JOB OPPORTUNITY: EU Finance Administrator

JOB OPPORTUNITY: EU Finance Administrator

EU Finance Administrator at ISOCARP Institute  

Den Haag, Netherlands 

Fte 0.5 

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 development and continuing education programmes. The institute is involved in several EU research projects, offers technical assistance globally, as well as engaged in capacity development projects with other international partners.

Job profile of an EU Finance Administrator:  

We are seeking for a part-time staff member with experience in project management interested to reinforce and support our growing international team. The financial administrator will support and assist us in the management of our multiple projects (EU and international funded projects). To apply for this position, you need to have at least 3-5 years of experience in the financial administration of EU-funded projects.


  1. EU Finance and Administration
    • – Financial planning, budgeting, and reporting; outlining of contracts; processing payments and monitoring budgetary performance for specific EU funded projects.
    • – Ensure a high quality of finance-related workflows within the projects and in relation to our donors (notably the European Commission) as well as compliance with the specific guidelines provided by the European Commission.
    • – Coordinate together with Project Manager and Project Assistants the collection of effort evidence, expenses, etc. for the project as well as administrative and legal documentation.
    • – Contribute to financial and administrative aspects of new project applications.
    • – Support in the financial implementation of EU projects.

2. Internal finances:

    • – Support the directors in the administration of finances of ISOCARP Institute.
    • – Processing and archiving of invoices, including in view of external audits.
    • – Ensure the smooth processing of financial administration across the office.

3. In addition, you:

    • – Bring action 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
    • – Can coordinate several projects simultaneously 


  • – You hold a university degree (BA or higher) in relevant subjects (e.g., administration, finance, economics, management, or other courses related to this discipline);
  • – You have proven working experience in managing the internal finances of a Dutch organisation;
  • – You have proven working experience related to EU project finance administration;
  • – You are autonomous and proactive in building and setting up (new) operational processes from scratch;
  • – You have documentation skills and data management;
  • – You have knowledge of EU funding programmes;
  • – Asset: you have experience in associations, foundations, or non-profit organisations;
  • – You are curious, open-minded, and experienced in the communication with high-level institutional partners;
  • – You have excellent command of the English language, both verbal and written. Dutch and other European languages are an asset;
  • We are looking for someone who can join us as soon as possible. Therefore, those candidates located in the Netherlands will have priority (we accept candidates from different nationalities).

What do we offer: 

  • – 16 hrs week contract, with the possibility of increase
  • – Work in an exciting, multi-disciplinary international team;
  • – The opportunity to develop yourself through varied assignments;
  • – A competitive salary;
  • – Flexibility in distributing your working hours, working from home also possible;
  • – Hands-on-experience in EU projects in a friendly, encouraging working environment.

How to apply: 

Please apply using this link: EU Finance Administrator at ISOCARP Institute – 2521 Den Haag – application form. Or send a resume and cover letter to Ms. Taliah Dommerholt (Project Manager). Please use as a subject line: Surname, EU Finance Administrator.

For questions about the application, please send an email to

Deadline to apply: 18th November 2022

Job Type: Part-time
Part-time hours: 16 per week

Salary: From €2,000.00 per month

Experience: Financial administration: 3 years (Preferred)

Work Location: Hybrid remote in 2521 CA Den Haag

Application Deadline: 18/11/2022
Expected Start Date: 29/11/2022

Institute presented at 58th ISOCARP World Planning Congress Brussels

The Institute presented at the 58th ISOCARP WORLD PLANNING CONGRESS in Brussels

At the 58th ISOCARP WORLD PLANNING CONGRESS, Institute had the opportunity to present our working projects at hand and support the project’s partners in the special session.

The +CityxChange project hosted a special session, Pathways from Positive Energy Districts (PEDs) to Climate-Neutral Cities, with a special focus on future-oriented innovation management and stakeholder involvement. The session was organized around presentations by Dr. Dirk Ahlers of +CityxChange, and Mark van Wees, of AtelierH2020, both Horizon2020 Scalable Cities projects. The +CityxChange presentation focused on pathways to decarbonization, exploring how to facilitate effective knowledge transfer and alignment of project results, and the role of new initiatives in the current innovation ecosystem. The ATELIER presentation dived into how innovation occurs within the project, discussing co-creation and stakeholder involvement topics. The session ended with an interactive debate on co-creation when building PEDs, exploring the form that this may take and the value of co-creating solutions. 

