Down TO Earth project kick-off conference in Santiago de Compostela

Down To Earth Project Launch & Kick-off Conference! 

In the last week of June, Down to Earth partners were in Santiago de Compostela for the Inaugural Management meetings and the Public Kick-Off Conference!

Down to Earth – Tackling depopulation challenges to improve environmental resilience in rural areas – kicked off the first conference to the public, highlighting the main challenges faced in many rural areas across Europe, such as land abandonment and climate disasters, but also supporting an economic fabric that allows the agricultural sector to grow sustainably. The project is co-funded by European Union and aims to optimize the utilization of available tools and resources within the participating regions, including Cohesion Policy funds. By doing so, we aspire to promote sustainable development and increase the disaster risk resilience of rural communities across Europe. 

The Kick-Off Meeting brought together 8 dedicated partners introduced the various components of the project, and laid out the steps ahead for the coming months. The ISOCARP Institute participated in the Kick-Off Meeting and presented its upcoming contribution to the Communication and dissemination work plan. As the leader of Communication and Dissemination, we presented our strategy to aggregate project results in multimedia dissemination and increase and maintain the visibility of the project to the EU-level public.

Stay tuned for more updates! And check out the Press Release to discover more about the project

JUSTNature Call for a Twin City

Open call for a Twin City for Munich! 

If you are a European city who wants to share experiences and knowledge about Nature-based Solutions! We want to invite you to be the twin city with our City Practice Labs (CiPeLs) the city of Munich.

The city of Munich is currently looking for a twin city to exchange common challenges, barriers and experiences through cross learning workshops aim to identify issues covering engagement, governance, business replication, IT solutions, gender and other relevant aspects of the project. Additionally, bi-annual exchanges through online meetings will be facilitated to ensure a constructive dialogue and knowledge sharing.

The cross-learning activities will include 1 in-person workshop and 5 bi-annual online meetings starting in October. For the in-person workshop, the planned format is a one-and-half-day program, including a pilot site visit to illustrate the NBS interventions regarding the topics mentioned. 

Additionally, The City of Munich will moderate all activities and also covers producing reports, minutes. Travel and subsistence for the twin city are covered by the project. This process will enable a wide-scale replication of effective LOW CARBON | HIGH AIR QUALITY NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS.

The potential city is required to have closely similar conditions:

  1. Continental climate affected by the proximity to the Alps
  2. High urban density
  3. More than 100.000 inhabitants
  4. and experiences climate change
The workshop is expected to happen in October 2023, and the selection process will last until 14 August 2023 (extended).
** 𝐎𝐍𝐋𝐘 𝐅𝐎𝐑 𝐄𝐔 𝐂𝐈𝐓𝐈𝐄𝐒 ** If you are interested in joining the cross-learning, please fill the application form via the link.
For more information about the programme structure, please send an email to Methi Laithavewat at: or visit our JUSTNature website.

PlusChange project kick-off meeting announced

PLUS Change Project Launch & Kick off Meeting! 

On the 12th to 14th June 2023, the PLUS Change project was officially kicked-off! PLUS Change (Planning Land Use Strategies: Meeting biodiversity, climate and social objectives in a changing world) is funded by the Horizon Europe programme and aims to develop strategies and decision-making processes for land use that effectively address challenges related to climate change, biodiversity, and human well-being. By bringing together diverse stakeholders and examining case studies from various regions in Europe, the project emphasizes the interconnectedness between urban, regional, and peri-urban areas. The overarching goal is to generate knowledge and drive transformative change towards a sustainable world.

The Kick-Off Meeting took place in Prague and brought together representatives from 14 countries and 23 institutions including the ISOCARP Institute as well as public administrations, universities, and field experts. Together, the partners introduced the various components of the project and laid out the steps ahead for the coming months.

The ISOCARP Institute took part in the Kick-Off Meeting and presented its upcoming contribution for the Dissemination, communication and exploitation plan. As the leader of the Dissemination, communication and exploitation Work Package, we presented our plan to aggregate project results in multimedia dissemination as a central hub for activities within this work package, and acts as the anchor for disseminating project deliverables and fostering their exploitation. This is a multi-format strategy, centred on the project website and online hub, in which we will build a community of knowledge by showcasing practice cases, disseminating artistic output and interactive modules.

