Special Sessions

Planning With Foresight - Using the Future to Create Equitable and Resilient Communities for All

The world is changing at an accelerated pace. Tech innovations, societal shifts, climate change, economic restructuring, political shifts, and related emerging trends and disruptors make it ever more difficult to effectively plan for a future where the only true certainty is more change. In this interactive session, attendees will learn about APA's foresight approach that aims at helping planners navigate change and prepare their communities for an uncertain future. Participants will experiment with APA's 4 step foresight approach to create plans that are equitable, inclusive, agile, and resilient. Let's use the future to create great communities for all!



Imagining a Just Transition in the Built Environment 
A Visioning Workshop

The session appeals to hearts and minds, to desires, aspirations, and working with emotions and feelings at individual level to spark and keep motivation to work on grand societal challenges. It will be a highly immersive and participatory workshop with the Congress attendees that show up to this session. This is considering that every person present at the WPC59 has an important role in the built environment in their own city and sector, and hence would also be an important contributor to building a unified vision and narrative for a just transition in our built environments.

It will be an interactive multi-stakeholder workshop to co-create a shared vision for socially-inclusive climate action in the built environment. While previous versions of this workshop under IHRB's project have been very localised in 4 different cities, the visioning workshop at WPC59 will be more general as the participants will be from different countries, backgrounds, and fields. That diversity however, is key to benefit from the enriching insights that each one brings to the table.



AI (Artificial Intelligence) in Planning Practice
Introducing the Planning2050 Initiative

Planners are beginning to understand the interconnectedness of systems. Future planning practice will link databases of multiple systems and dimensions to provide relevant solutions. PLANNING2050 will introduce a technical approach as part of the skills necessary for competent professional planning practice (Big data, algorithms, artificial intelligence). Within the PLG2050 framework, LISAs and LIRAs are acronyms for Large Impact Scalable Actions, and Large Impact Replicable Actions. These ACTIONS are not just performance metrics, but the resulting balance and correlation between these in separate systems. Planning 2050's goal is to build the database of LISAs and LIRAs to track success. This session will introduce examples of artificial intelligence application in Planning Practice, will correlate this to the PLANNING2050 initiative, and will wrap up with practical examples of cities and communities supporting effective evolution of SDGs.



PAAS: a Virtual Experience Platform As A Service for Spatializing Users' Habitus in the Studies of the Psychogeography Lived Experience

The essence of this workshop is to capture non-tangible user's data that serve as a complement to existing automated environment/human data capture for use in systemic urban design. It combines location intelligence of the ArcGIS applications (ArcGIS QuickCapture, Survey 1,2,3, ArcGIS Online) with AI and machine learning to trace and spatialize human habitus. Participants are given a QR Code that gives them access to the App's User interface. It is suggested(not required) that participants test the App. prior to the workshop as a way to break the ice and use it more efficiently. The App is experienced in real time as users engage into the urban or interior environments and begin to map their complex spatial experience. This is a mobile crowdsensing participatory Citizen engagement in mapping and visualizing intangible daily user's experience in the city. Users are introduced to the App. At the beginning of the session, they may disperse in groups or work individually to collect and share their emotions on any given Human-Centered design of their interest. The choice of an indoor or outdoor context is left to the user's discretion. Back at the session, the data collected are spatialized and visualized in the form of Infographics, followed by discussion and closing. Additionally, this initiative intends to blend the user Low-tech with the digital High-tech where data capture is concerned with the subject's private emotions and feelings in ways that value the individual as a key player who by contributing makes personal decision to filter the emotions and feedback and asks important questions, heretofore unaddressed.



For Decarbonisation of Urban Transport
In Central Asia and Worldwide

Recently Central Asian countries are at the very early stage of the transition towards decarbonisation of transport. The lessons learned from other countries help CA planners and decision makers to understand what decarbonisation policy measures could be applicable in the CA context and sufficient to shift the countries towards more sustainable urban transport. The round table will focus on exploring interlinks between decarbonisation actions, capital investment prioritisation, public transport funding, and fiscal reforms, including changing incentives and the behaviour of taxpayers and users of transport systems.

For instance, the Metro Vancouver Region (Canada) has prioritised investments into a new regional rapid transit system over building new highways. It includes preserving the existing road system and prioritising investment in developing new rapid transit lines. The region has been supported by Provincial (British Columbia) and federal (Canada) funding in implementing this modal shift over the past decade. This Canadian case marks a notable accomplishment because it involves shifting political priorities and funding from one mode of transportation to another.

However, a similar approach could be challenging in the neighbouring United States, where highway development is fiscally bound to the collection of gas tax revenue by federal and state governments. Historically, taxpayers are used to the fact that gas tax funds could be used to construct roads. The incentive for taxpayers to pay gas tax when they fill up the gas tanks of their private cars was always related to investing in good quality roads. Due to this past mindset that existed for a long time, it would be challenging to re-assign the funds towards transit and get voters' support. Even switching from gas to electric cars may be questioned because the federal and state governments may lose a considerable share of the gas tax revenue from the gas tax would decrease.



Tools to Assist Planners to Achieve Urban Heat Resilience (Virtual Pre-Congress)

session sponsored by APA international

As climate change continues to increase the frequency of extreme weather events, including extreme heat waves that kill and hospitalize hundreds of urban residents and inhibit commerce. Facing this situation, we need to develop more effective planning tools for resilience, and to put them in use.