 The JUSTNature project special session consisted of presentations and an interactive discussion that provided information on the role of distributional and procedural/recognition justice considerations for NbS. The discussion session adopted a ‘House of Commons approach to stimulate interactive discussions on given motions. The session was run by Sonja Gantioler of EURAC and Martina van Lierop of Technical University of Munich -TUM.  

During both special sessions, Samir Amin supported the discussion, and Taliah Dommerholt presented a case study for the +CityxChange.

WAVE Living Lab in Bacoli, Italy​

WAVE Living Lab in Bacoli, Italy​

From September 18th to September 27th, students from universities around Europe gathered in Bacoli, just north of Naples, Italy, to design a development plan for Lake Fusaro as part of the WAVE (Water Areas Vision for Europe) Erasmus+ Project. Lake Fusaro is the largest lake of the Phlegraean Fields and, as we quicky discovered, is far from meeting its full potential. 

The students were divided into five groups, each tackling a different section of the lakefront. After touring the area and discussing with various stakeholders, students brainstormed challenges and potentials for the lake, each group taking its own approach to problem analysis. It became apparent that, from an urban planning and design perspective, there are many issues in the area – poor accessibility, lack of pedestrian infrastructure, illegal & unplanned urban development, high levels of pollution, and poor ecosystem management, to name a few. 

From these analyses, students came up with solutions, each group creating a vision for their section of the lakefront area. These visions were communicated through comprehensive designs, using a variety of different artistic, mapping, and design methodologies. They were then able to share these visions with various stakeholders, resulting in a very successful project overall.

It was a privilege that the ISOCARP Institute was able to participate in this inspiring event, and we look forward to future Labs.

For an overview of the outcomes, check out the dissemination video (a mix of English and Italian) below, as well as the gallery of photos (photo credit: Didier Vancutsem, Antonio Acierno, & Taliah Dommerholt).

Students with their certificates of successful course completion.

ISOCARP UPAT at Lake Chapala, Mexico

ISOCARP UPAT at Lake Chapala, Mexico

ISOCARP Institute and ISOCARP Society recently helped organize, facilitate, and carry out a UPAT Design Planning Workshop in Chapala, Mexico, on the topic of waterfront urban development. From August 1st to 6th, an international group of ISOCARP members participated in the UPAT, working together to address the various challenges along Chapala’s shoreline and develop comprehensive solutions. Coordinated by former ISOCARP Vice President Paco Perez and sponsored by a group of municipalities and civil society groups from around Lake Chapala, the purpose of the UPAT was to develop a relevant, realistic, and sustainable masterplan with key strategies for managing the lake and its surroundings, helping the area to realize its full potential while celebrating its heritage.

The ISOCARP UPAT team and student assistants, together with municipal and community representatives at Lake Chapala (photo credit: Ric Stephens).

During our time in Mexico, we had the privilege of meeting with an array of political and civil society representatives, including elected officials, municipal representatives, environmental experts, and tourism interest groups. We were also able to tour the expansive lake front, visiting various sites in the surrounding towns. In addition to a breath-taking boat ride and many opportunities throughout the tour to gain a better understanding of what the various areas around the lake have to offer, we also enjoyed a lunch of birrieria and life-changing tortillas, hill-side wine tasting, and a chance to sample the legendary nieves de garrafa (in short, we were not under-fed).

Based on our preliminary research, meetings with stakeholders, and first-hand experiences, we determined the main challenges and perceived opportunities around the lake and then divided these topics between the team to begin brainstorming solutions. After presenting our initial findings on the final day in Mexico, we have now returned home to our respective countries to write the final report, which will then be compiled and translated by our trusted leader, Rolf Schuett. The report will be made available online, and we look forward to sharing our findings with the global community!  

