The 3 Pillars of ISOCARP Institute

Institute Practice

ISOCARP Institute supports public and private institutions through a variety of programmes, including the Urban Planning Advisory Teams (UPATs), technical assistance and review, building upon over 55 years of knowledge generation with the International Society of City and Regional Planners. New formats, such as City Labs, complement the programme. The primary activities are the expansion of the existing UPAT programme within ISOCARP, while simultaneously expanding and redeveloping the range of activities. New formats, such as City Labs, complement the programme.

Urban Planning Advisory Teams (UPATs)

The two primary types of UPATs are Design Charrettes and City Labs. Design Charrettes are collaborative design workshops during which members of ISOCARP rapidly work together with their planning and design colleagues from the Charrette host city, municipality or organisation. Design Charrette participants jointly analyse the Charrette’s location and topic, and sketch designs to explore and share a broad diversity of possible ideas and solutions of knowledge generation inside ISOCARP. City Labs are design-based, collaborative projects in which selected ISOCARP members work jointly in an interdisciplinary team with a host city, municipality or organisation. The team typically consists of planners, architects, landscape architects and engineers, but also of citizens, city officials and other stakeholders, depending on topic and context. The aim is creating a design and implementation plan or conduct research-by-design on a specific topic, in a participatory approach of co-creating. 

UPAT Durban (South Africa)

Urban Planning Advisory Teams

Invited by the eThekwini Municipality, a team of experts supported the local team in packaging parcels of government land to facilitate investments by means of Public Private Partnership and other models of cooperation. The task of the UPAT was to focus on two strategic precincts, assisting in the design of the implementation process, and develop financial cooperation models for their urban transformation. One precinct was the centre, where the objective was to transform it in the primary civic precinct of the city, a mixed-use area with a variety of cultural facilities.

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UPAT Wuhan (China)

Urban Planning Advisory Teams

As part of the Wuhan Placemaking Week, an expert team took part in a Design Charette about the development of ‘New Hanzheng Riverside Avenue’. Covering a 900-meter-long riverfront coastline at the confluence of Hanjiang and Yangtze rivers, the municipality’s vision was to recreate an urban core, characterised by global trading, finance & tourism. The team designed new strategies for intervention across scales, bringing back the old spirit of the two rivers and making it a new place of meeting and exchange.

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UPAT Guangzhou (China)

Urban Planning Advisory Teams

The old town of Guangzhou has a rich heritage with districts, islands, parks, waterways, buildings and a large variety of backgrounds, stories and identities. Nevertheless, many of these places are currently isolated and would require a better context and better connections. The Guangzhou Urban Planning & Design Survey Research Institute (GZPI) invited the UPAT to collaborate in the assessment and connection of the historic urban resources of the city, accelerating the functional dispersal, and to optimisation and upgrade along the corridors.

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Strelka Review

Expert Advisory

The ‘Integral Guidelines for Urban Territories - A set of principles for the integrated development of urban areas’ is a guidance document published by STRELKA KB, Moscow in December 2018, aiming to define the main approaches to design the development of residential and mixed-use areas for Russia, in correspondence with the needs and demands of residents, while taking into account the peculiar characteristics of development in Russian cities and the best international practices in the transformation of the urban environment.