The panel of experts represents a range of organization types and regional heat issues. They will present tools relevant to their respective local urban heat conditions and resilience challenges, followed by descriptions and analyses of the tools have been tried or are proposed to address those local challenges. The tools addressed will include positioning and bulk of buildings, green open space, green infrastructure stormwater management, reflective building materials and other building code improvements, urban cooling centers, public information and education, etc.



Climate Responsive Planning for Equitable Places and Communities - Kenyan Context (Virtual Pre-Congress)

Are you interested in learning about the latest developments in climate responsive planning for equitable places and communities, with a focus on the Kenyan context? Join us for this informative and engaging session. We will bring together top researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to explore effective strategies for integrating equity and social justice into all aspects of planning and urban development. Through case studies and best practices from Kenya and beyond, you'll gain practical tools and strategies for engaging communities and stakeholders in climate action planning, and learn how to implement sustainable and equitable urban development practices. Don't miss out!



Photographing Extremes: The Role of Public Space and Architectural Photography on Documenting and Understanding Contextual (Climatic) Extremes and Resilient Communities

How does architecture/public space research address the dynamic combination of extreme climate, the developing urban form and the growing demographic mobility? And how do scholars on the fields of architecture, urbanism and social studies adapt their work and methods to this increasingly alarming phenomenon? This Special Session aspires in inquiring this issue under the proposed unified perspective of extreme environments, from the vantage point of Photography as a specific tool for architectural/urban research.



Exploring Innovative Solutions for Climate Change and Financing

This roundtable explores innovative solutions for climate change and financing in Latin America and the Caribbean. Participants, including experts and stakeholders, will discuss innovative and transformative solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts and delve into cutting-edge financing models, investment strategies, and best practices to fund sustainable urban development projects. The aim is to tackle the impacts and financial challenges related to climate action and sustainable urban initiatives while promoting collaborative public-private partnerships. By fostering inclusive and equitable climate and financing solutions, the session seeks to accelerate the implementation of transformative projects that contribute to creating resilient, livable, and environmentally conscious cities for a sustainable future.



Urban Spaces for IT-based Lifestyles - a Turn Towards the Green Computational City of Tomorrow?

What are the new opportunities and threats of IT-based life styles and urban spaces for people and nature? What metrics and technologies may planners apply to understand and govern emerging daily life patterns of remote work, online delivery services, etc? Special session will look at these and other challenges of digital city through lens of computational city science and post-urbanization concept. It will explore links between increasing isotropy of access to services and jobs due to uniform distribution of telecommunication networks and opportunities to build cities that fits digital era and equally favorable both for people and nature.



All Hands on Deck - Integrated and Sustainable Urban Planning Practices and Slimate Action

This session organised by the UN Habitat Planning for Climate Action aims to discuss the contribution that integrated and sustainable urban and regional planning is making to the delivery of climate change adaptation and mitigation goals and to identify initiatives that support this contribution. Given that integrated and sustainable urban and regional planning's remit cut across different spatial scales and cross sectoral in practice, it has a significant potential for the development of proactive long term adaptation and mitigation approaches that offer opportunities for stakeholders particularly communities to input to planning decisions, from the development of plans through to decisions.



Re-considering the Value of Underground Spaces in a Sustainable and Climate-responsive Urban Future (Virtual Pre-Congress)

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo in 2017 identified subterranean spaces as "an incredible wealth for the city, and we should be doing something with them". For a metropolis where car use has declined by 32% since 1992, Paris has several underused underground car parks, as well as 32 square kilometers of abandoned quarries, 16 disused metro stations, and other unused facilities such as tunnels and cellars. It thus focuses on and engages with communities to redevelop existing underground spaces.

To prepare itself for further population increase, the Hong Kong government has been exploring ways to carve out more underground space for critical but non-public-facing infrastructure, including sewage and water treatment plants, data centers, and reservoirs. Singapore and Helsinki are leading a positive change in underground urbanism as well. In essence, comprehensive planning, design, and management of underground spaces in the present will guide the future of cities.

Utilising the often-ignored underground spaces requires planners, designers, engineers, architects, managers, and innovators to tap diverse opportunities lying deep in the subsurface - and strive for a sustainable, resilient and inclusive future. Strategic planning, design and management of the spaces beneath our feet can help us move miles ahead in our vision for a sustainable, resilient and inclusive future.



Future of Planning – Platforms, Technology, and Methodologies for the Evolution of Planning Practice (Virtual Pre-Congress)

IMF Arabia Chapter, Austronesia Chapter, and India Chapter perspectives

Planners are beginning to understand the interconnectedness of systems. Future planning practice will link databases of multiple systems and dimensions to provide relevant solutions. The panellists in this session will discuss how technologies and methodologies are helping cities and communities to plan effectively while addressing connection between systems. When planning big metropoli, the connections between systems are essential to the understanding and long-range success of planning practice. We will hear from practitioners that are bringing together world-class analysis at large scales with big data behind. We will also hear from researchers and academics (from diverse parts of the world) on ways technology are being introduced into planning practice.


Climate Change and Climate Action in Planning Education and Practice (Virtual Pre-Congress)

Organized by ISOCARP in collaboration with Global Planning Education Association Network (GPEAN), this special session aims to discuss how planning education and practice are, or should be, responding to climate crises. What competencies do the practicing planners need to deal with climate emergency? What competencies do planning schools provide? Do our current curricula provide prospective planers with sufficient knowledge and skills to respond to the challenges of climate change and take climate? How can we adapt the planning curricula to achieve ecological and social transition that observes climate justice? With examples from Europe, North America and Australia, the session aims to provide insights into the changes that are needed in order to prepare prospective planners for playing an effective role in developing climate responsive-strategies.




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