The final presentation, featuring UPAT coordinator and former ISOCARP Vice President Paco Perez (left) and Rolf Schuett, UPAT team leader (photo credit: Taliah Dommerholt).

We would like to thank the ISOCARP team members Rolf Schuett (team leader), Diana Andrea Giambiagi, Dara Golubovic-Matic, Ric Stephens, and Taliah Dommerholt for their attendance, contributions and highly appreciated ideas. In addition to the ISOCARP team, we could not have been successful without Walter Rast, senior expert of the International Lake Environment Committee (ILEC), and the assistance of the young planning professionals, Esteban Contreras, Deni Hernandez Castaneda, Sebastian Pacheco Velazquez, Ana Karen Pimienta Reynoso, Andres Rodriguez Von Hauske, and Donaji “Mave” Fiallo Zurita.

Call for Experts – ISOCARP UPAT Chapala


ISOCARP invites experts from a wide range of fields related to waterfront urban development to apply to be part of the ISOCARP Urban Planning Advisory Team – Chapala Lake Shore 2022.  

UPAT Chapala: ISOCARP Institute in cooperation with ISOCARP Society will organize, facilitate, and carry out a UPAT from August 1st to 6th in Chapala, Mexico on the topic of waterfront urban development, and addressing the challenges along the Chapala Lake shore. 

Date: August 1-6, 2022, Participants must arrive on July the 31st and depart August the 6th afternoon.

Location: Chapala Lake is located in Mexico, 30 miles (48 km) south-southeast of Guadalajara. It is easily accessible by highway from Guadalajara (50min) and Guadalajara´s International Airport (25min).

Site description: Chapala Lake, lies on the Mexican Plateau at 6,000 feet (1,800 metres) above sea level in the states of Jalisco and Michoacán. Chapala is Mexico’s largest lake, measuring approximately 48 miles (77 km) east-west by 10 miles (16 km) northsouth and covering an area of 417 square miles (1,080 square km). Despite its size, the lake is very shallow and is susceptible to infestations of water hyacinth. It is fed principally by the Lerma River from the east and is drained by the Santiago River, which flows out of its northeastern side. The lake is surrounded by many mountains and sierras and contains three small island.

Lake´s problems: The city of Guadalajara has relied on Chapala Lake as a principal source of water since the 1950s. Shortly after, a few consecutive years of poor rainfall dramatically decreased the water level of the lake. The level rebounded until 1979, when Chapala Lake’s water level began rapidly decreasing due to increases in urban water consumption. 

Erosion due to deforestation along the lake as well as the Lerma River has led to increased sedimentation of the lake, also contributing to loss of lake depth. The shrinking depth has also raised the lake’s average temperature, resulting in increased evaporation.

Simultaneously, the waters of Chapala Lake are polluted by municipal, industrial and agricultural wastes, coming primarily from the Lerma River. The increased presence of nutrients from the pollution combined with the warmer water has been a boon to an invasive species of water hyacinth.

The increase in water pollution has had devastating effects on the ecology of the lake. Fish stock has decreased dramatically and some endemic species are on the verge of extinction. Contaminated fish stock has also posed a serious threat to the health and livelihoods of people who depend on the fish for food.

The drop in the lake’s water level has uncovered political issues that had been hidden for many years. Its fast decay has raised concern in the surrounding areas and in the scientific community. 

Lake´s potential: The scenic setting, pleasant climate, picturesque villages dotting the shores, thermal waters SPAs, local folklore and good fishing, make the lake a popular resort and, increasingly by the late 20th century, an important retirement center for U.S. and Canada citizens

Promoting entity: This UPAT is promoted by a group of municipalities around Chapala Riviera together with civil society sponsors. Former ISOCARP Vice President Paco Perez will be in charge of local coordination.

UPAT purpose: There is a complex set of government plans and programs in all sort of maters upon Chapala lake and the urban settlements around its shore. There is also a number of civil society and NGO´s initiatives. Nevertheless, there is not a comprehensive view and strategic approach to lead the prosperous development
of Chapala Riviera in a wide scope and long term perspective. 

