Institut for Planlægning

institut for Planlægning

Transforming Urban Governance in a Post-Pandemic World - The “New Normal” in Planning and Participation

Transforming Urban Governance in a Post-Pandemic World - The “New Normal” in Planning and Participation

This conference is planned as a hybrid in-person and virtual event. The in-person event will be held at Aalborg University, CREATE building in Aalborg city center, Denmark. Venue: Rendsburggade 14, 9000 Aalborg. Deadline for abstracts (see form below): 31st July 2021. The conference is free of charge, but registration is mandatory.


20.10.2021 kl. 12.00 - 22.10.2021 kl. 13.00


About the conference

The world is facing unprecedented risks. In just a few weeks, the Covid-19 pandemic has swept across the world and caused tremendous human tragedy and a historical economic setback for which we still do not know the full impact. The pandemic has also given rise to the notion of an emerging “new normal”, reflecting changes in attitudes and behaviours. The pandemic has also propelled cities and citizens through a decade of digital transformation overnight. Cities across Europe and the world are now facing a common challenge in planning for a deeply uncertain future to deliver carbon neutrality whilst transitioning towards the post-pandemic “new-normal”. Both climate emergency and Covid-19 have thrown into sharp relief the limitations of urban governance, demonstrating the urgency for new solutions, given EU commitments to define decarbonization pathways for cities by 2050.

The UERA Conference aims to promote diverse approaches to the understanding and framing of problems generated from experience of the pandemic in cities, and to address the transformation of paradigms of participation, collaboration, governance, creation of urban commons, in order to rethink urban research alliances for urban governance and participation.

The Conference aims to promote pluri-disciplinary and interdisciplinary as well as transdisciplinary research on urban studies and sciences across planning, design, management, geography, the built environment, technology, data and digital innovation, ecosystem services, artistic creation, sociology and politics.

Themes can be proposed on the relations between the pandemic and the digital transformations of cities, the creation of mini publics and deliberation after social distancing, climate change and citizen participation in the ‘new normal’. The issues on capacity building and sense of community are particularly challenged in a future ‘new normal’ after the post-pandemic era. Lessons and experiences across thematic issues on energy, food, mobility, biodiversity, and new forms of partnership and participatory strategies for urban justice and inclusiveness, are much needed as well as issues of conflict and potentials of mediation in creating urban solidarity.

Focus areas include but are not limited to:

Urban participatory methods and innovative governance forms
Urban planning and integrated models for cross-sectoral understanding for sustainability and resilience
Urban smart and data driven urbanism, participatory data platforms and technologies for citizens-policy interaction  
Urban innovation hubs and labs for digitalization, accessibility and connectivity
Urban transformative economies and welfare models for innovative governance

Submission forms:

Abstract - please fill the form before 31st July 2021 

Registration for conference - please fill the form before 30th September 2021

Key dates 

31st July 2021: Deadline abstract submissions
15th August 2021:  Abstract Feedback from the conference team
15th August-30th September 2021: Registration
20-22nd October 2021 - Conference
8th January 2022: Full Paper Submissions (where applicable)  
March 2022: Feedback from review round 
June 2022: Full Paper final re-submission 
Autumn 2022: Publication volume book by Springer

Contact :

Scientific organization committee:

Urban Europe Research Alliance (UERA) Working Group on Urban Governance and Participation: Enza Lissandrello (Aalborg University, Denmark), Pia Laborgne (EIFER, Germany), David Ludlow (University of the West of England, Bristol, UK), Jolanta Dvarioniene (Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania).


Further information about the Conference can be obtained by the chair of the conference 
Enza Lissandrello (  



Transforming Urban Governance in a Post-Pandemic World

The “New Normal” in Planning and Participation




Wednesday 20 th October


12:00 – 12:30 – Registration

12:30 – 12:45 – Welcome and Objectives of the UERA Conference 2021

12:45 – 13:45 - John Pløger , University of Agder , Norway – Planning Never Starts, Planning Never Ends – the Force of Working Unfinished

13:45 – 14:00 – Coffee Break

14:00 – 16:00 – Session One and Round Table: Learning from New Governance Practice in COVID 19 Times

16:00 – 16:15 – Coffee Break

16:15 – 17:15 –  Marta  Smagacz-Poziemska  - Institute of Sociology of the Jagiellonian University, Poland Normality Under Uncertainty. Praxeological Approach in Research on the (Re)production of a 'Normal' Everyday Life in the City

17:15 – 17:40 – Concluding Remarks

19:00 – UERA Conference Dinner


Thursday 21st October


9:00 – 11:00 – Session Two and Round Table: The E volving Roles of Communities (and Stakeholders) Participation

11:00 – 11:15 – Coffee Break

11:15 – 12:15 - Pietro Elisei , ISOCARP and Urban Sofia – Innovating Urban Governance: Challenges, Tools and Ideas from Contemporary Practices


1 2:30 – Lunch at R endsburggade Cantine

13:30 – 15:30 – Session Three and Round Table: Planning for Healthy and Equitable Cities

15:30 – 15:45 – Coffee Break

15:45 – 16:15 – Anne Juel Andersen, Aalborg Municipality - The Aalborg Transition in the Making

16:15 – 18:00 Aalborg site visits - with Scott William Raby,  f.eks  Aalborg, Denmark

Friday 22nd October

9:00 – 11:00 – Session Four and Round Table: Experiencing the New Normal in Post-Pandemic Cities

11:00 – 11:15 – Coffee Break

11:15 – 12:15 – Rob Hopkins , Transition Towns & Transition Network – From What Is to What If: How to Build a Community Imagination Infrastructure?

12:30 – Lunch at Rendsburggade Cantine

13:30 – 14:30 – Jonas Bylund , Management Board JPI Urban Europe - Driving Urban Transitions in Europe and Beyond: Stepping-up the Game for the Next Seven Years (DUT)

14:30 – 15:00 - Concluding remarks

15:00 – 17:00 – UERA Meeting and the Knowledge Hub on Governance and Participation


View program as PDF


Free - but registration mandatory


Aalborg University and Urban Europe Research Alliance


Rendsburggade 14, 9000 Aalborg

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30.09.2021 kl. 00.00

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