Take on the future

Take on the Future

Last one week for registration. ‘Take on the future - Critically reflecting on Planning Visions’ is a two-day conference convened on 10 and 11 December 2019, in Rotterdam and The Hague, the Netherlands. It aims at identifying innovative planning approaches to a more resilient future, bringing experts from Netherlands and Europe and debating over the relevance for the recently published draft Dutch national environmental vision NOVI.

Deadline for registration extended till 5th December

— Register here for whole conference (2 day pass)

— Register here for opening night

— Registration link for students

— Contribute for free tickets

Critical challenges from climate change, global economic competition, and increasing social and economic disparities create urgent demands for new territorial development tools that will ensure a resilient society. These challenges increase uncertainty and competition in society. Conventional planning tools are no longer sufficient to cope with the interconnected and cascading effects of social and spatial change. Building resilience requires integrated and adaptive action across sectors, levels of government and the public-private divide. Hence, our planning tools are required to change with the changing times.

To develop capacity for integrated and adaptive action is one of the key aims of the new Dutch national spatial vision (Nationale Omgevingsvisie, NOVI). The vision recognizes that challenges cannot be dealt with by government alone but need action by multiple actors who collectively can address diverse objectives, cultures and competences. The vision makes a need for innovative approaches that reach out to, and unify, diverse actors evident. It simultaneously raises questions about what these new takes on the future of the country imply and how they can indeed be implemented. The conference brings together scholars and practitioners in development policies, spatial planning and territorial governance from several European countries.

Two-day conference

This conference seeks to critically evaluate the performance of spatial planning, territorial policies and infrastructure tools in the context of multiple urgent societal challenges. It seeks to discuss how the integration of planning approaches can contribute to the implementation of a vision as NOVI. Does NOVI combine regulatory, financial, and soft planning instruments in a way that improves the efficiency and effectiveness of planning? Does it appropriately acknowledge the spatial diversity of regions? Does NOVI provide sufficiently robust guidance, while involving societal actors? What outcomes – including undesirable side-effects – can be anticipated? How can these be fostered or mitigated?

The conference ‘Take on the Future’ will engage scholars and practitioners in the fields of development policies, spatial planning, territorial governance and regional design from several European countries. Drawing on their knowledge and practical experience these will engage in an active dialogue about planning for a resilient society and review of NOVI. We hereby cordially invite you to be a part of this discussion.


Day 1 — Tuesday 10th December, 2019 at Rotterdam (The New Institute)

15:00 — Registration and coffee

15:30 — Welcome and introduction by Paul Gerretsen (Director, Deltametropolis Association)

16:00 — What is new in Planning? by Daniel Galland (NMBU, Norway)

16:15 — Opening panel discussion
Panel members — Henk Bouwman (France), Mike Emmerik, Ruth Höppner, Han Meyer, Cristina Cavaco (Portugal)

17:30 — Dinner

— Opening night 

19:00 — National planning and environmental vision (NOVI) by Emiel Reiding (Director, Nationale Omegevingsvisie)

Dutch planning perspective by Kees Christiaanse (Founding Partner, KCAP Architects & Planners) – Unfortunately Kees Christiaanse cannot be present at the conference due to health reasons.

19:30 — Reflection on future planning perspectives by Joachim Declerck (Founding Partner, Architecture Workroom Brussels)

20:00 — Book launch

20:10 — Opening statements of international experts —John Bachtler, Daniel Galland, Lawrence Barth, Hans Leinfelder, Fernando Nunes de Silva, René van der Lecq

20:50 — Conclusions by Paul Gerretsen

21:00— Borrel


Day 2 — Wednesday 11th December, 2019 at Den Haag (Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, meeting hall)

09:00 — Registration and coffee

09:30 — Session #1 : Understanding rationales of NOVI, Chaired by — Ingrid Post (Environment manager/deputy program director, NOVI)
Speakers — Fernando Nunes da Silva (Portugal), Robert Dijksterhuis, Rienk Kuiper, Hans Leinfelder

10:45 — Session #2 : Planning instruments on par with societal challenges, Chaired by — Dagmar Keim (Strategic policy advisor, Gemeente Amsterdam)
Speakers — Lawrence Barth (UK), Jochem de Vries, Ries van der Wouden

12:00 — Lunch

13:00 — Session #3: Regional design: addressing spatial diversity, Chaired by — Agnes Förster (Professor, RWTH)
Speakers — Ries van der Wouden, Valeria Lingua (Italy), Verena Balz

14:15 — Session #4: Institutional integration and participation, Chaired by — Ellen van Bueren (Professor of Urban Development Management, TU Delft)
Speakers — René van der Lecq (Belgium), John Bachtler (European Policies Research Centre), Henk Hartzema, Cecilia Braun

15:30 — Coffee

15:45 — International review NOVI – panel discussion chaired by Tracy Metz
Panel members — Ellen van Bueren, Agnes Förster, Ingrid Post, Dagmar Keim, Milena Ivkovic

16:45 — Conclusion: ‘Takes on the Future

17:00 — Drinks and snacks

Session details

Session # 1 Understanding NOVI rationales

The first session is dedicated to a deeper understanding and critical assessment of NOVI. Building upon knowledge from the fields of spatial planning and territorial governance it debates the vision’s constituting principles. Do these principles correspond to the contemporary critical challenges that there are?

Session #2 Planning instruments on par with societal challenges

This session investigates planning instruments that contribute to re-frame the planning system on par with the transitions and challenges that we are facing at the moment. At the same time, the tools used for integration are no longer fit for purpose and the underpinning institutional apparatus of the Dutch planning doctrine is disordered. Do the planning tools that NOVI suggests sufficiently address the cascading effects of current spatial and societal change?

Session #3 Design-led approaches to resilience

This session analyses how design-led planning approaches can contribute to the implementation of a vision as NOVI. Building upon insights into the nature, characteristics and performances of design practice, the session discusses how these approaches can address spatial and institutional diversity, encourage thinking across diverse levels of scale, and satisfy increasing demands for deliberation in the societal realm. How can design practice contribute to adaptive planning and resilience?

Session # 4 Institutional integration and participation

the last session investigates how a vision as NOVI can be fostered by local action and – vice versa – how local initiatives can be supported during the implementation of such a vision. Building upon insights into planning for resilient societies it is discussed how planning guidance can stimulate local self-governance while also safeguarding overarching, supra-local objectives. How is NOVI expected to affect local engagement and actors?

The New Planning dialogue

This is the third event of The New Planning Dialogue, in the series of eight inspiring activities in the upcoming years. The conference is being developed by Vereniging Deltametropool together with AESOP, Delft University of Technology, European Policy Research Centre and University of Groningen.


You can join the 2-day conference by registering through this link. Register here by 5 December 2019.

You can join only the opening night lecture by registering through this link. Register before 9 December 2019.

The conference is free of charge for members of Vereniging Deltametropool and The New Planning. Please check your email to find your personalised invitation.

The event will be in English. For any other information regarding this, contact Alankrita Sarkar

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