Published at: 1 May 2012


3rdEuropean Urban Summer School

Times of Scarcity – Reclaiming the Possibility of Making

21-30 September 2012

School of Architecture and Built Environment (SABE) and Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment (SCIBE), University of Westminster, London, UK


Summer school page:



In 2010, the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) launched a new annual event: the European Urban Summer School (EUSS) for young professionals. AESOP wanted to bring together young professionals and both experienced academics and practitioners from across Europe to discuss planning issues. AESOP decided to invite European partners from other planning organizations to cooperate in this project. We all expected that it would facilitate trans-European understanding of planning matters and, as a consequence, help to improve the quality of life. We wished to involve both EU and non-EU countries into the project.

All partners have offered their teaching resources at European Urban Summer School. This idea was to facilitate trans-European exchange and to foster a debate on the most important planning topics. It was supposed to promote all involved actors as bodies being able to help politicians and other stakeholders in spatial development and management issues.

This concept didn't involve economic profit. The European Urban Summer School should be a platform of debate and exchange and should be run on as low as possible fees for participants. Tutors do not get any gratification for their work.

The first EUSS took place in Poland (2010), the second in Portugal (2011).

In 2012, the following organisations have joined the EUSS: European Council of Spatial Planners (ECTP-CEU), International Federation for Housing and Planning (IFHP), International Society for City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP). The event is one of the first projects within the framework of Decade of Planning 2011-2020 (more about Decade of Planning).


EUSS 2012

In our times of rapid change, young planners and professionals involved in the processes of urban transformation must develop and adopt new and more holistic approaches to planning and design in order to engage with an increasingly urban world in a meaningful manner and to propose creative interventions that go beyond the immediately physical.

Globalisation, climate change, resource depletion and financial crises are the prevailing – and often crippling – conditions, which shape our immediate professional and academic lives and longer-term futures. The 3rd European Urban Summer School (EUSS), hosted by the University of Westminster, School of Architecture and the Built Environment in September 2012, aims to bring together young and established planning and design professionals from all over Europe (and further away) and both emerging and experienced academics to develop a better understanding of some of the most pressing contemporary issues related to the built environment and to amplify and strengthen the links between planning- and design-relevant research and professional practice.

The host: University of Westminster

The University of Westminster was founded as Britain's first polytechnic in 1838 and has developed into a hub for business, professional and academic life ( The School of Architecture and the Built Environment (SABE) is one of the country's leading centres in the field. The main partner in facilitating the EUSS will be the Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment (SCIBE) project team. SCIBE is a three-year collaborative project with teams in London, Oslo and Vienna, running from 2010 to 2013, and explores how conditions of scarcity might affect the creativity of different actors involved in the production of space and how design-led innovation could lead to future improvement (see

The topic: Times of Scarcity – Reclaiming the Possibility of Making

The EUSS is an invitation – a call to arms – to engage in the quest for and development of new ways of thinking about and new tools in response to emerging issues of scarcity – a condition defined by the insufficiency of cultural, social, demographic and/or economic resources – in the context of the built environment. Scarcity is about more than simple resource depletion:  it is embedded in political, social and ecological systems. How and by whom is scarcity generated, engineered, constructed or perceived? What are we, as planners and designers, to do under conditions of scarcity in the built environment? The EUSS is an invitation to reclaim the possibility of making the city in our times of scarcity.

London is now a leading global city, the most visited city in the world and its largest financial centre. London will host the Summer Olympic Games 2012. In September 2012, the city – its population and infrastructure – will be recovering from the event and beginning to cope with its legacy.

Participants in the EUSS will work and test their ideas on the case of a ‘deprived’ East London ward surrounded by highways and railway lines and located in-between central London, the Canary Wharf Estate and the Olympic site: Bromley-by-Bow. This is a contested urban territory typical of London, with many aspects of social inequality manifested spatially and socially. Sixty-one percent of households in this area are from ethnic minorities (particularly immigrants from Bangladesh); 43% of people aged 16-74 have no qualifications; unemployment is at almost three times the national level; almost 70% of tenure is council housing/housing association. The area features almost five times the national level of overcrowding and residents exhibit exceptionally poor health. Spectacular event architecture, hastily refurbished façades in anticipation of international visitors and the everyday reality of historically neglected East London all offer the context for EUSS explorations: a charged territory awaiting the engagement of young planning and design professionals and their proposals for intelligent, creative interventions.


Based on existing research into the experience, perception and modes of scarcity in the study area, the SCIBE team will provide EUSS tutors and participants with an in-depth briefing document identifying economic, cultural, social and environmental assets and shortcomings. Members of the SCIBE team, SEED Foundation, SpaceMakers Agency as well as interdisciplinary collaborating teams will act as the core team of tutors at the EUSS. A number of additional tutors will be recruited in a separate process by the EUSS Joint Committee.

Facilities for lectures and workshops, working space and internet access for up to 60 participants will be provided at the University of Westminster’s recently refurbished Marylebone Campus. In order to facilitate communication with the local community in the study area (Bromley-by-Bow), workshops and events will also take place in the Kingsley Hall community centre during weekends.

Application Process: Tutors

Experienced professionals and academics can apply to teach and tutor at the 3rd European Urban Summer School.  The organisers will cover the costs of travel and accommodation. Prospective tutors can apply by submitting a CV and a short outline of a lecture or workshop around planning, design or research that they could offer at the EUSS via email to  The electronic application process will close on 31 May 2012. Selected tutors will be notified by 5 August 2012.

Application Process: Participants

Prospective participants – young planners – can apply to the 3rd European Urban Summer School by submitting their response to the following task:

Identify one instance of ‘scarcity’ in the context of the built environment and propose a physical or process-related solution.

Issues and responses may be presented as text, drawings, photographs, videos or in any other desired form. The electronic application process (via email to will close on 24 June 2012. The selected participants will be notified by 30 June 2012. The participation fee of 200 GBP payable upon registration, will cover teaching and teaching materials (not travel or accommodation).

A “Young Planner” is any person involved in planning having less than 5 years of professional experience.

International Award for Young Planning Professionals 2012

The Directorate responsible for planning at the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment is encouraging young planning professionals to provide new ideas on the forms, methods and possibilities in spatial planning needed to face present-day challenges facing our human settlements. It is using the EUSS as a platform to organise an International Award for Young Planning Professionals, giving them the opportunity to present projects they are working on, explaining why these projects can be considered innovative and of a broader, more general application. The theme in 2012 will be ‘Adapting citiesto scarcity: new ideas for action’. The best entries will earn free participation to the EUSS and some additionalprize money.

More about YPPA here.



1 April 2012                                           Online announcement and press launch; Call for Applications
24 JUNE 2012                      Application deadline
30 June 2012                                       Notification of selected tutors and participants
31 July 2012                                         Final registration deadline (incl. payment of registration fee)
21-30 September 2012                       3rd European Urban Summer School



EUSS 2012 Joint Committee:

Deljana Iossifova – Head of EUSS 2012 (University of Westminster)
Jeremy Till (University of Westminster)
Maros Finka (AESOP)
Dominique Lancrenon (ECTP-CEU)
Piotr Lorens (ISOCARP)
Derek Martin (IFHP)
Izabela Mironowicz (AESOP)

Categorized as : European Urban Summer School