City Planning in the Twenty First Century
A Competition to Articulate a New Path Forward
Terms of Reference, July, 2011
You are invited to share your ideas on how Urban and City Planning should respond to the urgentissues faced by cities in the 21
Century. How should we plan for sustainable cities? The papershould not exceed 3,000 words, and should include: (i) an Abstract; (ii) a brief review of thetenets of urban planning and previous and potential paradigm-shifts; (iii) an appreciation of thetension between the ideal future vision for cities
and the demands of today’s taxpayers.
suggest that you describe the “ideal urban planning” that would
serve the future
city, taking into account today’s unique
conditions, such as:Technological possibilities;Increasing knowledge and creativity;Expanding connectivity and borderless communities;Capacity to engage and quickly share knowledge around the globe;City scale;Resource scarcity, such as constraints on carbon-based energy sources (climate change,peak oil);Greater climate variability and rising sea levels;Demographic changes, employment, economic constraints and expansion, inequality andurbanizing poverty;Rate of urbanization and total global population.You should also include major issues such as:The necessity to move towards zero-carbon atmospheric emission (and implications fororganizations and construction of the urban space);The promise of greater democracy and citizen involvement in urban planning regardlessof their economic or legal status;The vision of a compassionate city attentive to its poorest residents;The uncertainty associated with all urban forecasts (climate, resources, political,demographic, technological development).Also consider how much of your vision is resource-dependent. Can sustainable and affordablegreen cities be scaled up with much greater efficiency and lower resource consumption? Yourvision should recognize the potential of, and threats to, cities
the anchors of our economies,cultures, environmental challenges and drivers of local, regional and global political actions.Your proposals will be analyzed by a committee of urban specialists (from well-knownuniversities, organizations and think tanks). The best papers will be published and disseminatedwidely.The winning entry will receive $5,000 plus travel costs for a speaking tour that could include atleast Paris, Boston, Toronto and Washington, D.C.