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REAL CORP 2021

CITIES 20.50 – CREATING HABITATS FOR THE 3RD MILLENNIUM
SMART – SUSTAINABLE – CLIMATE NEUTRAL

26th International Conference on Urban Planning
and Regional Development in the Information Society

25 YEARS of REAL CORP (since 1996)
 

Urbanisation of the world is progressing rapidly and seems to be an unstoppable process. According to current forecasts, more than 6 billion people will live in cities in 2050. Compared to 1950, this is almost a tenfold increase in 100 years, resulting from global population growth and the continuing influx of people into urban areas. As a rule, population growth also means additional land requirements. Urban growth often takes place across administrative borders, cities grow into their surrounding areas, (cross-border) urban and metropolitan regions emerge and also influence the development of rural areas, where in turn numerous initiatives for independent sustainable development emerge.

This dynamic development is accompanied by enormous challenges for the organisation and maintenance of urban processes, particularly in the areas of technical and social infrastructure, affordable housing, mobility, recreation, security of supply, etc. Sustainability, resilience and smartness are essential characteristics of cities and regions and are often compared by means of benchmarks. The key question is how quality of life can be maintained and improved in the face of dynamic development of living space.

Even though the world is currently under the spell of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that climate and environmental issues will be decisive for urban development in the coming decades. Climate adaptation strategies will play a central role, because especially in cities, high density, increasing land sealing, lack of greenery and inadequate ventilation increasingly lead to the formation of urban heat islands and the problem of urban warming.

How can urban and spatial planning and all related disciplines contribute to maintaining urban flows, functioning infrastructure and preserving and improving the quality of life? How can urban and rural living spaces actively cross-fertilise each other's development?

REAL CORP invites for contributions from all areas of expertise to gain a holistic and multi-faceted view on challenges and future scenarios in the urban realm. Next to science-based contributions we also welcome practise-based reports on short term actions and/or long-term strategies on urban and regional development.

We will reflect on the global COVID crisis in a special track, asking for contributions dealing with human well-being, public health, blue and green as critical infrastructure and the role of planning and mitigating strategies before, during and after the pandemic.

Here are the main topics REAL CORP 2021 is going to deal with:

  • Approaching the Big Challenges
    • Climate Adaption and Mitigation
    • Environmental Challenges (reducing emissions, clean environment, biodiversity),
    • Emergencies, Disasters, Epidemics – living, human well being, (home office) working environments, learning, relaxing, socialising, social isolation, green and blue as critical infrastructures
    • Resources (water, energy, clean air, ...)
    • Agriculture, Food Security, Food Governance and Urban Food Systems
    • Welfare; Social Justice; Environmental Justice; Spatial Justice
    • Safety and Security
    • Innovation and Competitiveness
  • Urban Lifestyles
    • Living and working environments
    • recreation, learning and cultural experiences
    • Cities for everyone: diversity, equity, inclusion
  • Real Estate Development and Settlement Patterns (affordable, mixed, resource-optimised)
    • affordable housing
    • mixed urban structures
    • indecent real estate prices versus underused office space and residential buildings
  • Transportation and Mobility (multi-modal, climate neutral, resource-efficient)
  • Energy (Extraction, Consumption, Distribution/Storage, Management)
  • Public Space, Blue-Green Infrastructure
  • Technological Innovation and its Impact on Cities (5G, IoT, blockchain, digital twin, AI, VR, 3D printing, robots, BIM, gaming, …)
  • Post-Carbon Economy and a more Ecological Economy and Society
  • Social Innovation (circular economy, sharing, co-working, co-creation, real labs, common good economy, foundational economy, ...)

For all those topics REAL CORP 2021 asks especially about

  • The role of urban planning and related disciplines
  • Digitisation and technological innovation
  • Short term measures, long range perspectives

There are also some special topics which REAL CORP 2021 presents in close co-operation with the respective partners mentioned:

 

 

Some thoughts and inspiration on REAL CORP 2021 topics

Living in Cities and the Future of Housing – High-Quality, Sustainable, Affordable

What will the housing of the future consist of? Is it just a place for digital nomads to sleep? Is it the multifunctional, all-round smart home? Whether in the city, in the countryside or in the belt in between: The change in our social structure and technological progress is also accompanied by a change in housing forms. The space required per person is constantly growing, the number of people per housing unit is decreasing, but at the same time property and rental prices are rising. This triggers restructuring and displacement processes, gentrification and segregation take place, and sometimes it also leads to increased mobility. How can we measure, classify and cope with the planning challenges in the area of housing? How are the demands on the immediate living environment changing? And, for current reasons: What will happen to the home office, which has been our constant companion in recent months? Will it disappear again or has it come to stay? And if so, what influence can this have on future forms of living?

