Current Events & News

PhD Programme in Urban Planning, Design and Policy at Politecnico di Milano

Milano, Italy: 21st May 2019

the PhD Programme in Urban Planning, Design and Policy at Politecnico di Milano is granting 7 full scholarships [and 2 additional positions] for the coming year.

The PhD programme welcomes both foreign and Italian candidates. English is the official language of the programme.

The 2019 call for applications is available here.

The PhD programme focuses on urban, social, economic and institutional transformations in contemporary cities and it aims at fostering innovative and interdisciplinary research.

Applicants are required to submit a research proposal with regard to topics of their interest. Proposals covering the following topics are encouraged:

    • Multiple institutional levels and land-use issues: the case of infrastructure.
    • Preventing fragility where it could arise: the school squares.
    • Planning in the face of financialisation.
    • After implementation: a retrospective research on policies and their effects.
    • Architects, Engineers, Planners: how do the changing urban conditions require to re-design research and professional profiles?
    • Spatial mobilities in contemporary cities: practices, politics, projects. Understanding and managing the deep interwining of urban mobility and socio-spatial transformations.
    • Urban Form Resilience. Exploring the link between the spatial configurationof places and their ability to adapt and support societal and environmental changes.
    • New structures of spatial and socio-economic inequalities, local welfare policies and labour market: social justice, social cohesion, redistribution, social investment, sustainability, transformations in the labour market and space implications.
    • Ageing in different urban contexts, between autonomy and support: issues in housing, care, mobility and social relations.
    • Beyond city-ism and metropolitan-ism: new spatial imaginaries, emerging forms of agencies and the necessity of interrelated and transcalar approaches to governance problems in large urban regions.
    • Changes in migrations and the cities: policies, practices, places of hospitality, integration, inclusion.

Applicants may also apply to five thematic scholarships, designed for students who wish to conduct research in specific subfields of urban studies:

  1. Assessing and mitigating damage due to natural hazards and climate change to support land use and urban planning
  2. The effects of cohesion policy on the socio-economic territorial fragilities (weaknesses). Institutions, government quality and regional growth
  3. Between metropolitan areas and inner peripheries: the fragility of average medium size cities
  4. Digitizing strategies for enhancing heritage and cultural landscape in fragile areas
  5. The impact of electric mobility on urban transformations

Further information on teaching activities and the board of professors are available here.

Deadline for Applications: 21st May 2019 (2:00 pm Italian time zone). Applicants must fill the online application form and attach the required documents.

Reframing Urban Resilience Implementation: Aligning Sustainability and Resilience

Barcelona, Spain: 10th-12th December 2018

Urban resilience has been emerging as a necessary quality of our cities in order to anticipate, recover from, and adapt to shocks and stresses. Advocated by the most prominent international agendas and frameworks dealing with urban development, resilience is nowadays coupled with other key urban goals, as the one of sustainability. Unfortunately, notwithstanding the sprawl of resilience, many “resilient city” initiatives are failing to integrate local communities or sustainability goals within their strategies. In some cases, this has induced environmental and climate gentrification, or reinforced ‘business as usual’ and unsustainable patterns of developments, while tackling and reducing specific risks and vulnerabilities.

As a consequence, experiences of “building resilient cities” remain fragmented, characterized by a variety of resilience trade-offs (i.e. addressing resilience to drought through desalination plants, while inducing to a reduction of energy resilience and sustainability). This highlights the need for a more integrated and inclusive approach to design and manage urban resilience, addressing climatic, environmental, socio-economic challenges while minimizing trade-offs among them, and maximizing synergies between resilience and sustainability.

Deadline full paper submission: 19th November 2018

Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers

Washington DC, USA: 3rd-7th April 2019

“Local Governance and New Challenges in Urban Policy in a Changing World”

Local government and urban governance networks are of prime significance for the quality of life in human settlements, urban policies and patterns of spatial change. Hence, the study of aspects of local governance, such as territorial reforms, changing hierarchies and networks, local finance, intra- and inter-sectoral partnerships, local leadership, urban politics and citizen participation, is perpetual since the late 19th century. Nevertheless, the 21st century presents diverse new challenges, including reaction to climate change and environmental sustainability, adaptation to immigration and diversity, application of new “smart city” technologies in local management, and political-ideological transformation, such as the predominance of neo-liberalism and the rise of neo-populism.

The International Geographical Union Commission on Geography of Governance aims to advance knowledge of the geography of territorial governance, at the urban, local and regional levels, namely the conditions, scale and characteristics of new modes of territorial governance, and its social, cultural, political, economic and environmental consequences. It also aims to identify new perspectives and to explore new research methodologies and different geographical approaches in the field of urban, local and regional governance.

We invite abstracts that concern various aspects of local government reform and governance transformations, and their spatial, social, economic and environmental implications, particularly those concerned with the new challenges of the 21st century. The scope of our session is international, including comparative research. We welcome abstracts of those engaged in the activities of the IGU Commission on Geography of Governance, as well as from anyone with a relevant contribution in this field.

