1. Joint AESOP-ACSP Roundtable: Doing Climate Justice: Reflections from Europe and the Americas
Reckien, Diana, University of Twente, Butler, William, Florida State University; Alexander, Serena, San José State University, USA

1. Brinkley, Catherine, University of California Davis
2. Reckien, Diana, University of Twente
3. Hein, Jonas, German Development Institute
4. Fünfgeld, Hartmut, University of Freiburg
5. Kilolu, Layla, University of Hawaii at Manoa

This roundtable seeks to bring practitioners and researchers into conversation about the nitty gritty context of making decisions informed by climate justice aspirations and ethical frameworks. Ethical decision making in practice is fraught with challenges from organizational culture and rules, limitations on discretion, financial constraints, and ethical frameworks that are often ill-defined and unsuited to specific situations given their penchant for universality. As climate action planning is on the agenda in many cities and communities, there is increasing interest in and intent to focus on climate justice and equity in plans, policies, and investments in cities throughout the world. However, questions of how to do climate justice--making equitable and ethical decisions about where to invest, what programs to develop and prioritize, who will benefit and who will bear burdens, what communities and neighborhoods will be targeted for protection and which ones will be left to languish, and much more--have not been adequately understood in research to date. This roundtable brings practitioners who are working in the climate justice space together with researchers who explore ethical and moral decision making in practice to focus on these decisions and actions and face head-on the deeply challenging context of doing climate justice in practice. We invite scholars from both AESOP and ACSP member programs to submit short descriptions of your contributions of this conversation. For scholar participants, we encourage you to recruit practitioners with whom you might work to participate in this dialogue as well.
KEYWORDS: Europe, North America, cities and local communities, local climate planning, climate change planning, practitioners

Assoc.Prof.Dr. Balkiz Yapicioglu-Department of Architecture, Arkin University of Creative Arts and Design, Department of Architecture, Kyrenia, Cyprus. Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Lalenis-Department of Planning and Regional Development, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece.

1. BELOF, Magdalena, Associate Professor of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Wroclaw, Poland.
2. KIESSEL, Marko, Professor of Architectural History, Faculty of Design, Arkin University of Creative Arts and Design, Kyrenia, Cyprus.
3. LESHINSKY, Rebecca, Lawyer, PhD, Senior Lecturer at Property, Construction & Project Management, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.
4. MADY, Christine, Associate Professor of Architecture, Department of Architecture, Ramez G. Chagoury Faculty of Architecture, Arts and Design, Notre Dame University - Louaize (NDU), Lebanon.
5. MORAITIS, Konstantinos, Professor Emeritus, School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece.
6. WILLIAMS, Brendan, Associate Professor, University College Dublin, School of Architecture Planning and Environmental Policy, Dublin, Ireland.

This roundtable attempts to create a discussion on Immured Space which is explained as a space of collective characteristics in or out of which, free access or movement is denied, or forbidden, or strictly monitored for specific groups or individuals, or the sense of intruding to an alien space is imposed out of threat or fear. In immured spaces barriers have clear and discrete characteristics. Walls or barriers could be physical or conceptual, and they are usually set by the ‘dominant’ of the involved groups or by a 3rd agent or authority without consultation of all the involved agents, and often against the will of some of the involved. Their establishment or construction is time independent. Might be an ‘immediate’ reaction to an incident like a war, social crisis, etc., or a slow development reflecting the evolution of social gaps, conflicts or social segregation in an area. According to the organisers, an ‘opening’ of the barrier signifies the essential change of function of the immured space, creates different dynamics, perceptions and attitudes, and reshapes the urban fabric. It is just the ‘beginning of the end’ of the immured space as such. The physical barriers remain usually as remnants of their previous role and serve as the historical elements and/or part of the cultural tradition. Reflection of the boundaries in immured space is more obvious in the urban environment since there, human activities become more obvious and social reproduction takes place.
1. How can we identify an immured space?
2. What is the influence of an opening in a wall/boundary in accruing changes of their form and functions?
3. How various types of immured spaces affect the urban fabric?
KEYWORDS: Divided Spaces, Protected Spaces,  Spaces Beyond, Segregated Spaces, Border Thresholds

3. Urban Beauty: Beyond the Eye of the Beholder
Alfasi, Nurit Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Cozzolino, Stefano, ILS - Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development