The purpose of having an ISOCARP UPAT is to launch a process of comprehensive regional planning and management of Chapala Riviera. The UPAT report will be the basis to further prepare a Regional Urban Plan, which is to be approved by all concerned authorities and looked out by society to secure continuity between public administration changes.

UPAT Objective The UPAT objective is to develop this comprehensive view and strategic approach in the shape of a preliminary Masterplan of the Chapala Riviera in order to:

  1. Have a qualified opinion on how to order the territory and how to take advantage of the potential of the lake´s riviera.
  2. Shape this opinion in a big vision approach, with a long term scope, but with sort term strategic actions.
  3. Have a convincing document to promote the initiative before third parties

UPAT Content

1. Urban mobility.
Problem: Vehicular traffic collapsed.

Proposals expected, in general terms about: 

– Vehicular traffic [Local traffic, Through traffic]– Pedestrian traffic.
– Bicycle traffic.
– Public transport.
– Public water transport (possibility in the future?)

2. Sewage.
Problem: Contamination with sewage due to lack of treatment and/or lack of operation of existing treatment plants, due to inadequate systems or lack of resources to pay for their operation.

Proposals expected, in general terms about: 

– More efficient, simple and economical alternative sewage treatment systems.
– Alternative management systems for the use, treatment and reuse of water.
– Other.

3. Basic infrastructure and services.
Problem: Even when Chapala Lake is an important touristic area, basic infrastructure and services are not quite at the required level.

Proposals expected, in general terms about: 

– Priorities in provision of basic infrastructure.
– Health services.
– Digital connectivity.

4. Lake shore.
Problem: The reduction of the lake water level, has left in some areas, an important amount of land uncovered by water. Despite this is public land, it is being invaded with
incompatible uses.

Proposals expected, in general terms about: 

– Use and treatment of these areas:

▪ Public use such as:
▪ Green areas, public spaces, sport courts areas?
▪ Urban facilities?
▪ Public services?
▪ Strategic sites?
▪ Private tourist use?
▪ Private agricultural use?
▪ Vehicle use?
▪ Other uses? 

5. Agriculture.

– Intensive use of water in berry crops competing with urban water needs.
– Deterioration of the landscape with the plastic covers of the berry crops.

Proposals expected, in general terms about: 

– Mitigation of impacts to water.
– Mitigation of impacts to landscape.

6. Land uses.
Problem: Land uses are the result of historical growth inertia and it is considered that the Lake Shore potential is not being adequately exploited.

Proposals expected, in general terms about:

– Optimal areas for tourism.
▪ Regional tourism.
▪ Retired people.
▪ International tourism.
▪ Other.
– Optimal areas for agriculture.
– Optimal areas for urban facilities and public services.
– Optimal sites for the location of strategic facilities such as: education,
auditoriums, areas for exhibitions and congresses, etc.
– Other.

7. Urban regulation.
Problem: In recent years, urban growth in some municipalities around the lake, has been somewhat disorderly and there is no clarity on the priority aspects to be regulated, in order to achieve a convenient urban development

Proposals expected, in general terms about: 

– Land uses.
– Densities.
– Building heights.
– Panoramic views.
– Roof treatment.
– Others.

8. Urban Management.
Problem: There is no adequate coordination between the municipalities around the lake and it is considered that a coordinated management mechanism would be very beneficial for lake´s promotion and development.

Proposals expected, in general terms about:

– Intergovernmental coordination.
– Financing of public works and services.
– Shared management with the concurrence of the government, productive sectors
and society.
– Strategic projects for:
▪ Providing infrastructure, urban facilities and key services for social and
economic development, such as: education, auditoriums, exhibition and
congress areas, etc.
▪ Taking advantage of untapped potential.
▪ Trigger the development of less developed areas.
▪ Protect and/or improve the environment.

Areas of expertise required.
• Lake front urban development.
• Water optimal use, sewerage treatment and water reuse.
• Urban mobility.
• Touristic development.
• Urban regulation, financing and management.
(Someone with experience in managing landscape disturbance by agricultural plastic covers will be very helpful).

There is a good amount of information available about all issues to be addressed. An executive synthesis is going to be sent to team members once selected.

