CALL FOR ABSTRACTS - 13th Annual Conference on Planning Research – ‘Planning for Human Scale Cities

Published at: 16 March 2021

Dear colleague,

We would like to invite you to the 13th Annual Conference on Planning Research – Planning for Human Scale Cities, organized by CITTA and research project BooST – Boosting Starter Cycling Cities. The conference will take place on the 2nd of July 2021.

The idea of planning for human scale cities is not new. Many have argued in its favour for several decades. But never has it been so strongly needed and more widely recognised as today. One year into the COVID 19 pandemic and still with an uncertain future, cities all over the world have witnessed unprecedented movements for change. The general lockdown of hundreds of cities has led people to recognise the importance of closeness: to other people; to everyday activities; to high-quality public space, amongst others. Planning the human scale city raises issues of quality of life in urban environments that largely surpass the concerns with economic development and market surplus. It emphasises the role of cities in providing quality of life and pleasurable experiences, encompassing physical and psychological environments. This human-centred approach focusses on the user-friendliness of urban environment and on generating lively and liveable cities. The 13th CITTA conference invites you to contribute to this debate. This edition of the CITTA conference hosts the final conference of the BooST research project, focused on boosting cycling strategies in starter cycling cities. Inspired by this project, this conference looks to host a galvanizing discussion on this and other human-scale city planning approaches.

The conference comprises plenary sessions and parallel thematic sessions on the following topics:

1. Planning for the Bicycle: Supporting Human Scale Cities
Track 1 explores in detail the intricacies of this transport mode. We encourage reflexions on the role of the bicycle in the transition process to more human scale cities and what strategies can be put into place to facilitate its implementation. Reflections on how to overcome resistance typical to starter cycling contexts are encouraged.

2. Urban form and the environment: Human Scale Planning
Track 2 dives into the physical dimension of urban areas and the environmental impacts from the multitude of systems that guide its daily operation. Here, a discussion is promoted on aspects such as urban form and morphology, public spaces, local accessibility, climate change and the post carbon city.

3. Transformative Planning and Well-being: Human Scale Governance Arrangements
Track 3 aims to untangle the complex connections between urban change dynamics, transformative planning, and social well-being. It approaches urban change from multiple perspectives, considering dimensions such as economy, housing, tourism, inclusiveness, and agency, and seeks to understand how the ties between them can provide the opportunity to advance a more human scale city, emphasizing the role of governance arrangements for transformative planning.

4. Transport Engineering and Planning: Human Scale Mobility Systems
Track 4 proposes a reflection on ongoing and future changes in transport planning and what their impacts are to human needs and space. These can include new planning support systems, modelling procedures and integration of new technologies and infrastructure configurations.

The deadline for abstract submission is April 9th, 2021. For the submission of abstracts please follow the instructions here. Authors of approved abstracts will have an opportunity to submit a full-size paper to be published in the conference proceedings book. All papers reflecting either in progress or concluded research by PhD and Masters students will be enrolled to participate in this conference’s Best Paper Award. The main language of the conference will be English.

Given the current uncertainty caused by COVID 19, the format of the conference, physical or online, is still to be determined. For more information, please visit the webpage of the conference here.

Please do not hesitate to share this event with your colleagues and to contact us ( for further information!
Best regards,
Organizing committee