1 Moroni, Stefano, Politecnico di Milano
2. Elbaz, Asher, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
3. Buitelaar, Edwin, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency

The beauty of cities occupies literature, poetry, and popular songs' lyrics, it comes up in the daily discourse of residents, merchants and business people, let alone politicians, real estate agents, and tourist guides. Nevertheless, the aesthetical aspect of cities rarely appears in current practical and theoretical planning discourse. Theoreticians of planning and urban environment seldom write about planning beautiful cities. Researchers hardly ever compare the beauty of various planning models and investigate beauty as a sign of good planning. In practice, too, planners do not consider beauty important when discussing development plans and authorizing them. Whether the beauty of cities is taken for granted or considered marginal, compared to social, economic and environmental aspects, it is almost absent from the current urban and planning discourses. The long silence appears to be broken in the last decade, possibly affected by the New Urbanist discourse and the enthusiasm from intense urban environments. Still, this discourse is scarce and lacks a noticeable framework. This roundtable wishes to discuss the importance of beauty and raise the following questions: 1. How could the discourse of urban beauty affect planning theory and practice?2. What do we know about how urban beauty is created and, specifically, about the role planning plays in the emergence of beauty?3. Beauty is related to good feelings, but what are the relations between urban beauty and under-the-surface attributes, such as justice, dignity and equity?
KEYWORDS: Urban Beauty, Planning Theory, Relativism

4. Sustainable urban development: Who defines and operationalises a ubiquitous objective?
Purkarthofer, Eva, Aalto University, Finland

1. Cotella, Giancarlo, Politecnico di Torino
2. Mäntysalo, Raine, Aalto University
3. Mattila, Hanna, Aalborg University
4. Metzger, Jonathan, KTH Stockholm
5. Servillo, Loris, Politecnico di Torino
6. Sturzaker, John, University of Hertfordshire

Sustainable urban development (SUD) is currently a ubiquitous objective in land use planning and spatial development. To make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable is one of 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, and SUD is a guiding theme in the New Urban Agenda and in several policy documents published at the European Union scale (EU Urban Agenda, Territorial Agenda 2030). Consequently, actors working in the field of urban and regional planning everywhere in the world have recognized their key position in striving for SUD and acknowledged their obligation to do so. However, concrete actions aimed at SUD in the field of spatial planning vary greatly between and within countries, regions and cities.This roundtable discusses the hypothesis that institutional context, organisational culture as well as attitudes and behaviours of individuals play a decisive role regarding which aspects of SUD are emphasised and which aspects are omitted. Acknowledging context-specific interpretations enables a qualitative discussion on SUD and the question what planning contributes to SUD in different contexts. Instead of the inclusion of the term ‘sustainable urban development’ as hegemonic sermon reflected in policy documents at all spatial scales, better knowledge about interpretations and actions can uncover shared meanings and differences between actors and organisations and thus get to the root of why cities and regions do or do not achieve their goals regarding sustainability.Three questions will guide the roundtable discussion:• How is the idea of sustainable urban development transformed when traveling between different levels of government? • Who defines sustainable urban development in various contexts? • What opportunities and challenges do diverging interpretations of sustainability bring?This roundtable is part of the project “SUD-TRIP: Sustainable urban development as travelling idea in spatial planning: Substantiating a vague concept by investigating actors, organisations and institutions” (2022-2025).
KEYWORDS: sustainability, sustainable urban development, governance, actors, organisation, institutions

5. Governance and social innovation: new urban spaces for cities in transformation
Scaffidi, Federica, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Institute of Urban Design and Planning; Özogul, Sara, University of Groningen, Department of Spatial Planning and Environment

1. Di Baldassare, Maria Giada, University of Marche,  Department of Construction, Civil Engineering and Architecture
2. Ledo Marques, Andresa, Mackenzie University, Department of Architecture and Urbanism
3. Leite, Vitorio, University of Porto, Department of Architecture
4. Massari, Martina, University of Bologna, Department of Architecture
5. Massioni, Claudia, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Institute of Urban Design and Planning
6. Van der Vaart, Gwenda, University of Groningen, Department of Spatial Planning and Environment

