• May 30, 2013




The Directorate responsible for planning at the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment (I&M) is encouraging young planning professionals to provide new ideas on the forms, methods and possibilities in spatial planning needed to face present-day challenges facing our human settlements. It is therefore using the European Urban Summer School (EUSS) as the main forum to organise an International Young Planning Professionals Award (YPPA), giving them the opportunity to present their proposals on planning methods, explaining why these ideas can be considered innovative and of a broader, more general application.

The EUSS is a Summer School jointly organised by the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP), the International Federation of Housing and Planning (IFHP), the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP), the European Council of Spatial Planners (ECTP-CEU).

The YPPA are jointly organised by AESOP, IFHP, ISOCARP and the Directorate for National Spatial Planning, Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment in The Netherlands which also funds the award.


The competition aims to promote innovative ideas on spatial planning in Europe from young professionals and stimulatethinking on the role of the urban planner in time of major challenges and rapid urban transformation in economic, social, environmental, demographic and political terms.Planning is "out of fashion". Yet it is needed, but has to prove its added value by offering the means to meet contemporary challenges in another way than it has traditionally done.


EUSS 2013
The EUSS 2013 will be held from 8th – 15th September 2013 at the Universidad CEU San Pablo University, Madrid, Spain.
The theme of the Summer School is ‘Strategies for the Post-Speculative City’.
It will provide a platform to discuss possible ways for cities to deal with the wounds inflicted by speculative urbanism and introduce new ways for cities to plan in a more adaptive, sustainable (economically, environmentally and socially), integrated and responsible way.

Award theme 2013
The theme of the YPPA in 2013 is ‘Ensuring climate resilient cities: innovative ideas for effective measures in a low-level investment environment’.

The excesses of the neo-liberal political philosophy and the irresponsibility of the financial sector have led to a major economic downturn and a tight rein on funds for investment in all sectors of society. This poses a real challenge to the many facets of urban development. In the search for economic growth and the release of new investment finance, planning is seen in most European countries as a hindrance whose influence is to be cut down or even cut out altogether.

Yet at the same time, we need investment in the urban environment, not only in the traditional areas of stimulating economic growth, such as infrastructure and housing, but also to prepare ourselves for major challenges such as climate resilience and energy efficiency, which, on the face of it, seem separated from the aim of economic growth, but could possibly involve investments which stimulate economic growth as well. New, creative ideas are needed to create and implement projects not just which help our cities become more climate resilient, but also which contribute, however, indirectly, to economic growth and social cohesion.

The YPPA this year is looking for innovative projects, in a conceptual or in an implementation phase, which are aimed at adapting (parts of) cities to prepare for extremities of climate (floods, drought, excessively high and low temperatures). Particular attention will be paid to how such projects are (to be) implemented in today’s tight fiscal circumstances, and how they are combined with other aspects of the local development agenda, such as stimulating sustainable economic growth, bottom-up governance and citizen participation and promoting the functionality of the public realm and social cohesion.



Young planning professionals (and propose projects that they are involved in and working on, which can be either in the conceptual, political decision-making or implementation phase. A recent completed project can also be submitted on the basis of a detailed analysis by the author, if particularly relevant to the proposed theme.

Admissions will be accepted for individuals from all over Europe.

Every copyright infringement will imply the immediate exclusion from the competition.


There will be a maximum of six prizes. The actual number of prizes will depend on the quality of the entries. The winner(s) will get free participation to the EUSS.
The Jury will also decide about reimbursement of travel and accommodation costs and/or in addition a small cash prize for selected winners.

All prize-winners will be invited to present their work and discuss with all other participants at the EUSS at a half-day session during one of the days of the EUSS, most probably Wednesday 11th September. Their work will be published in the publication of EUSS 2013.


Interested parties will be asked to fill in the application form on the organisers’ websites, submit a short abstract. A short-list of candidates will be selected and asked to produce a full paper, on the basis of which the winners will be chosen.

The winners will be asked to make a PowerPoint presentation for the Summer School session. The paper, with illustrations, will be published in the publication of EUSS 2013.

The application form can be downloaded from the websites of AESOP (, IFHP ( and ISOCARP (


The abstract will:

-    consist of a short description of their project,

-    contain a short analysis on how the project contributes to climate resilience and how the project is implementable in the present economic & financial conditions and political conditions of the country and city concerned,

-    explain the role of the planner in this process

-    demonstrate the applicability of the ideas and experiences contained in the project to other European contexts; what the planning community as a whole can learn from different aspects of the project.

In order to be able to evaluate the papers according to homogeneous and defined judging criteria, the abstracts submitted will conform to the following:

Total length: abstracts will be limited to max. 6000 characters, including spaces.

Text format: a frequent paragraph/new line separation for easier reading and quick understanding.

Language: The official competition language is English. Any text written in a different language will be ignored. Although the quality of the English must be sufficient for the jury to make its assessment, it is not a factor in that assessment. Non-English native speakers will not be disadvantaged, and will, if necessary, be assisted in the editing of their final publication paper.

The abstracts themselves should not contain information about the author or any other sign of recognition, on penalty of disqualification.


After the assessment of the abstracts by the jury, the short-listed candidates will be asked to to submit a complete paper/essay on the proposed project basically expanding on the core elements described in the abstract and any other elements they wish to write about. The full paper should contain some illustrations which will be included in the power point presentation at the EUSS. If the candidate wishes, (s)he may hand in the written paper and the presentation (ppt, pptx, pdf) together.




22nd April                        Online announcement on websites & social media of organisers and partners

7th JuneAbstract submission deadline

22nd June                        Notification of short-listed abstracts

22nd July                          Full paper submission deadline

1st August                        Jury assessment

3rd August                        Announcement of prize winners

August                               Arrangements for prize winners to attend EUSS

8th-15th September       European Urban Summer School 2013



Assessment criteria

Abstract and full paper will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

Innovative and effective nature of the project: Is the project new, different, potentially effective and realistically implementable.

Relevance to the award’s theme and the level of coherence between the theme  and the ideas and experiences presented in the abstract/ paper.

Level of clarity of the analysis:  the ability to analyse the chosen project in an original way.

Applicability of experience: the ability of the project to be more broadly applicable, to formulate practical recommendations and learn lessons relevant for other European cases.

Contribution to new thinking in the role of planning in contemporary Europe

Overall quality of the submission: The coherence of the abstract and its ability to set out a logical framework for understanding the proposed project; the ability to structure the ideas logically and to present the analysis, experience and recommendations in a clear and synthetic document.




An international jury will judge both the abstracts and the full papers and will consist of:
Piotr Lorens International Society of City and Regional Planners - ISOCARP
Derek Martin International Federation of Housing and Planning - IFHP
Izabela Mironowicz Association of European School of Planning – AESOP

Marijn van der Wagt Ministry ofInfrastructure and Environment, The Hague, Netherlands


The Jury reserves the right to not consider in the evaluation phase the abstracts and papers that do not meet the criteria mentioned in the guidelines. The Jury’s decision is final and sovereign in order to determine the winning abstracts and papers according to the assessment criteria. Moreover the Jury can allocate the prize following different terms in case of ex-aequo or similar level of work.