Strategic Urban Planning and Policy

Cities are globally very diverse and organising the urban fabric is becoming increasingly challenging within all the different urban contexts. Urban planning and urban strategies have to deal with a complexity that is not entirely under the control of the authorities but depend on a variety of stakeholders inside and outside the city. This thematic area studies how to provide for the quality of life of urban citizens, to enhance urban resilience and to ensure the social, economic and environmental urban sustainability despite the challenges.

Planning and strategising is a core task of urban management and development as it tries to address challenges and nurture potential. There is not one right way to do this. Existing approaches such as statutory planning (e.g. master and land use plans) but also strategic plans cannot ensure the desired spatial and social development of an entire territory. 'Strategic Urban Planning and Policy' works with approaches that integrate social and economic aspects into the physical and spatial dimensions of planning and urban policies and reflect on their suitability in the distinct and dynamic contexts of globally diverse cities. Our mission is to engage in reflective practices on socio-spatial processes towards better urban governance.

This thematic area promotes an open culture, seeks collaboration and enjoys continuous learning as a common aim. The team has members of several networks of urban academics and experts and is connected to a large number of organisations and institutions around the world.

Photo credit: Erwan Hesry