The UPAT language will be English and fluency is required. Each team member will have the help of a local student, also fluent in English, to develop technical work and translation.

UPAT program / July the 31st – August the 6th
Sunday 31: Team members arrival and UPAT kick off dinner.
Monday 1: Field trip around Chapala Riviera and visit to strategic areas.
Tuesday 2: Technical presentations from municipal authorities and NGO´s / Information analysis.
Wednesday 3: Diagnosis.
Thursday 4: Alternative analysis and municipal authorities feedback.
Friday 5: Proposal preparation.
Saturday 6: Proposal presentation and end of UPAT lunch.

In spite of the scale and complexity of the UPAT topic and mayors expectations of the outcome quality, this so called Masterplan is to be developed in a short term basis as a conceptual approach.
At the end of the UPAT week in site, the proposal will be presented in Power Point (or the like) and four weeks later, the team leader will deliver a document in English with the proposed Master Plan.

The promoting entity will pay for all team members:

  1.  Round tourist class air fare.
  2. Local transportation.
  3. Accommodation.
  4. Meals.

Additional information: 

For more information about this call, please contact Taliah Dommerholt mail:  

The Call for Experts will remain open till May 31st, 2022. Applications submitted after 23:59 on May 31st, 2022 will not be accepted. 



Open Call for ISOCARP Members

The launch of Open Call for ISOCARP Members aims to foster a productive dialogue and knowledge exchange with the ISOCARP membership. In this view, ISOCARP Institute is seeking motivated members of ISOCARP to collaborate and support the development of upcoming activities across the Institute’s three pillars of Research, Academy and Practice. ISOCARP Institute is committed to a more inclusive ISOCARP ecosystem where all players within can come together, collaborate and develop fruitful exchanges. 

If you are interested, please read descriptions on the open calls below and apply using the link below.

1) ISOCARP Institute X Strelka KB – A1

On behalf of Strelka KB – Moscow, ISOCARP Institute is looking for experienced urban designers and urban planners to work on projects in Russia, CIS, Middle and Far East in the field of regional, territorial, and urban development, including Masterplanning.

Successful candidates should have strong design skills, at least 5 years of working experience in the field of urban planning or urban design (qualifications in the field of environmental and housing are preferable), be fluent in spoken English, and be available for long-term working travels (more than 3 months). Candidates should be available starting from January 2022. Contracts will be signed with Strelka KB.

2) ISOCARP Institute X Think City Institute

ISOCARP Institute and thinkcity Institute have agreed to develop together international capacity building programmes in the field of sustainable urban development and related areas as opportunities for local governments, private developers and other relevant stakeholders to share practical experiences and concrete lessons. Online courses (starting January 2022) will focus on the topics of spatial inequality and poverty reduction, prosperity of cities and regions, climate action and improved urban environment, and good governance for sustainable urban development. ISOCARP Institute is looking for experienced urban planners with at least 10 years working and teaching experience in the above-mentioned topics. Candidates will receive an allowance.

3) ISOCARP Institute X GIZ Egypt

ISOCARP Institute and GIZ Egypt are currently working on a possible Placemaking workshop with citizens and young local professionals on site in the Greater Cairo, as well as a Capacity building / UPAT workshop on place-led development and stakeholder engagement to take place also in Greater Cairo, both to be implemented early 2022. ISOCARP Institute is looking for young planning professionals, preferably from Middle East region, and experienced urban planners with at least 10 years working and teaching experience in place-led development and stakeholder engagement. Candidates will receive an allowance.

4) ISOCARP Institute X Dubai Future Academy

ISOCARP Institute and Dubai Future Academy ( have agreed to develop an online capacity-building training on the topic of “Shaping Humanity’s urban future beyond 2030”. The aim of the course is to understand the future of the urban humanity, its evolution and how the future beyond 2030 looks like, which challenges and pathways shaping urban futures will dominate in the next decades, and how the relationship between human and technology will evolve. Four core courses will focus on the topics of Prospective thinking of Environmental Future, Human Future, New Paradigms and urban living conditions, and Urban Management towards 2071. ISOCARP Institute is looking for highly experienced urban planners with at least 20 years working and teaching experience in the above-mentioned topics. The courses will take place on December 13th and 14th, 2021. Candidacies to be sent before December 3rd, 2021. The candidates should be able to envision the future of the urban humanity beyond 2030. Candidates will receive an allowance.

