Our approach

Our Role in Urban Development

With over five decades of accumulated knowledge and expertise manifested in the members and within the parent institution – the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP) – we initiated the Institute as a platform and research branch for generating and disseminating knowledge for better cities.

During the past fifty years, ISOCARP has successfully organised annual international congresses receiving numerous papers, articles and contributions thus accruing a wealth of knowledge. Furthermore, ISOCARP has initiated many international workshops, regional seminars as well as training sessions with and for young and senior planning professionals and has published numerous reports and articles in the annual Review. With this legacy, ISOCARP has accumulated the resources, skills and deep-rooted know-how central to support and exchange knowledge with the ISOCARP Institute, the Centre for Urban Excellence. We are committed to knowledge generation, documentation and dissemination of research and projects advancing the future of sustainable urban regions.

Read more in our Annual Report 2018-2019.

Read more in our Annual Report 2019-2020.

Read more in our Annual Report 2020-2021.


Our mission is enriching the knowledge base and developing the capacity of individuals, organisations and institutions partaking in shaping and developing human settlements. We strive to bridge the gap between planning theory and practice while contributing to knowledge generation and dissemination, fostering sustainability and effective functioning of human settlements.


The Institute is initiated as a world class knowledge bank and think tank for planning excellence which empowers individuals, organisations and institutions to achieve better human settlements. We aim to bring together global planning experts and institutions to facilitate broader research communication and dissemination, as well as conducting professional educational programmes.


The Institute’s prime objectives are strengthening cross-border collaboration globally, upholding professional excellence in planning, advancing sustainable planning, increasing awareness of major development trends and promoting best practices, all while serving as a “Urban Think Tank” facilitating the generation and dissemination of knowledge for better cities.


Board of Directors

Martin Dubbeling

Martin Dubbeling

Martin Dubbeling (Netherlands) is an urban planner and urban designer specialised in sustainable urban design. In 2013 he founded Connecting Cities, office for research, consultancy, design and communication in sustainable urban and regional planning. Martin is active in the urban planning field in the Netherlands and internationally.
Daniele Vettorato

Daniele Vettorato

Daniele (Italy) leads a research team in urban and regional energy systems in the institute for Renewable Energy at EURAC Research, based in Bolzano, Italy. He holds a PhD from the University of Trento, focused on sustainable energy in cities and regions. Daniele has co-authored over 50 and has been invited as lecturer and speaker in more than 50 events.
Didier Vancutsem

Didier Vancutsem

Didier Vancutsem (Germany/Belgium) is a consultant with extensive experience in urban and regional planning, landscape planning, infrastructure, environmental management and integrated strategies. He is professor and lecturer at the Université Libre de Bruxelles / Faculty of Architecture and other universities in Belgium, France, Germany and Russia.


The Team


Marie-Sophie Barreau

Project Assistant
Marie-Sophie Barreau is a researcher and policy analyst in the field of environmental policy, with a focus on health and living environments. She has expertise in EU policy-making, urban farming, and foresight methodologies. She joined us in July 2021 to support the JUSTNature and +CityxChange projects.

Federico Aili

Project Manager
Federico joined the ISOCARP Secretariat in September 2018 and worked on the EU project thinkNATURE, the YPP Programme, as well as research and publications. He joined ISOCARP Institute as project manager in January 2020.

Gisela Garrido Veron

Project Manager | Researcher
Gisela is a researcher and a policy adviser in the area of sustainable urban development. Her expertise includes urban policy, socio-environmental risk, nature-based solutions, and energy transitions. She joined us in September 2020 for +CityxChange.

Johnathan Subendran

Project Assistant
Johnathan has been part of the ISOCARP Institute since March 2021. His role revolves around assisting in various ISOCARP Institute activities primarily on EU Horizon projects. His expertise lies at the intersection of spatial planning, spatial justice, sustainability transitions and urban design.


David Struik (February - December 2019); Tjark Gall (December 2018 - September 2020); Anna Myllymäki (December 2020 - March 2021); Sindi Haxhija (March 2019 - June 2021)


Effective communication and dissemination of global sustainable urban research and facilitating professional workshops.

Our focus lies on generating new insights from urban research through effective communication and facilitating and fostering the knowledge which exists in ISOCARP's member base.

Communication & Dissemination
Workshop Facilitation
Training & Capacity Building
Applied Research

In great cities, spaces as well as places are designed and built: walking, witnessing, being in public, are as much part of the design and purpose as is being inside to eat, sleep, make shoes or love or music. The word citizen has to do with cities, and the ideal city is organised around citizenship – around participation in public life.

Rebecca Solnit

Wanderlust: A History of Walking


The International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP)

The most substantial element of our work is ISOCARP and its over 850 global members. We are aiming at generating as many co-benefits as possible and advancing the objectives of the Society further, while establishing a stronger research and proactive organisation branch through the Institute.