This roundtable aims to open a debate on spatial governance and social innovation, addressing the current environmental, social and economic crises that cities are experiencing and promoting new scenarios for their transformation. We imagine future cities with new urban spaces in line with people's needs, community spaces and social enterprises. We want to discuss about existing experiences, case studies and new future possibilities for urban spaces, following these three key questions:How can social innovation promote disruptive urban transformations?What governance tools should planners develop?Under what conditions can transformation take place? The roundtable welcomes researchers and practitioners with multidisciplinary approaches, using qualitative and/or quantitative methodologies, and addressing the following topics:Social innovation and urban governancePlace-making and cultural resourcesCommunity-friendly urban spacesThe role of private sector in transformative change
KEYWORDS: Social innovation and entrepreneurshipsocial innovation, governance, cities in transformation, social needs, place-making, urban and collaborative spaces

6. Shrinking regions – how to plan beyond growth?
Hagen, Aksel, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences;  Higdem, Ulla, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences;  Overvaag, Kjell, University og Agder, Norway


Kristi Grišakov, Tallinn University of Technology
Mäntysalo Raine, Aalto University
Garri Raagmaa, University of Tartu
Johanna Lilius, Aalto University
Ulla Higdem, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences
Kjell Overvaag, University of Agder

Many western countries and regions are experiencing “shrinking”, normally meaning decreasing population numbers and ageing. This situation also applies for both city regions and rural regions, and these demographic tendencies is expected to continue in the coming decades. This issue has been on the agenda within international research on planning quite long. Internationally mostly connected to shrinking cities in North-Amerika and in parts of Europe. In the Nordic countries the focus has mainly been on rural regions. Despite these efforts, there is a broad consensus in the academic literature that growth still is dominant norm in contemporary policy and planning. Demographic decline has for long been disregarded in both literature and practice. Existing policies, instruments and tools is not capable of handling shrinkage.In the literature, there is also a broad agreement that a growth-oriented planning and unrealistic ideas about growth has prevented the development of proactive strategies in managing decline. Consequently, planning fail to address urgent issues such as even more sparsely populated areas, declining tax base, and an increased aging population. There is thus a need to develop knowledge so we can better understand the role planning can have in shrinking regions, and to develop theories and methods for planning (connected to processes, legitimacy etc) beyond growth. Planning theory and practise therefore must be innovative in order to develop new and progressive ways of addressing the relevant challenges, where innovation in policy-development may take place.  The main challenge is how to plan for a sustainable local and regional development, where continuous shrinking population numbers in sparsely populated areas is a premise. Three questions to be explored in the roundtable1. Why is expected future demographic changes often disregarded in local planning? What are the roles of different actors/interests, norms, discourses, both local, regional and national? How is the relation between politicians, planners, local industries etc. influencing this?  2. What consequences does it have that current and future demographic changes is disregarded in local planning? How does it influence strategies, means/measures, budgets, services in rural municipalities? How can more realistic and flexible approaches potentially change how resources are mobilized and utilized?3. How can we develop innovative and progressive approaches to local planning that do not have population growth as its premise? Is such an approach possible and desired among local actors? Can planning open up for new perspectives on “alternative futures” and what “development” implies, or will it be reduced to govern the decline? What can be new methods and processes for local planning?
KEYWORDS: Rural, planning, shrinking, sustainability, innovation

7. Small towns - is there a research gap?
Weidner, Silke, Head of Chair of Urban Management and Head of Department for Urban Planning, Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU)

1. Conradi, Jane, Hochschule Koblenz, Germany
2. Demaiziere, Christoph, Université Tours, France
3. Mengs, Christoph, Leipzig University, Germany
4. Ülker, Riza Baris, Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU), Germany