Stay tuned for more updates! And check out the Press Release to discover more about the project.

Down to Earth – Interregional cooperation for sustainable, resilient and attractive rural areas

ISOCARP INSTITUTE partners in Interreg
Europe project DOWN TO EARTH

We are excited to announce the launch of our new project “DOWN TO EARTH” funded by the Interreg Europe programme. This project aims to lead to a better use of available tools and resources, including Cohesion Policy funds, in the participating regions, ultimately seeking to promote sustainable development and increase the disaster risk resilience of rural communities across Europe.

DOWN-TO-EARTH gathers a group of organisations working on different aspects related to disaster risk reduction and rural development from regions across Europe, who firmly believe that retaining population and encouraging sustainable practices in key sectors is crucial to curb environmental deterioration, and can greatly contribute to risk prevention.

The partnership is composed of 8 partners, and two associated policy authorities, led by Axencia Galega de Desenvolvemento Rural, and will work together to identify and promote win-win solutions to manage, maintain and enhance natural capital to reduce the risk and impact of environmental disasters, while generating economic and social opportunities to attract population to rural areas.

Thanks to mutual learning through interregional exchange of experiences, the capacities of the regional and local authorities as well as relevant stakeholders from the participating rural areas to deal with the identified challenges will be increased.

Or download the document here.

Isocarp masterclass 1 - governance thumbnail

Sustainable Urban Planning And Development Masterclass

Sustainable Urban Planning And Development Masterclasses

The ISOCARP Institute and Think City Institute have partnered to develop a series of three online masterclasses on Sustainable Urban Planning And Development.

This first course will take place over the first three week of May 2023, with one module per week and the final case study workshop in the third week. Through a number of activities, attendees are guided through the modules and equipped with knowledge and strategies that they can apply, to work towards fairer and more sustainable cities. The activities in the course are divided between individual and group work.

The first course, Governace, will touch on topics of policy scale, governing cities in inclusive manners, and involving urban populations in decision-making.

APPLY NOW by filling out the application form
*early bird USD399 if registration is before 15 April

📨 For any further inquiries, please contact or

And for more details about topics, course structures, and timeline, check our the website.


CONEXUS launches survey for Urban Planning Professionals

CONEXUS launches survey for Urban Planning Professionals

Attention urban planning professionals!

We would like to invite you to participate in a survey on nature-based solutions (NBS)* in urban areas. This survey was developed by researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and the Technical University of Munich in Germany, in collaboration with partner institutions in the CONEXUS research project.

Whereas most cities have at least some metrics and indicators in place to assess the outcomes of NBS, we know relatively little about the processes of governance, planning, and managing urban NBS. Such procedural aspects are seen as major factors for successful implementation of NBS. This survey was developed to address this knowledge gap.

The survey allows participants to reflect on possible bottlenecks and challenges preventing the uptake of NBS in their city. The goal of this survey is to better understand and potentially improve decision-making processes on urban NBS, not to compare or rank the performance of cities. The results will be used by researchers and practitioners participating in the CONEXUS project to build a better picture of these possible bottlenecks across Europe and Latin America.

We will ask you about your perception of 12 different dimensions of urban NBS governance in your city, which will together be building a comprehensive picture of opportunities and challenges. For each dimension, a scoring rubric is provided within the survey to give additional guidance.

The survey is available in the four main languages of the CONEXUS project:

👉English , 👉 Spanish , 👉 Portuguese (Brazil) , 👉 Italian.

Additional information related to the CONEXUS? research project and your rights as a participant in this survey is provided in the section “consent form” in the online survey. Please complete the consent form before starting the survey.

You are welcome to forward this survey to other local experts in public institutions, academia, private sector (built environment & other) and civil society in your city.

Thank you very much for participating in this survey!

*Nature-based solutions (NBS) is a relatively new concept referring to interventions based on nature that improve urban sustainability. If the concept of nature-based solutions (NBS) is not yet commonly used in your city, please consider other types of multifunctional urban nature, such as green infrastructure, community gardens or wetlands, when completing the survey.

