “Regional Design: A Transformative Approach to Planning” @ Planning Practice and Research. It asks participants of the conference to present extended abstracts which will be discussed during sessions of the conference. A third objective of the conference is the selection of contributions to this special edition. The guest editors of the issue will invite scholars to submit full papers subsequently. For more information, please see ‘call for abstracts’ below.