5) ISOCARP Institute X Strelka KB – A2

ISOCARP Institute has been mandated by Strelka KB Moscow to implement a Review of their latest Publications on Master Planning in Russia. The Publications consist in 3 Books on Master Planning Approach, Methodology, Instruments and Tools. The Reviewers will have to read and analyze the publications, review the outputs, and produce an integrated report to be delivered by End of January 2022. ISOCARP Institute is looking for highly experienced urban planners with at least 10 years working experience in publication review and critical analysis related to urban and master planning. The work will be carried during December 2021 and January 2022. Candidates will receive an allowance.

In order to find ideal candidates, we ask you to complete a short form stating your interest, experience and profile. Please submit a short CV, statement of motivation and other related information using the link below.

If you have any questions concerning the Open Call for ISOCARP Members please contact

UPAT Guangzhou

Urban Design Charrette Weifang China

Urban Design Charrette in Weifang (China) 

August 3, 2021

Urban Design Charrette in Weifang China

The Design Planning Workshop occurred from 4th to 10th July 2021. ISOCARP Institute selected a team of 5 (five) international member-experts to visit Weifang and work together with SEU team of planners, designers and students, and to achieve high-level results aimed to be published in China and abroad in 2021.  

SEU invited ISOCARP Institute to select a team of experts that assisted the team from SEU in the organization of the design, contributed to knowledge on urban design of the International City of Peace of Weifang through an urban design workshop. 

While the organization team and technical experts of SEU coordinated the workshop organization in Weifang with the international experts, including the Chinese technical experts, the involvement of the Chinese students of the SEU, the accommodation, and on-site activities, the ISOCARP expert team attended and visited the site with the local experts, worked and created urban design solutions for the City of Weifang, delivering innovative urban solutions and urban visions for the Weifang international centre of Peace.  

Together with the SEU team, the ISOCARP international experts developed design goals for the Ledaoyuan historical and cultural area, such as building the Ledaoyuan historical and cultural area into an Asian pivot for international humanitarianism and improve the international humanitarian network, reshaping the historical features of Ledaoyuan, promoting the overall coordination of the Ledaoyuan historical and cultural area and its surrounding area, and realizing the harmonious coexistence of history and existing. 

The international team successfully developed a renewal design and implementation path for the Ledaoyuan historical and cultural area that can be implemented. The findings were presented to the City of Weifang on the last day of the workshop, together with urban design solutions and recommendations.  

We thank the ISOCARP team members Björn von RandowAlex CamprubiChristian NolfThomas Fritzsche and Christian Hartmann for their attendance, contributions and highly appreciated ideas.  

Click here to download and read the final report of the workshop.


Recap of UTC Urban Lab Session “Championing Local Green Deals”

Recap of Urban Lab Session “Championing Local Green Deals” 

July 21, 2021

ISOCARP Institute has organised and coordinated the Urban Lab Session “Championing Local Green Deals”, as part of the Urban Thinker Campus “A Local Green Deal” organised by the city of Mannehim (Germany). The session took place online on Friday 16th July 2021. 

Through the European Green Deals, the European Union has set the ambitious target of becoming the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050.  The European Green Deal includes various actions, measures and tools in nine policy areas (such as clean energy, sustainable mobility, biodiversity, etc.). However, it is crucial to transform the direction given by the Green Deal into local actionable projects and concrete interventions. The session collected and discussed valuable practices and experiences in the implementation of Local Green Deals.


In his keynote presentation, Martin Knuijt (OKRA) reflected on how to design healthier and resilient cities. By presenting some of his work in different urban contexts, he emphasized the importance of preserving biodiversity, connecting places to increase social cohesion, and designing adaptive infrastructure, especially when it comes to water management. This is only possible through integrated and holistic solutions, able to meet citizens’ needs and generate their enthusiasm.    

