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.

Read more in our Annual Report 2021-2022.

Read more in our Annual Report 2022-2023.


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

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.


Pietro Elisei (Romania/Italy), town and regional planner, senior researcher, and policymaker. He collaborates, as consultant, with ministries, cities and towns all over Europe, holding important positions in international organizations dedicated to urban planning (PLANUM SG, ISOCARP VP). Pietro is a founder and director of URBASOFIA (www.urbasofia.eu). including ISOCARP President 2021 – 2024.


The Team

Photo-Taliah-Website 2

Taliah Dommerholt

Project Manager
Taliah joined the ISOCARP Institute in April 2022 to manage EU Horizon projects. She is passionate about the intersection of sustainability and social justice, specializing in urban transitions, nature-based solutions, community mobilization, sociology, and environmental policy.

Tannya Pico

Project Manager
Tannya is an architect with broad practices in architectural design, urbanism, construction management, and academia. She is doing her PhD studies in Urban Governance and Development on the topic of the absorptive capacities of local stakeholders for the concept of Nature-Based Solutions in the Ecuadorian urban context.

Mariana Binder

Communication & Design Officer
Mariana joined the ISOCARP Institute in December 2023 to work on communication, dissemination and design across EU Horizon projects and Institute activities. She has a background in architecture and planning and holds a master's degree in Urban Management. She is passionate about social justice and the promotion of diversity and inclusivity in cities.

Samir Amin

Project Manager
Samir joined the ISOCARP Institute in September 2022 to work across EU Horizon projects. He comes from a background in sustainable urban development and holds a master’s degree in Metropolitan Analysis Design and Engineering. He is specialised in urban policy, circularity, social justice and community mobilisation.

Alice Jelmini

Project Assistant
Alice joined the ISOCARP Institute in April 2023 to work across EU Horizon projects. She has a background in international relations and international development, with specialisations in Politics and governance of development and experiences in international organisations and NGOs. Her interests are urban development and planning and their interesections with environmental and social justice and sustainability. She has conducted various research projects in blockchain/digital governance and urban degrowth to explore innovative solutions for sustainable development.

Rebecca Baugh

Project Assistant
Rebecca joined the ISOCARP Institute in February 2024 to continue working on the DUST project, in which she was previously involved as a student researcher at TU Delft. She has a background in architecture and urbanism as well as Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice. Amongst other topics, her work explores languages that can be used to best engage diverse groups; co-creative participation in planning and design; inhabitant (spatial) literacy building; and intersectionality in urban analysis. At its core, Rebecca’s work is driven by a goal of collectively creating a safer, more free and just world where vast ranges of people feel heard, seen and valued.

Yoann Clouet

Project Manager
Prior to joining the ISOCARP Institute in September 2022, Yoann worked for three years in the EU office of the Regional Council of Normandy in Brussels, where he was mostly dealing with projects and funding instruments linked with the EU urban and regional policies.

Maja Paskalova-Utkovska

Financial Administrator
Maja joined the ISOCARP Institute in December 2022 as a Financial Administrator. She has extensive experience and knowledge of banking financial services industry, products, and solutions. She holds a university degree in Economics, department management. Still committed to learning, development and growth, she recently obtained Dutch Financial WFT and CDD Certificates.

Marco Kjaer

Marco joined the ISOCARP Institute in February 2024 to work as an intern for the JUSTNature and REGEN projects. He's doing an Urban Planning Bachelor and is in his last year. He has been living in the Netherlands for 3.5 years and is learning Dutch. He loves urbanism and believes it is a powerful tool that affects the lives of millions of people every day.

We are committed to gender parity. Read about our gender equality plan here.


Oishika Basak | Methi Laithavewat | David Struik | Tjark Gall | Anna Myllymäki | Sindi Haxhija | Federico Aili | Marie-Sophie Barreau | Gisela Garrido Veron | Johnathan Subendran | Yirang Lim | Willem-Paul Herber


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


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.