Town Planning Review

13th Dec 2017

Town Planning Review: Call for papers


In a rapidly urbanising world the 21st Century is being seen as the ‘urban century’ with international debates and reflection on cities across a range of political arenas and policy agendas. Yet though cities and urban regions are seen as being key sites of economic and social progress in the 21st century, they are also facing many challenges surrounding social equity and environmental pressures. Recognising this, in 2016 both the UN and the EU adopted New Urban Agendas1. Similarly, China as the country which has urbanised most rapidly in the last two decades also published its New Urbanisation Plan in 2014 seeking a human-centred and environmentally sustainable approach to urbanisation.

The Quito Declaration on Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements for All which accompanies the New UN Urban Agenda notes that:

By 2050, the world’s urban population is expected to nearly double, making urbanization one of the twenty-first century’s most transformative trends. Populations, economic activities, social and cultural interactions, as well as environmental and humanitarian impacts, are increasingly concentrated in cities, and this poses massive sustainability challenges in terms of housing, infrastructure, basic services, food security, health, education, decent jobs, safety and natural resources, among others.

The Quito declaration also commits to "Reinvigorating long-term and integrated urban and territorial planning and design in order to optimize the spatial dimension of the urban form and deliver the positive outcomes of urbanization" and the New Urban Agenda Implementation Plan states "We will strive to improve capacity for urban planning and design and the provision of training for urban planners at national, subnational and local levels". Meanwhile amongst other objectives the Urban Agenda for the EU "strives to establish a more effective integrated and coordinated approach to EU policies and legislation with a potential impact on Urban Areas and also to contribute to territorial cohesion by reducing the socioeconomic gaps observed in urban areas and regions". The goals set in China’s New Urbanisation Plan are also very comprehensive and ambitious, including integrating urban and rural development, making basic public services available to rural migrants in cities, optimising spatial layouts of city system, and achieving ecological and environmental sustainability.

Informed by the context outlined above, Town Planning Review invites contributions which engage with and explore implications of the New Urban Agenda(s) for planning and place making across different global contexts. The papers will be published over the next three years to 2020. Themes to be explored should have a clear planning focus and a critical perspective. For example, they could include - though need not be limited to, a consideration of issues such as the following:

- Are there distinctive planning approaches and ideas/models of spatial structure informing responses to the challenges of 21st. century urbanisation in different global regions, states, regions and cities (e.g. the Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia, Oceania)?

- Given that HABITAT III and the New Urban Agenda hold only a "convening" power to bring together States, multilateral organisations, local government, the private sector and civil society to address urbanisation challenges, but have no binding status, what influence might they exert in practice over national urban policy and planning systems?

- Will the strong emphasis on planning as an agent of delivery of the New Urban Agenda affect the position of planners and planning in different societies?

- How far might the new Urban Agenda and the preceding International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning approved in 20152, contribute to the evolution of planning thought and the international transfer/mobility of, certain planning concepts, models and policies?

If you would like to discuss an idea or submit an abstract, please get in touch with:

Dr. Olivier Sykes – [email protected]


Abstracts should be between 100-150 words in length.

Publication schedule

It is planned to publish papers accepted under the ‘PLANNING AND THE NEW URBAN AGENDA: TPR 2020 initiative’ over a five year period running across Volumes 89 to 93 of the Journal (2018-2022).

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