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Urban Sustainability Project Assistant

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Urban Sustainability Project Assistant

Urban Sustainability Project Assistant at ISOCARP Institute  

Den Haag, Netherlands 

Fte 0.8 

About us

The ISOCARP Institute is the research spin-off of the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP), based in The Hague, the Netherlands. With over five decades of accumulated knowledge and expertise in urban and regional planning, ISOCARP as a non-profit organisation with individual and institutional members in 85 countries worldwide, initiated the Institute as a Center for Urban Excellence – a think-tank empowering individuals, organisations, and institutions to achieve better human settlements. The Institute’s core function is to conduct research and promote knowledge transfer, offer advice and short-term consultancy services, as well as design and deliver capacity-building and educational programmes. The institute is involved in several EU research projects and collaborates with a range of international partners.

Job profile of a Project Assistant:  

As we continue to grow and obtain new projects, we are seeking a staff member with experience in urban innovation management, sustainability, and market analysis to conduct research and create content for our EU projects. The project assistant will also support us in the management of multiple projects and help design capacity-building programmes.

Main task: 

Support the design of a sustainability and exploitation plan aiming to maximise the adoption of solutions supporting cities in driving the sociotechnical transitions required to meet climate neutrality targets.

The plan will be based on a thorough market analysis that will include a lens on techno-economic, socio-economic and sustainability indicators through a quantitative and qualitative assessment that investigates the urban planning and design market, having in mind the global competition and competitive landscape, and the economic environment in terms of barriers to entry and regulatory imperatives.


  1. Support the implementation of our projects:
  • – Support the day-to-day implementation of our Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe projects
  • – Conduct qualitative and quantitative research and economic analyses of different climate neutrality solutions
  • – Perform stakeholder analyses
  • – Facilitate and coordinate communication & dissemination plans with partners and clients, act as a liaison between the organisation, the public and the media through different (digital) channels.
  • – Support in writing deliverables covering a range of urban subjects.

2. Capacity building:

  • – Support the delivery of capacity building activities focusing on content creation for training modules and workshops.
  • – Have a good knowledge of transition governance processes, especially from an economics perspective. Hands-on experience with local level governments or stakeholder engagement is an added value.

3. Project proposals:

  • – Assist in the acquisition of research projects (i.e., Horizon Europe, but not only) including: stakeholder engagement, desk research, compilation of relevant research materials, writing proposals, and drafting budgets.
  • – Communicate and actively engage with high-level institutional partners.

4. In addition, you:

  • – Bring an enthusiastic and hands-on mentality and enjoy working in a young, dynamic, and international environment.
  • – Are a team player, with the ability to engage with stakeholders.
  • – Can work independently and pro-actively.
  • – Can coordinate several projects simultaneously.


  • – You hold a master’s degree in the Social Sciences, preferably with experience in economics, innovation management, and market analysis, and you have a strong interest in the general field of urban studies/urban planning.
  • – You are autonomous and proactive in building and setting up (new) operational processes from scratch.
  • – You have documentation and data management skills.
  • – You can independently conduct qualitative and quantitative research.
  • – You are curious, open-minded, and experienced in communication with high-level institutional partners.
  • – You have excellent command of the English language, both verbal and written. Other European languages are an asset.
  • – You preferably have minimum 1 year working experience in EU project administration and support.
  • – We are looking for someone who can join us as soon as possible. Therefore, candidates located in the Netherlands will have priority (we accept candidates from all nationalities).

What do we offer: 

  • – 28 hrs/week.
  • – Work in an exciting, multi-disciplinary international team.
  • – The opportunity to develop yourself through varied assignments.
  • – A competitive salary.
  • – Hybrid working options and flexible hours.
  • – Hands-on-experience in real EU-projects in a friendly, encouraging working environment.

How to apply: 

Please submit your CV and a motivation letter (preferably in one pdf – titled: surname_projectassistant) to

Please use as a subject line: Surname, Project Assistant.

(Update) Deadline to apply: March 24 2023 

If you have questions about this vacancy, please send an e-mail to Taliah Dommerholt (Project Manager)


DUST project kick-off meeting announced

Exciting News: DUST Launch Meeting! 

