YA conference summary & selective list of upcoming planning conferences

One of the last major spatial planning events was the 12th AESOP Young Academics conference, held at the University of Groningen 26-29 March 2018. Following last year’s YA conference (focusing on planning and entrepreneurship), this year’s conference was entitled “Navigating Change: Planning for societal and spatial transformation”).  This year, 53 participants came from more than 30 universities in Europe and the USA. You can read a concise conference summary by Steven Forrest, one of six PhD researchers who constituted the organising committee. Stay put for an upcoming conference report which will provide more detail about the outputs of the conference.

If you are interested in public participation and local democracy, a noteworthy event that almost went unnoticed for many is the international Improving Democracy conference hosted by the Swedish Association of Local and Regional Authorities (SKL), held 17-18 May in Stockholm, which featured a wide range of international experts. You can find all contributions to the conference here.

The next major event is of course the AESOP Congress in Gothenburg 10-14 July, held at Chalmers University of Technology, with the theme “Making Space for Hope”.

The rest of this post is a selection of upcoming research and/or practitioner conferences that could be of interest to you, most of which still accept abstract submissions. Many of these have been posted on the YA Facebook page.  They are classified by region (Europe vs Global) and by date.

If you would like to share events that can still be attended, do leave a comment below the post.


Many international conferences in Europe can be found on the following pages of the World Urban Planning magazine, the Regional Studies Association and CitizenLab (see below under “Global”). Here are some individual conferences held in Europe.


East-West Arc: Delivering the Future Symposium  will take place at the University of Westminster, London, on 19 June 2018, of particular interest to planners, architects and civil engineers in the south of England.

The annual RTPI Convention (Royal Town Planning Institute) will take place in London on 21 June 2018. Attendance can be expensive for young academics and practitioners, unless your organisation can sponsor you.

The City (Re)Shaped will be held at the University of Leeds on 11-12 Sept 2018 , with a 29 June 2018 deadline for abstracts.

The annual RGS-IBG international conference (Royal Geographical Society and Institute of British Geographers) will be held at Cardiff University 28-31 August 2018. Although abstract submission has closed, the event is worth attending, with plenty of research being highly relevant to spatial planning.


Growing Bad? will focus on the Regional Sub-Urban Housing Challenge, held at RWTH Aachen University, Germany, 6-7 September 2018. Aachen is close enough to anyone living in the Netherlands and Belgium too.

Resilient Cities 2019, the Global Forum of ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability), will be held in Bonn on 26-28 June 2018.


The 1st Annual Meeting of the Cycling Research Board will take place at the University of Amsterdam on 14-16 Nov 2018, deadline for submission is 15 June 2018.

The African Perspectives Conference BK will be held at TU Delft, Netherlands, 25-27 March 2019. See also below.


Smart Greens 2019 will be held in Heraklion, Crete, 3-5 May 2019. Quite techy and engineering-minded, but also very relevant to the more spatial-planning-minded among us.


Urban Transitions 2018: “Integrating urban and transport planning, environment and health for healthier urban living” will be held in Barcelona on 25-27 November 2018. Abstract submission until 8 June 2018.

The 11th International Forum on Urbanism Conference: “Reframing Urban Resilience Implementation: aligning Sustainability and Resilience” will be held in Barcelona on 10-12 Dec 2018, and in Jakarta in March 2019.

Global (i.e. not just European)

The Regional Studies Association routinely hosts many conferences and seminars across the world. Check out the RSA network as well.

Here is a list of relevant world planning conferences, on the website of the online magazine World Urban Planning.

And here is a list of upcoming Smart City events for 2018, delivered to you by the Brussels-based planning consultancy CitizenLab.


The African Perspectives Conference BK will be held at TU Delft, Netherlands, 25-27 March 2019. It is a venue for sharing “African Perspectives on Design, Planning and Construction: Research and practice for inclusive, fair and sustainable urbanisation.” It is hosted by Planners for Democracy and African Perspectives +12. Although held in the Netherlands, it deserves due mention here.


The 11th International Forum on Urbanism Conference held in Barcelona, Spain, will also be held in Jakarta in March 2019 (see website link for more details, posted in due time)


Picture credit: Infinite, by AurelioZen on Flickr, Non-Commercial CC License Attribution 

Please leave a comment below if you would like to share upcoming events.


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