The following topics, theses and questions listed below have been compiled systematically and iteratively from the previous work (2019-2021) of the research-network ‘HochschulCampus KleinstadtForschung’ (HCKF). They reveal gaps and the need for investigation in the further debate on small town research and practical planning work. Thematic clustering has been carried out (see below), but there are various content and methodological links between them. The overall question focuses on research gaps in national and international small town debates (1, first bullet points - to be supplemented - see below), followed by asking for a weighting or ranking (2) as well as for case studies known by participants(3).Definition of small towns/ characteristicsThesis: Small towns are rarely visible in their heterogeneity, “the” small town does not exist.Functions, importance and equipment of small townsThesis: Small towns in peripheral locations are becoming increasingly important (as residential and business locations).Thesis: The pressure on small towns to develop is increasing, but only in some places.Thesis: A reduction of jobs in small towns leads to emigration and sets a negative cycle in motion, which in the future can no longer be reversed by creating new jobs.Cooperation and integration in and from small townsThesis: The importance and the “success” of a small town does not only depend on its connection to the big city or metropolis, but is also significantly shaped by its intra-regional interdependence. Small towns, however, are more likely to orient themselves towards the nearest large cities than to organize themselves in small-town networks.Small towns’ societyThesis: On the one hand, the opportunities for social cohesion and solidarity are bigger in small towns, on the other hand, social openness is sometimes limited.Services of general interest in small townsThesis: Public services of general interest are in future key issues for small towns, as this is precisely where the residents' quality of life is measured.Small towns and governanceThesis: Small towns need specific planning approaches, manners and stakeholder involvement.Thesis: Everyone knows everyone in small towns. Short distances lead to success, but make new alliances and the overcoming of old conflict lines are more difficult.Thesis: The use of digital technologies is particularly challenging for small towns. General funding for digital systems, however, increases the development gap between large and small cities.In addition to the listet topics, similar challenges regularly arise in small town research, which represent a cross-thematic approach in processing: data availability, urban space/place and building culture as well as climate change and sustainability. After presenting this list and the framing at the beginning of the Round Table the main issues and topics will be figured out for the following discussion.
KEYWORDS: small towns, governance, spatial planning and research, methods

8. Unsettled questions of EU Cohesion Policy
Alois Humer, University of Vienna; Franziska Sielker, University of Cambridge; Daniel Rauhut, University of Eastern Finland

R. Atkinson, J. Benedek, T. Chilla, G. Cotella, M. Dąbrowski, E. Evrard, A. Faludi, D. Goldsborough, E. Gruber, T. Komornicki, K.R. Kunzmann, J. Le Gallo, E. Marques da Costa, N. Marques da Costa, P. McCann, E. Meijers, J. Moodie, J.A. Nagy, Á. Németh, R. Ortega-Argilés, E. Purkarthofer, K. Sandberg, P. Schmitt, C. Serbanica, I. Tosics, S. Tulumello, L. Védrine, K. Zimmermann

Economic, social, and territorial Cohesion between Europe’s cities and regions is a foundation of the European Union. Constantly important over many decades, EU Cohesion Policy amounts to roughly one third of the total budget in the multiannual financial framework of the EU 2021-2027. Through this, ‘EUrope’ can potentially impact the everyday life of all citizens. However, there are lasting academic as well as realpolitical debates, why the actual implementation of policy is (not) working, which regional challenges are (not) addressed and, not last, who actually does (not) profit from EU Cohesion Policy.This Round Table seeks to spot some of the crucial as well as overlooked key-challenges of future EU Cohesion Policy. The debate builds on a recent Edited Volume on EU Cohesion Policy and Spatial Governance by Rauhut, Sielker & Humer. The editors, together with some of the chapter-authors of this volume turn their attention towards three concluding, cardinal questions:
(1) Why are EU disintegration trends intensifying and what is the role of EU Cohesion Policy in there?
(2) How do (irrational) geographies of discontent express in European regions and is EU Cohesion Policy a cure to that?
(3) Does the formal lack of discretion regarding many (social) policy fields of the EU hamper a more successful EU Cohesion Policy?
Quote of the Edited Volume:Rauhut, Daniel, Sielker, Franziska & Humer, Alois (eds.) (2021) EU Cohesion Policy and Spatial Governance: Territorial, Social and Economic Challenges, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar,
KEYWORDS: EU Cohesion Policy, disintegration, discontent, discretion, future

9. Fit for Green – social and territorial impact of just green transition
Toto, Rudina, Polis University, Co-PLAN Institute for Habitat Development; Dhrami, Kejt, Polis University, Co-PLAN Institute for Habitat Development

1. Dr. Kejt Dhrami, Spatial Planning and Regional Development Expert, Co-PLAN
2. Dr. Ledio Allkja, Spatial Planning and Territorial Governance Expert, Co-PLAN
3. Dr. Rudina Toto, Senior Territorial Governance Expert, Co-PLAN (Online)
4. Prof. Maros Finka, Professor at Slovak University of Technology and President of AESOP
5. Assoc. Prof. Giancarlo Cotella, Associate Professor of spatial planning, Politecnico di Torino (DIST), Italy
6. Dr. Bianca Mitrica, Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy
7. Rodon Miraj, Coordinator of Open Regional Fund for South East Europe – Energy, Transport and Climate Protection, GIZ Albania (Online)
8. Dr. Carlos Tapia, Senior Research Fellow, Nordregio (Online)