Afterwards, the session continued with a series of contributors from city representatives and experts from different background. Elsa Durieux (ICLEI) framed the discussion around the European Green Deals as new approach to accelerate and scale-up cities’ sustainability ambitions, discussing the main challenges and barriers; she also introduced the Local Green Deals Blueprint for Action. Nicolas Gharbi (city of Madrid) presented the case of the metropolitan forest of Madrid, the flagship project for the recovery plan of the city; the forest will be a 75 km ring infrastructure connecting existing green spaces around Madrid. Valentina D’Alonzo (EURAC) gave an overview of H2020 project VARCITIES, and its holistic approach in developing visionary solutions which link nature-based solutions, urban health, public spaces and smart cities. Elisa Torricelli (city of Milan) brought the experience of the city of Milan, showing the work of the Environmental Transition Department in developing local plans and initiatives to increase urban resilience.  


Beside inviting some speakers, ISOCARP Institute opened a Call for Contributors to collect experiences from different countries and to ensure a truly international perspective. Sevval Cavusoglu brought her experience from Turkey and reminded the importance of decision support systems for low-carbon city projects. Bhagyashri Kulkarni reflected on bottom-up and participatory practices to manage green public spaces in collaboration with citizens, beyond traditional public-private partnerships. Joana Bispo introduced the Sustainable Development Strategy of the city of Teresina (Brasil) and presented some specific projects, highlighting also the monitoring of SDGs at the local level.  

Milena Ivkovic moderated the last part of the session, with questions and answers and the closing remarks. 


Speakers, Contributors and presentations

Keynote Speaker
Martin Knuijt – OKRA

Topic: Adaptive urban design


Nicolas Gharbi – City of Madrid

Topic: Madrid metropolitan and local green strategy


Bhagyashri Kulkarni – Architect, Urban Designer (India) 

Topic: A regulation to manage and mantain the open public spaces in collaboration with the citizens/community


Sevval Cavusoglu– Urban Planner and Junior Expert (Turkey)

Topic: Developing Decision Support Systems for low-carbon city projects including Green Bonds Financing Framework


Elisa Torricelli – City of Milan 

Topic: A green and resilient Milan


  • 09.30 – 09.35   
    Introduction | ISOCARP Institute
  • 09.35 – 09.50   
    Keynote speaker presentation | Martin Knuijt, OKRA  
  • 09.50 – 10.40
    Call for Contributors: share your story!
    Elsa Durieux, ICLEI
    Nicolas Gharbi, Municipality of Madrid
    Joana Bispo, Municipality of Teresina
    Valentina D’Alonzo, EURAC & VARCITIES project
    Bhagyshri Kulkarni, architect and urban designer (India)
    Sevval Cavusoglu, urban planner (Turkey)
    Elisa Torricelli, Municipality of Milan
  • 10.45 – 10.55
    Discussion | Local actions for Green Deals
    Moderated by Milena Ivkovic
  • 10.55 – 11.00
    Recap and closing | ISOCARP Institute
Do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions or proposals for upcoming sessions.

Urban Thinkers Campus “Climate Adaptation in Challenging Environments in the MENA Region”

Urban Thinkers Campus “Climate Adaptation in Challenging Environments in the MENA Region”

UTC Objective: The main objective of this UTC is to discuss and explore solutions that are being tested to ameliorate the future of urban living conditions. The Campus explored and discussed solutions on how cities can better respond to changing climate conditions, using Dubai as an example of a city which due to its demanding climate conditions, has from the beginning had to plan in ways, which can offer valuable best practices to urban planners around the world.

The session lasted 3 hours and was via Zoom. We aimed to make this session as interactive and inclusive as it is possible.

Check out the agenda to learn more!

See the recording of the session here:

UTC Background: ISOCARP Institute together with Middle East Cities Center at the American University in Dubai University and other partners organized on the 22nd of June 2021 the UTC on Hot Cities in the MENA region. According to the latest IPCC simulations, the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) has been identified as a hotspot for future temperature changes due to its arid environmental conditions. Heat extremes are expected to increase significantly in both frequency and intensity across the MENA region. Heatwaves will occur for 80 days of the year by 2050 and 118 days of the year by 2100. Combined with increased sandstorms associated with longer drought periods, predicted temperature rises would make large parts of the region uninhabitable. Extreme heat has been identified as a serious threat to human health, heightening an individuals’ susceptibility to exhaustion, heart attack and mortality.