Yesterday the launch meeting of one of our new projects, DUST, took place online. Funded by Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation programme, #DUST (“Democratising jUst Sustainability Transitions”), aims to bring European policies closer to citizens for the future of democracy and civic participation, especially in regions deeply affected by sustainability transitions, notably the regions dependent on energy-intensive industries that are a target by the Just Transition Fund (as part the European Cohesion Policy).

The meeting marked the official start of the DUST project. It is an opportunity to get to know DUST partners and advisory board members, and introduce the project elements and the roles of everyone.

As the leader of the Communication and Dissemination Work Package, we presented our plan to integrate effective communication at the core of our tasks, i.e. how we will make sure that the project engages with marginalised communities in a manner that is mindful of their own communication habits, using tools beyond words.

Stay tuned for more updates! follow us on social media channel.

DUST – Democratising jUst Sustainability Transitions

DUST – Democratising jUst Sustainability Transitions 

We are excited to announce the launch of our new project “DUST”, which is funded by the European Union’s Research and Innovation Programme, Horizon Europe. The ISOCARP Institute is proud to be a partner in this project, which aims to bring European policies closer to citizens for the future of democracy and civic participation.

DUST will develop and operationalise novel participatory instruments for proactive and strategic citizen engagement in sustainability transitions. It will combine design-led territorial tools with digital tools for citizen deliberation at scale. The project addresses a defining #societal and #democratic #challenge for Europe: to hear the voices of least engaged communities, especially in structurally weak regions dependent on energy-intensive industries, which will be most affected by transitions towards a more sustainable future.

Led by Delft University of Technology, with a highly competent and enthusiastic consortium comprising 13 partner institutions across Europe. The project lasts for three years, starting from Feb. 1st 2023. The ISOCARP Institute is committed to contributing to the project by leading the Communication and Dissemination activities.

If you would like to learn more about DUST or how the project will develop and operationalise, please contact Samir Amir:, DUST Project leader at the ISOCARP Institute.

Or download the document here




The ISOCARP Institute is developing a new training programme on Sustainable Planning and Development targeting professionals working in the city-making disciplines – mainly in South-East Asia. This initiative is the result of collaboration initiative between our partners in the region and the Institute. The overall goal is to deepen the capacity of city-makers, improving decision making and the implementation of projects at the local, regional and national level. The programme is primary composed of three different themes (Urban Governance, Urban Environment and Strategic Planning) and localise their application in the regional context.  Each of module will be divided in three subtopics.

Course content 


Module 1: Urban Governance 

  1. Multi-level governance processes 
  2. Inclusive urban planning  
  3. Citizen Engagement in sustainable urban development 
  4. Gender Equality in environment & urban planning 
  5. Barriers between local & national sustainable urban development 
  6. Sustainable urban development in education processes 

Module 2:  Urban Environment 

  1. Energy transitions and neutrality in cities 
  2. Smart city designs for energy positive cities  
  3. Greening & nature-based solutions to support quality of life and enhance urban biodiversity  
  4. Promoting healthy cities (built environment & healthy communities) 
  5. Urban waste management & the circular economy 
  6. Urban water management for climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience

Module 3: Strategic Planning 

  1. Land use planning and management as a means of promoting compact, mixed-used and transit-oriented development (TOD) 
  2. Redesigning urban infrastructure, public spaces and facilities to adapt to climate change;  
  3. Innovative approaches to housing for low-income and vulnerable groups;  
  4. Land and property rights for displaced people;  
  5. Access to basic services for all, and SME development 
  6. Economics of planning practice and multi-scalar budgeting 

The developed learning materials consist of case studies and best practices, videos, further readings and references to other interactive media. Additional to the overall themes, current global planning concepts and approaches will be covered. 

The materials will be complemented with viable approaches and tools, such as vision building, action planning, monitoring and assessment approaches, digital tools and tackle the question of what suitable planning and which elements must be considered depending on various contexts. 

Call for guest lecturers 

The programme will be organised online through a dedicated learning platform in late spring 2023.

To provide the best content and offer accurate material for each module, we are looking for Guest Lecturers. Guest Lecturer would be expected to a) support the preparation of the module and b) deliver a 1,5 – 2h online lecture.
Are you an academic or a professional with expertise in one of the three Themes, please submit your interest using this application form until 04/01/2023. 

The application form:


For any enquiries, please contact