44th ISOCARP World Congress Held in Dalian
The 44th World Congress of the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP), jointly organized by ISOCARP and the Urban Planning Society of China (UPSC) in collaboration with Dalian Municipal Government, was held in Dalian from Sept. 20 to 23, 2008, with the theme of Cities Without Sprawl: A Way Towards Sustainable Urbanization.
As a world-wide organization for senior professional city planners, ISOCARP holds a world congress every year in different countries, which is regarded as the top-level conference in the field of planning. This year, about 190 international professional planners from different countries and more than 70 Chinese planners attended this great event. Mr. XIA Deren, Mayor of Dalian, Mr. Pierre Laconte, President of ISOCARP, Mr. ZOU Deci, Deputy Executive President of UPSC, and Mr. SHEN Jianguo, the representative of UN Habitat, gave their ebullient remark respectively on the opening ceremony of the congress, while Mr. QIU Baoxing, Vice Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Construction of China, Mr. Roman Uhel, Head of the Space Analysis Section of European Environment Agency, Mr. Alfonso Vegara, President of International Metropolis Foundation, and Mr. Jeff Kenworthy, Professor of Curtin University in Perth of Australia delivered their keynote speech.
On the congress, the delegates carried out heated discussions on six sub-themes, i.e., economic study on city sprawl, public transportation, concepts and policies restraining city sprawl, metropolis management, ecological management and cultural transition, and city forms between city sprawl and compact city. The planners from both home and abroad stressed that, based on the current conditions of environmental pollutions and scarce resources, urban development should adopt an intensive and compact pattern, which means that the mixed use of lands should be promoted, the reliance to cars in cities should be reduced, and a diversified city public transportation system should be established, etc. In addition, two special seminars, namely, “Master Plan: Sustainable Urban Development Strategies” and “Seaside Planning”, were jointly held by ISOCARP and UPSC, on which ISOCARP presented the 2008 Gerd Albers Award to the winner. Before the congress, ISOCARP held an “International Youth Planners Workshop” in the College of Arts and Architecture of Dalian University of Technology, in which young planners from 17 countries participated.
The delegates unanimously agreed that the 44th ISOCARP World Congress was a very meaningful and successful event, especially because it has led to more intensive professional exchange among individuals and institutions from China and all over the world.