Hot cities in the MENA region – with the reference to Dubai- are a current trend which will be highlighted and discussed during the UTC. Meanwhile we would like to expand the discussion on what other trends related to the Hot Cities trends are emerging? Among the main trends that we would like to touch upon and discuss possible solutions are: water scarcity, biodiversity loss, sea level rise, loss of coastal defence and storm surges. 

Check out some screenshots from the session:

210707_JUSTNature_general map

Upcoming EU funded research project JUSTNature

Upcoming EU funded project – JUSTNature   

July 7, 2021

ISOCARP Institute is proud to announce that the European Commission has signed the grant agreement for the EU funded project JUSTNature. ISOCARP Institute is part of the consortium which will implement the project, starting from 1st September 2021 until February 2026, together with other 18 partners and under the lead of EURAC.

The overall objective of JUSTNature is the activation of Nature-based Solutions, by ensuring a just transition to low-carbon cities, based on the principle of the right to ecological space.  JUSTNature represents the Institute’s third project on NBS in less than five years, strengthening its international reputation and expertise on the topic. The work of the Institute is consistent with ISOCARP’s vision of promoting inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities, and of contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals.

JUSTNature – Activation of NATURE-based solutions for a JUST low-carbon transition    

Cities are major energy consumers and significantly contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. They have a high density of socio-economic activities and a built environment design that enhance these issues. In this regard, especially developed cities can be exemplars in leading the way towards a low-carbon society, and turning it into an opportunity as recently iterated by the European Green Deal. Such advances can address several other challenges arising from urbanisation and structural socio-economic changes. Cities represent a complex setting, where low income populations are more exposed to environmental ills, environmental and climate impacts are not distributed evenly, environmental qualities are becoming increasingly exclusive to high-income households, and wealthier neighbourhoods are more biologically diverse than others. Debates on these inequities have gained further traction linked to the recent spread of SARS-CoV-2, leading to discussions on the future pathway of economic and social development due to the social and economic disruptions caused by the physical distancing and lockdown measures.

In this regard, the overall objective of JUSTNature is the activation of nature-based solutions (NbS) by ensuring a just transition to low-carbon cities, based on the principle of the right to ecological space. This in particular refers to the right to clean air and indoor/outdoor thermal comfort for human health and well-being, as well as thriving biodiversity and ecosystems. It also refers to the duty of not constraining the ecological space of others, in particular in relation to the mitigation of climate change and measures required for reducing GHG emissions. JUSTNature will contribute to this vision of shaping low-carbon cities by developing a set of typical Low carbon | High air quality NbS in seven European city practice labs. By activating their just implementation, it will drive the co-design, co-creation and co-decision of supporting interventions with regard to four innovation dimensions: 1) enabling effective governance, 2) enabling NbS system maintenance and operation, 3) enabling innovative business models and market design, and 4) enabling efficient technologies and applications.

The seven European City Practice Labs are: Bolzano-Merano (Italy), Chania (Greece), Gzira (Malta), Leuven (Belgium), Munich (Germany) and Szombathely (Hungary).  



Keywords: Nature-based solutions, low/zero carbon communities, climate change mitigation & adaptation, ecological space, environmental justice, air quality, ICT solutions, big data, policy & governance, urban design.  


Within the consortium, ISOCARP Institute will implement various communication and dissemination activities, and it will support cross-learning activities between municipalities. Furthermore, the Institute will deliver a report on good practices for the co-governance of nature-based solutions.
A preliminary Consortium meeting will take place on 12th July, while the kick-off meeting will be help in September 2021.


This project will receive funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme. Call H2020-LCCLA-2020 Innovative nature-based solutions for carbon neutral cities and improved air quality.



Do not hesitate to contact us for any question or further information.