AESOP 2021 Online Conference: Adapting Planning: Rethinking planning practices - call for abstracts!

Published at: 21 May 2021

ADAPTING PLANNING: Rethinking planning practices

For the conference website please 
click here

Conference introduction

AESOP in partnership with the Faculty of Architecture, Gdańsk University of Technology, Poland, has the pleasure to invite you to the AESOP ONLINE SMALL FORMAT CONFERENCE, which will be held online only in-between July 12th and 14th, 2021. The conference theme is “Adapting Planning: Rethinking planning practices”.

The main purpose of the event is to discuss issues in the transformation of planning practices responding to contemporary social and economic challenges, influencing also urban governance models. The scope of issues discussed will include; adaptation and evolution of planning practices from different geographical perspectives (global versus local); types of planning approaches (based on legislation and regulations versus created “ad hoc” initiatives addressing local needs and challenges); issues in governance (top-down versus inclusive, bottom-up approaches) and scope of planning interventions (comprehensive approaches versus design-based solutions). The conference program will include keynote presentations, paper sessions, and roundtables, focused on different issues within the scope of the conference topic. A special role will be reserved for AESOP Young Academics who will be invited to curate some of the sessions. The conference program will be complemented by a virtual tour of the City of Gdansk as well as presentations of key upcoming development projects.


Call for Abstracts and Call for Contributions for Thematic Roundtables

The conference program will allow two types of interventions:

-       Regular paper presentations – the authors will be selected from the pool of abstracts that will be submitted

-       Participation in thematic roundtables – the participants will be selected from the pool of interested applicants

The Authors and Thematic Roundtable discussants should consider submitting an abstract and/or thematic roundtable proposal on one of the following topics:

Adaptive planning – abstracts and thematic roundtable proposals submitted to this track should focus on new inventions within planning systems. Proposed papers may deal with transformations of the entire planning system and/or adaptation of these to new needs and realities.  They can also be focused on selected instruments and practices as examples of innovative, adaptive approaches to problem-solving in spatial development practice. Submissions of abstracts and thematic roundtable proposals dealing with contemporary urban regeneration and transformation practices are especially encouraged.

Soft planning – innovative practices – abstract and thematic roundtable proposals submitted to this track should focus on non-statutory, informal planning practices and their contemporary roles in shaping cities and regions. Proposed topics may include both presentations of success stories in inventing new planning instruments, discussions on the shortcomings of the existing planning systems and the need for improvement.  Submission of abstracts and thematic roundtable proposals dealing with innovative practices of community and stakeholder involvement in spatial problem-solving are especially encouraged.

New design practices – abstract and thematic roundtable proposals submitted to this track should be focused on contemporary roles of urban design within planning processes and practices as well as on innovative ways of including design practices in spatial problem-solving. Proposed topics may include issues in ensuring through design solutions, quality of life and discussions on interrelations between planning and design. Social and economic enlivenment as well as reflections on the role of design within contemporary transformation processes of distressed development sites are also welcome. Submission of abstracts and thematic roundtable proposals dealing with different scales of urban design and their roles in securing high-quality urban environments are especially encouraged.


Abstract and Thematic Roundtable Submission

Interested Authors and Roundtable Discussants are invited to submit an abstract and/or thematic roundtable proposal of a maximum of 300 words. Abstracts and/or thematic roundtable proposals should be sent to no later than 11 June 2021. Authors and Roundtable Discussants are required to indicate in their submission:

- Author’s/Discussant full name(s) and Affiliation

- Topic of abstract and/or proposed thematic roundtable

- Format (paper presentation and/or thematic roundtable).

Authors/Roundtable discussants will be notified of acceptance/rejection of their abstract/thematic roundtable proposals by 18 June 2021. The accepted Authors/Roundtable Discussants will be requested to confirm their participation by 30 June 2021. The final conference program will be announced on 5 July 2021.



Authors of accepted papers are not required to submit full papers. Since only a Book of Abstracts will be produced, Authors are free to develop and publish full papers at their own discretion. Authors of selected papers will be required to develop and deliver a short 10-min presentation in .pdf and/or .ppt formats. Presentations will be delivered online. Each paper presentation will be followed by short feedback and a Q&A session.


Registration fees and payments

The conference participants will be charged a small fee, which will cover all organizational and technical expenses. There will be two fee categories:

1.   Students and AESOP Young Academics  – 15 EUR

2.   Regular conference participants – 30 EUR 

Please refer to the conference website for more information

Important deadlines

Issue of the Call for Abstracts: 19 May 2021

Submission of abstracts/thematic roundtable proposals: 11 June 2021

Notification about acceptance/rejection: 18 June 2021.

Confirmation of participation in the conference by accepted Authors and Roundtable Discussants: 30 June 2021.

Announcement of the final conference program: 5 July 2021.

Conference dates: 12-14 July 2021.

Tentative Conference Program 

Day 1 – July 12th, 2021:

1.   Introductory session: Panel on the Future of Planning involving perspectives of the younger generation – 90 mins

2.   Keynote speaker 1: Future Planning – interactions between design, regulation and socio-economic approaches – 30 mins

3.   Adaptive planning – global outlook – paper session – 90 mins

4.   Adaptation of planning practices to contemporary urban regeneration challenges – a roundtable – 90 mins


Day 2 – July 13th, 2021:

1.   Soft planning – issues and challenges – a roundtable – 90 mins

2.   Keynote speaker 2: Planning practices in the global-south context – 30 mins

3.   Soft planning – innovative practices – paper session – 90 mins

4.   Unlocking planning practices – a roundtable – 90 mins


Day 3 – July 14th, 2021:

1.   Urban design – new challenges – a roundtable – 90 mins

2.   Keynote speaker 3: Design practices confronted with contemporary challenges – 30 mins

3.   New design practices – paper session – 90 mins

4.   Final debate: Former and Future AESOP Presidents – 90 mins.

In addition to the regular progam, a virtual tour of the City of Gdansk will be offered.

Contact details and conference website

In case of any further questions, please contact the head of the Local Organizing Committee, Prof. Piotr Lorens ( You may also contact the conference secretariat, managed by Mr Robert Orlik (

All conference-related issues will be posted on the conference website, which will be hosted by the Gdańsk University of Technology: