ISOCARP Congress – Special Session “Digital Infrastructure for Smart Urban Services and Public Value”

One of the main activities of ISOCARP is the organisation of the annual World Planning Congress which focuses on a planning theme of foremost international interest. Attended by some 500-750 delegates, ISOCARP World Planning Congresses are small enough for a personal interchange of ideas on a given theme, yet big enough to encompass a broad professional and international range. The Congresses are open to ISOCARP Members, but our Society warmly welcomes non-members (individuals, parties or organisations). The Congress provides a platform for establishing professional as well as personal contacts with colleagues from all around the world.

The 56th ISOCARP World Planning Congress “Post-Oil City. Planning for Urban Green Deals” is held virtually from 8 November 2020 to 4 February 2021. ISOCARP Institute is proud to host the Special Session “Digital Infrastructure for Smart Urban Services and Public Value ” on 9 December 2020, 1.30 pm CET.

The session will reflect on how cities can support the ecological transition by providing more sustainable urban services (i.e. energy, health, mobility, etc.) and improving the quality of life of citizens. This session is relevant especially for those cities which are introducing smart and green pilot projects in their local contexts, and seek for collaboration with local communities and actors to achieve a successful implementation. Direct experiences from the EU projects where ISOCARP Institute is involved will be presented.  

Format of the session 

The session is conceived to be as much as possible engaging and interactive. The keynote speaker presentation will provide meaningful insights and inspire the rest of the session. The presentation of two projects where ISOCARP Institute is involved are meant to encourage the debate and the comparison with other projects and local initiatives. The third part of the session is entirely dedicated to the exchange of ideas and experiences, supported by engaging online tools. 


  • 13.30 – 13.40 | ISOCARP Institute introduction

    13.40 – 14.00 | Keynote Presentation: Assembling sustainable smart city transitions 
                              Luca Mora, Professor of Urban Innovation, Business School of Edinburgh Napier University

    14.00 – 14.10 | Q&A Session

    14.10 – 14.25 | ISOCARP Institute projects presentation: (+CityxChangeVARCITIES)
                             Dirk Ahlers, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (for +CityxChange)
                             Denia Koloktsa, Professor (Associate) of Technical University of Crete (for VARCITIES)
                             Pietro Elisei, President-elect ISOCARP

    14.25 – 14.55 | Online Workshop  (discussion, sharing experiences, team brainstorming)

    14.55 – 15.00 | Closing



  • Didier Vancutsem – Director of ISOCARP Institute
  • Federico Aili – ISOCARP Institute

Keynote Speaker 

Luca is an Associate Professor of Urban Innovation at the Business School of Edinburgh Napier University, where he is also leading the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Subject Group. Luca is also Professor of Urban Innovation at Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech), where he is collaborating in delivering the €32 million Horizon 2020 project FinEst Twins. Over the course of his professional career, Luca has committed himself to improving the quality of knowledge production and dissemination processes related to urban and regional innovation management in the digital era. His research is interdisciplinary in nature and links urban studies, innovation studies and computer science. Luca’s main research interests include: technology-driven urban and regional innovation dynamics; technology-driven urban sustainability processes; smart city development projects and strategies; Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3); and strategic planning for smart cities and RIS3. Luca is offering a strong support to the emerging scientific and technical developments of urban and regional innovation management. He has a sustained track-record of producing high-quality publication outputs and has contributed to delivery several research and consultancy projects, mainly supported by EU funding schemes (7FP, Horizon 2020). These projects have resulted in the production of new knowledge and innovative products and processes which are helping industry, government, universities and civil society to exploit their collective intelligence and generate the collaborate ecosystems required for developing smart environments that enable urban infrastructure to operate in a more sustainable manner.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions.


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