ISOCARP World Planning Congress: over 400 participants in Brussels!


Posted on 25 October 2022


Group picture with the participants
Group picture with the participants
The 58th ISOCARP World Planning Congress took place in Brussels from 3 to 6 October 2022. More than 400 urban planners, city professionals and decision-makers from around the world discussed the place of health in the city.

From Wealthy to Healthy Cities

Dialogue between public authorities, at European and international levels, is essential for the development of cities. This week of local and international exchanges allowed us to analyse the factors linked to our (urban) environment that have an impact on our health and well-being, but above all to explore how we can take them into account in planning, for example in terms of public and green spaces, housing, mobility, etc.

The congress started with an opening plenary session presenting the theme and context of the congress, with global perspectives as well as local interventions. Antoine de Borman (Director general of and Kristiaan Borret (Brussels Master Architect) shared their views on the Brussels context with the participants.

An official opening ceremony was held at the Hôtel de Ville in Brussels with the participation of the Mayor of the City of Brussels, the Brussels Secretary of State for Urban Planning and International Affairs, the Director General of the World Health Organization and the Executive Director of UN-Habitat.

Leading international experts gave specific perspectives through their keynote speeches: Simin Davoudi, Charles Landry, Erik Swyngedouw, Mark J Nieuwenhuijsen and Philippe Rahm. These visions were then discussed in dozens of parallel sessions around the four sub-themes of the Congress, which were Healthy Planet, Healthy People, Healthy Governance and Healthy Economy.

Brussels projects in the spotlight

The ISOCARP Congress was an opportunity for the Brussels Region, the host city of the congress, to present its various projects and initiatives for creating a more resilient, sustainable and equitable city. Urban, Perspective and Brussels Environment, as Congress organisers, proposed a series of visits and debates in collaboration with local partners such as the City of Brussels, ULB and Citydev, and European partners Eurocities and ESPON

  • 11 walkshops, bikeshops and runshops throughout Brussels, in Neerpede, CityGate, the northern and European districts, Wiels, the canal area, the pedestrian centre...
  • Five special sessions on important topics such as urban planning and health; 15-minute city; shifting urban economy; feminist approach to planning; and measuring well-being and quality of life
  • Two field visits around Tour & Taxis: the Tivoli district and the productive activities along the canal
  • One Isocarp Run, an enjoyable jog around Brussels

The shared knowledge will also be used to feed into the way health is integrated into territorial development in Brussels, the deliberations underway and some projects in particular, including the 'Health Impact Assessments' study led by Perspective in the framework of the Urban Renewal Contract 7.

An analysis of the results of the Congress will be available soon, including videos of the keynote speeches and the results of the Young Professional Planners Workshop, which brought together 19 young urban planning professionals. These young professionals, supervised by international and Brussels professionals, reflected on how to (re)design a healthy district based on the Porte de Ninove case study. The four visions resulting from this work were presented during the Congress.

More information on the congress:

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