TRACK 8: URBAN AND REGIONAL DESIGN: Healthy cities and well-being
Katrin Koov (Estonian University of Arts, Estonia)
Valeria Lingua (University of Florence, Italy)
Julita Skodra (University Hospital Essen, Germany)

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 urban and regional design approaches. Design-led planning practices at both the urban and regional level have been gaining momentum worldwide in this context. Practices involve knowledge  about spatial particularities to foster tailored place-based spatial solutions while  also envisioning the position of places in neighborhoods, cities and in wider, regional settings, mediating between scales and views in often contested multi-actor settings.

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has evidenced the role of the city 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 the importance of space for everyday life and for health. In general terms, urban planning and design are asked to generate wellbeing.

Acknowledging the above, this track aims to raise questions concerning the pandemic’s assumed effects, and how these reinforced or  disrupted prevailing regional and urban planning paradigms (healthy city, happy city etc.) and their governance. Its second objective is to learn lessons on how health and wellbeing can be supported by involving spatial knowledge, foresight and imagination in urban and regional design.