Keywords:

  • Affordable housing
  • Just a place to sleep?
  • Multifunctional mixed neighbourhoods
  • Everything – everywhere – anytime?
  • Home Office – will we stay there?
  • Sustainable real estate development

The New Mobility – Multimodal, Resource-Saving, Climate-Neutral

In many cities and regions, motorised individual transport is still the dominant mode of transport, at least in terms of its visibility and land use. Sometimes the “optimisation” of private transport is still the focus of planning considerations, even though the limits of its capacity have long been exceeded in many places – but times are changing! More and more cities and urban regions are focusing on reducing the use of private motor vehicles and promoting environmental mobility – walking and cycling combined with attractive public transport services are on the agenda.

At the same time, intensive efforts are being made to convert individual motorised mobility as well as freight transport from combustion engines to emission-free drive systems – e-mobility is the keyword, along with developments such as autonomous driving and an increasing importance of "using instead of owning", i. e. sharing models. Despite all these efforts, how long will it take before we can actually speak of a mobility revolution?

What technological, socio-political and spatial structural changes are necessary to move the modal split further in the direction of environmentally friendly modes of transport? What about the social acceptance of the necessary measures? In any case, the individual forms of transport must not be considered in isolation, but joint efforts are needed to make the transport system sustainable and intermodal.

Keywords:

  • Inter- and multimodality, multifunctional mobility hubs.
  • walkability, bikeability
  • mobility technologies: status – development – perspectives: e-mobility, autonomous driving, ...
  • superinfrastructures: high-speed railway lines, “intelligent” roads, technologies of the future
  • airports and ports: passengers and freight (“The night flight”)
  • logistics

Spatial Patterns: Urban, Rural, Peripheral – The Urban, The Rural and The Sprawl

We all know the typical patterns of urban and rural space. But what about the urban periphery of urban regions? Where does it begin, where does it end, how are the transitions defined? And how do we deal with it in the future? The big problem of peripheral structures is their extensive dependence on the transport network and often a concomitant compulsion to use the car, because the sprawling areas with low population density do not allow for urban supply density and there are often no developed centres like in rural areas.

The periphery is experiencing growth from both sides: on the one hand, city dwellers are leaving the city to settle on the outskirts, because the desire for a home in the countryside is still the top priority for large sections of the population.

How can spatial planning intervene to address the failures of recent decades? Can we transform the periphery into urban and/or rural areas in order to get away from the mobility-heavy lifestyle of the residents there? How can such processes be initiated in order to be accepted by the population in the long term? And what problems will soon arise when their inhabitants are no longer able to be mobile to the required extent in old age?

What does our cultural heritage teach us? What experiences can we draw from our past to make places, cities and regions more attractive and strengthen their identity? Can we also use such considerations to give rural areas affected by shrinkage a future? Or will we eventually have to come to terms with the fact that, despite all efforts, some areas can ultimately only be "run down" in an orderly fashion?

Keywords:

  • Traditional and new urbanism
  • Mixed Cities, short distances
  • Urban Countryside
  • Rural City
  • Metropolitan region
  • Urban Farming
  • Circular Economy
  • Cultural Heritage

Technological Innovation

Internet-based services have long since become an indispensable part of everyday life. The Internet of Things is an essential building block of our society and living space; it links and networks physical objects with virtual space to automate, monitor and control processes. With the new 5G networks, internet availability and bandwidths will be significantly strengthened. Internet-based sensor networks facilitate digitalisation on both a small and large scale: one's own home can be networked into a smart home, Building Information Modelling (BIM) uses the virtual likeness of an entire building from planning to operation, even entire cities (smart cities) use the possibilities and advantages of network-based applications.

What possibilities and applications will the future bring? How does the smart city of the 3rd millennium work? Which innovations are on the verge of a breakthrough? How does the virtualisation of planning work, what challenges can it overcome? The amount of data available is growing - how do we find our way around it and how can we use it?

Keywords:

  • 5G and beyond
  • IoT – Internet of Things
  • Sensor Networks
  • Digital Twins of Cities
  • BIM
  • Building and Construction, Maintenance…
  • Planning Technologies, Data Sources, from data to knowledge and wiser decisions