Deadline for Early Bird registration: 27th September 2018

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 8th October 2018

3rd Annual Smart Cities International Symposium & Exhibition

Chicago, USA: 22nd-24th January 2019

Organized by the Smart Grid Observer the conference brings together thought leaders and practitioners from around the world to explore the most recent technology advances, business models, and lessons learned to date in making the Smart City a reality. Expert speakers will examine the experiences of municipal governments who are pushing the envelope and moving toward actual implementation of the Smart City vision. The emphasis is on implementation strategy, case studies, best practices, and the development of compelling business models for transitioning to the 21st Century Smart City.

Topics to be addressed include:

  • Leveraging the smart energy grid for other municipal applications
  • Smart lighting advances, platforms and business models
  • Smart transportation and parking
  • Environmental monitoring and waste management
  • IoT applications and communications networks for enabling the Smarter City
  • Learning from the leaders: key smart city developments around the world
  • Market trends and growth drivers: challenges and opportunities
  • Phased, cost-effective approaches: efficiency measures that can fund additional steps
  • Building a culture of performance via data analytics and benchmarking
  • Enhancing sustainability, accessibility and livability
  • Key emerging technologies and applications
  • And more

Deadline for early bird registration: 21st December 2018


Edinburgh, United Kingdom: 28th-30th November 2018

Creative competitive cities – building our future together EUROCITIES 2018 Edinburgh on 28-30 November will take place at a critical time for Europe, against the backdrop of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, and a year ahead of the European elections. In a turbulent world of unprecedented change and uncertainty cities are even more vital for Europe’s future, being the drivers of inclusive and sustainable growth, jobs and innovation.

At this decisive moment in Europe’s history, EUROCITIES 2018 Edinburgh will bring together participants from across Europe, from different levels of governance and amongst citizens, to discuss our future focusing on two interconnected strands:

While national governments continue to debate and make decisions on future national and institutional ties, cities will continue to reach out and build key bilateral and multilateral connections on a European and global scale.

Ahead of the European Parliament elections in 2019, EUROCITIES 2018 Edinburgh will be an opportunity for cities from across Europe to reinforce our position that EU institutions and member states must work with us, to empower citizens to engage with and understand the importance of the European project for all.

Within the EUROCITIES ‘Cities4Europe – Europe for citizens’ campaign, we will be collecting, analysing and drawing up recommendations for active democratic citizens’ participation in all levels of government, and which we will also take forward to the European Commission and the European Parliament in our mayors’ summit 2019.

Edinburgh 2018 will provide us with the occasion to discuss and validate this evidence of cities’ engagement with citizens.

Deadline for submission: 31st May 2018

Deadline for submission of a film about the entry by shortlisted cities: 2nd November 2018

54th ISOCARP Congress

Bodø, Norway: 1st-5th October 2018

On this warming planet, with its population more than 50% urban, we ur-gently need cooler cities and towns. And good urban planning can help de-liver them. The aim of ISOCARP’s 54th Annual Congress is no small feat: the Society is calling on the best and brightest of the planning profession to come to Bodø, Norway and tell us how to save civilisation. Nothing less.

We believe the future of civilisation now more than ever depends on the way we plan and manage our cities and towns. Their role in the evolving planetary climate drama is three-fold – cities and towns are the villains; the victims, and the potential saviours. Villains – because urban areas are the principal consumers and polluters of the tiny habitable layer on our planet we call the ‘biosphere’. Victims – because more than half of humanity lives in urban areas, and almost all of them are exposed to some form of climate impact. Saviours – because the possible remedies and solutions can be ap-plied efficiently, effectively and in time, only when populations are concen-trated. So the root cause of, and the solution to, the global climate crisis are fundamentally urban.

There is no alternative. On a warming planet, cooler cities are the only op-tion.

Deadline for paper/case study, session submission: 15th July 2018

Deadline for registration: 1st October 2018

Urban poverty and segregation

Delft, Netherlands: 19th-20th September 2018

A recent book “Socio-Economic Segregation in European Capital Cities” (Routledge, 2016) found that levels of residential segregation are growing in Europe; rich and poor people are increasingly living separated in different neighbourhoods. The rich define the new geography of cities because they can afford to buy houses in the best neighbourhoods. The poor end up where housing is cheap. In many immigration countries, segregation by income strongly overlaps with ethnic and racial segregation. These increasing levels of residential segregation are caused by a combination of processes, including globalisation, rising inequalities, restructuring of the labour market, the weakening of the welfare state, marketization in the housing sector, and increasing numbers of immigrants. This conference will bring together researchers from different disciplines and countries with the aim to learn more about changing urban inequalities, poverty, neighbourhood change and residential segregation, including the consequences of increasing segregation.

The conference will proceed over two days. Ten keynote speakers will jointly provide an international perspective on segregation. The outcomes of the conference include (a) an international research network on urban poverty and segregation; and (b) a joint publication based on conference presentations.

Deadline for registration: 17th September 2018