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In focus: Planning for sustainable development

UN-Habitat and the City of Ghent, an ICLEI member, were distinguished at the awards ceremony during the ISOCARP World Congress 2015. This event offered the opportunity for ICLEI to call for urban and spatial planning practitioners to engage in the development of guidance on low emission urban (re)development.

ISOCARP - the International Society of City and Regional Planners - celebrated its 50th anniversary during its 2015 World Congress in Rotterdam, Netherlands, from 20 to 23 October 2015.

The expansion of the Port of Ghent won the first prize in the Awards for Excellence, celebrating the exemplary planning and multi-stakeholder engagement work done, which included a stakeholder committee facilitated by the City of Ghent, the Province of East Flanders and the Port authority. Jan Briers, Governor of the East Flemish province stated: “We are very excited with this prestigious international award. The Ghent Canal Zone Project is a joint project. Companies, municipalities, workers and residents can be very proud of this together. Ghent port is becoming increasingly dynamic, beautiful, rich and liveable and this is also illustrated by the award that the project was able to receive today.”

In port of Ghent more than 300 businesses employ 61,000 people. In the villages and neighborhoods around the port, there are some 40,000 inhabitants. For more than 20 years, work is being carried out in the Ghent Canal Zone on harmonizing the policy concerning the economy, urban development and the environment.

Award for the project expansion of the Port of Ghent (© Anna Khodyreva)


UN-Habitat was distinguished with the Sam van Embden Award in the category “public or private sector organization”, for a huge contribution to the planning discipline, to the sustainable development of space or place during the last decades, in the difficult context of developing countries. “Planning is a tool for sustainable development” said Raf Tuts, who received the award on behalf of the organization. The Sam van Embden Award is a unique award for the 50th anniversary of ISOCARP. Sam van Embden was one of the founder members and the first President of ISOCARP.

Raph Tutes, UN-Habitat at ISOCARP Congress, (© Anna Khodyreva)

During the congress, ICLEI presented the Solutions Gateway, an online platform developed for local governments to guide low emission development. This is made freely available to local governments worldwide, and was developed under the Urban-LEDS project – “Promoting Low Emission Urban Development Strategies in Emerging Economy Countries”, jointly implemented by UN-Habitat and ICLEI.

While this platform already contains several Solutions with a strong urban and spatial planning component such as Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and Urban Infill Development, an expansion is under development – also requiring urban or spatial planning expertise to support and peer review guidance.

ICLEI warmly invites urban planners to connect and contribute to this important work in progress, offering the online Pool of Experts as one way of connecting to experts. To explore this, please contact us at urban-leds(at)iclei.org