Main Theme: Livable Cities and Innovation

In 2015, the United Nations declared Sustainable Development Goals, which addressed various issues related to local communities (economic, environmental, poverty, education, etc.) to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.

However, the problems of cities and communities in the real world are getting complex – and these issues, including urban regeneration, traffic problems, environmental issues such as climate change, using through digital technology, are inter-related.

Recently, new paradigms for cities, such as shared cities, smart cities, self-driving cars, climate-friendly cities, and digital cities have emerged. On the other hand, there are many problems arise, including the economic downturn and shrinking cities due to aging, limited government funding, and conflicts among community stakeholders.

In order to make more livable city, innovative solutions for inclusive and sustainable urban environments are needed – urban and social innovation to recognize community problems and increase community empowerment is increasing to meet the social needs.

The 15th APSA Congress (titled “Livable City and Innovation”) to be held in Seoul in 2019 will discuss the new paradigm of looking at cities: how to make the city vibrant and what social innovation needs to be implemented.

Sub-Theme 1: Livable City-Making for Planners and Urban Designers

Many cities around the world are in the middle of transformation towards more livable cities in terms of living, working, entertaining, and being educated. When it comes to the characteristics of the most livable cities, a number of urban factors come to the mind — walkable streets, costs of living, affordable housing, transportation options, climate, crime rates, culture, and quality jobs. In the session, the manners that contemporary urban planners and designers are re-making the cities more livable will be discussed with related theories, case studies, and field-based research.

Sub-Theme 2: Inclusive Transportation: Equal Accessibility to All

Transport is essential in everyday life to access healthcare services, get to work and school, and meet friends and family. Thus, easy access to transport plays a crucial role to building a stronger and fairer society. However, not everyone in regions and social groups has the ability of easy accessibility. That is why inclusive transport strategies are attracting public attention. Topics of this session include, but not limited to, theoretical foundation of inclusive transport, regional disparity and social inequality in transport, national, regional and urban transport planning and policy achieving equal accessibility, good practices and/or lessons learnt regarding inclusive transport initiatives, and cultural and social issues in inclusive transport.

Sub-Theme 3: Green Infrastructure and Resilient City 

Sustainable spatial planning is challenging to find more resilient way to the global environmental change – climate change, ecological degradation, or unexpected hazards. What is the mitigation or adaptation strategy for those challenges? How can we incorporate those solutions with the regional to local planning, especially in cities? It needs to discuss with the integrated approach at ecological and social aspects, with the theory and practices across the diverse spatial scales.

Sub-Theme 4: Urban Analytics

In light of the rapid transformation of urban areas as led by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, population decline, and urban regeneration, the section of urban analytics welcomes innovative and cutting-edge research with regard to analytical methods, qualitative and quantitative, for urban planning and landscape architecture. Topics appropriate to this section includes, but not limited to, big data, GIS, spatial analysis, and simulation models in addition to future/smart cities and new and refined formats relevant to the representation of morphological patterns and processes in urban areas.

Sub-Theme 5: Spatial Justice and Planning

Planning has been actively intervened into the issues of social injustice, which is concretized in spatial forms, including racial segregation, inaccessibility of the vulnerable to public services, gendered crimes in public spaces, to name a few. Along with growing concerns with inclusive cities, spatial justice and the equal rights to the cities are regaining attention of the scholars and practitioners. This session explores the way planning theories and practices have involved in or can contribute to improve social justice. Particular focus will be given, but not limited, to gender issue since it has been rarely dealt with, compared to growing interests in it in both theories and policies. Any topics related to gendered inequality as well as other kinds of injustice and their implications to planning are welcomed to be addressed. Examples of topic may include, certainly not limited to, gender mainstreaming projects in urban planning such as women friendly cities and issues related to rights to the cities, inclusive cities, representations of the minority, gendered and racialized patterns of urban crime and accessibility, and precarity.

Sub-Theme 6: Energy and Environmental Issues in Asian Cities

The rapid urbanization in Asia brings greater and greater concerns to energy and environmental issues in Asian cities. Increasing energy consumptions and carbon emissions have broad and complex environmental impacts not only locally, but also globally as evidenced in climate change. As consequences, many Asian cities are suffering from local and regional environmental pollutions such as smog, and from more and more frequent disastrous events, such as hurricanes, urban flooding and heatwaves, which are linked to global climate. This session discusses the descriptive and explanatory analyses of the energy and environmental issues in Asian cities to better understand their mechanisms and relations with urban development, and explores related urban planning, design and policies, and their impacts to better tackle those challenges. Topics in this session may include, but are not limited to: urban form and energy, urban energy system, Urban Heat Island (UHI), urban air pollution, urban metabolism, environmental justice, environmental planning and design, low carbon development, and urban energy and environmental policy.