This roundtable seeks to bring together researchers and practitioners into a discussion on the contextual milieu where just transition policies and actions are taking place. The global focus on the need for a green transition has seen a spike in the last years, with the introduction of the European Green New Deal in 2019, followed by the approval of the European Climate Law in 2021.  Cities, regions and communities are mobilizing efforts to reach the eminent objective for Europe to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050, resulting in a cleaner environment, more affordable energy, smarter transport, new jobs and an overall better quality of life. In this context, green investments have rapidly gone from being viewed as high-risk to part of the average investment portfolio. But how can justice and social inclusion become an integral part of such investments? This roundtable will shed some light on the social and territorial impact of just (green) transition policies and practices. Examples of the topics that will discussed in this roundtable include but are not limited to: innovative public engagement practices for just transition; actions to balance the climate change burden between vulnerable communities and other stakeholders; and other lessons learned during the process. The roundtable will be organized as follows: Firstly, a short overview of the situation with Green Transition will be presented to the participants by Dr. Tapia (Nordregio). Following, the 4 panelists address 2 rounds of questions, summarizing their research and interest in the subject. Finally, the floor will be opened to participants for questions or additional input.

KEYWORDS: Just green transition / territorial governance / climate change adaptation / climate resilience

10:00- 10:05

Welcoming of Panelists

Dr.Dhrami, Dr. Allkja, Dr. Toto

10:05- 10:15

Introduction: State of art for Green transition. Green economy, importance of stakeholder engagement

Dr. Tapia


Summary and transition to questions

Dr. Dhrami

10:17 – 10:37

Question 1: What are regional specificities of green transition in Europe? (Processes / policy initiatives / instruments / sectors/ communities / new European Bauhaus / implementation; costs and benefits) Each panelist may consider EU, the Danube region, the Adrion region, Western Balkans, SEE, or specific countries based on own experience

Prof. Finka, Assoc.Prof Cotella, Dr. Mitrica, Mr. Miraj – 5 min each

10:37 – 10:57

Question 2: How can more vulnerable communities be positively impacted by green transition? Referring to own experience or cases.

Prof. Finka, Assoc.Prof Cotella, Dr. Mitrica, Mr. Miraj – 5 min each

10:57 – 11:12

Questions/Input from audience

Moderated by Dr. Allkja

11:12 – 11:24

Final take-away

Prof. Finka, Assoc.Prof Cotella, Dr. Mitrica, Mr. Miraj – 3 min each

11:24 – 11:30


Dr.Dhrami, Dr. Allkja, Dr. Toto


10. Becoming a Post-Growth Planner - what hinders us?
Christian Lamker (University of Groningen)

1. John Barry (Queen's University, Belfast)
2. ​Benjamin Davy (TU Dortmund University)
3. António Ferreira (University of Porto) [or Kim Carlotta von Schönfeld]
4. Yvonne Rydin (UCL, London)
5. Jin Xue (Norwegian University of Life Sciences)

The landscape of researchers and activists at the interface between spatial planning and post-growth thinking has increased substantially. However, it has only triggered limited change in actual practices and remains confined to spatial or temporal 'islands'. On the other hand, the all-pervasive crises in the domains of climate, land transformation and housing are intrinsically linked to an unquestioned desire to grow - some would even say an underlying 'growth fetish'. This roundtable brings together European researchers and their attempts to challenge a deep-rooted growth-orientation of (public) spatial planning. It aims to take a step forward and to discuss ways of communicating post-growth to a wider professional and public audience, its relevance to target challenges of today and what this could mean for the future role of spatial planners on the trajectory towards a growth-independent future. The roundtable will address the inner struggles for spatial planners and the slippery path between showing radical alternatives, leading towards democratically agreed goals, and varying public perceptions of bold actions.Main questions cover:1. How does post-growth thinking help understand root causes of spatial planning crises (especially climate, land transformation and housing)?2. Which post-growth suggestions to resolve these crises enable and motivate most effectively to embark on this trajectory?3. Could, or should, planners be like Spiderman: employ their unique skills for societal change, but in constant inner struggles on public ambiguity and the responsibility that comes with power?
KEYWORDS: Post-growth planning, roles of planners, post-growth