23rd International Conference on Urban Planning and Regional Development in the Information Society

Expanding Cities – Diminishing Space

4-6 APRIL 2018


Abstract submission deadline until (nearly) Christmas, 23 December 2017

Conference topics

Cities are growing. Retreat and regeneration areas are getting smaller. This brings along enormous challenges and threats.

At the same time there are unprecedented technologies that might help solve the issues.

Can “Smart Technologies” and “Smart Cities” be the answer on how to handle the challenges of urban growth.

What is the role of urban planning in those highly dynamic developments? Let us discuss these issues at REAL CORP 2018!

Some proposed topics for your contribution to REAL CORP 2018:

Facts behind Urban Expansion: Which cities are growing? Why? Where? How? At which rate? Sensors, Satellites, Drones … – modern technologies help monitor, analyse and explain the dynamics of urban and rural areas. Can they also help find solutions?

Exceeding the City Limits, Urbanisation Continues: Cities are growing fast. What can be done if the existing urban areas are exhausted? Expansion into the outskirts – urban sprawl and dedensification, expansion into higher density, expansion into height, expansion into underground spaces?

Housing, Infrastructure, Commercial development, …: the real estate perspective on future cities

GIS, 3D and 4-Dimensional Planning, BIM: When systematically expanding in height and into the underground, how about the rules and the planning in 3rd dimension – do we need a 3D cadastre? Nowadays many buildings are not built to stay forever any more. Especially commercial buildings have a life span; when they have fulfilled their purpose, they can be replaced by something else. So what about 4D planning that requires 4D information systems? Can BIM (Building Information Management) help manage highly complex projects.

Vacant Countryside: Still people tend to move into cities: for better jobs, shorter paths, more infrastructure, easier supply, … Rural areas lose more and more population, but what about further maintenance of these spaces? Will rural areas be marginalised or can they become more attractive again? What about “Smart Villages” and “Smart Countryside”?

Migration: Movement into cities does not only affect the domestic population. Cities also have to face international migration, by choice and in terms of refugees, causing the risk to overburden cities regarding their melting pot functions. What can be done  to improve, organise and manage the coexistence of many different nationalities, religions and culture in a limited area?

Future Mobility: eMobility, autonomous vehicles, (semi-)public transport, intermodal and multimodal mobility, “self-powered mobility” – cycling and walking – or can we even avoid mobility growth by creating an infrastructure of short paths? REAL CORP discusses approaches in passenger mobility as well as in cargo mobility.

Soil Sealing: The total area covered by cement, asphalt, concrete etc. is expanding. Today’s footprint of the world’s urban settlements is more than 1 million square kilometres (which, for reasons of comparability, equals the area of whole France and Spain). Sealing of soil leads to problematic urban microclimates with heat islands and falling ground water levels whereas at the same time the surrounding areas have to absorb all the water that is drained from cities. Extreme weather and flooding cause lots of damage and destruction and lead to further problems by contamination and plagues. Can green buildings, green roofs, vertical farms and green spaces in cities solve the problem, or is it already to late and we can just face the consequences of the last decades’ developments?

Energy of the Future: Today’s energy demand, especially in peak hours, still forces the use of fossile energy sources or nuclear power. However, fossile energy resources are limited – to solve energy demand problems in a long-term perspective, on the one hand renewable energy sources have to be fostered, on the other side the overall demand for energy has to be scaled down introducing low energy urban solutions. Cheap oil is a driving factor of urban growth because it beats down the prices of city supply and logistics.

Scarcity of Resources: The permanent growth of population, especially in cities, has already led to shortages in supply of food and drinking water in some regions of the planet. Also rare-earth elements which are a key factor for (rechargeable) batteries and electronic devices, are subject to limited availability. Continuing urbanisation as in its current form will be an overall threat to global food supplies in the future when food production cannot keep up with population growth any more. Can new spaces for the production of renewable resources be developed? Are there ways to deal more thriftily with non-renewable resources?

Expansion of the Internet, Big Data: In 1984, the whole internet consisted of about 1,000 cross-linked computers. Today approximately 3 billion people have internet access, this equals to 40 percent of the world’s population. Data storage is cheaper than ever before and broadband access makes it easy to have even hugest amounts of data travel around the world, even with mobile devices where the next communication standard 5G is already in preparation. Big Data and the internet of things are  already a reality. What are the consequences for cities, citizens and for urban life?

Cities as Liveable, Accessible, Human-Oriented Places: By means of information and communications technologies cities are transformed into smart organisms that are designed to work perfectly to create a high standard output in terms of knowledge, carbon footprint, mobility and logistics, big data etc. – but what about the people living in the city? Are they willing to be part of a high tech environment? How to design safe, liveable, healthy places to live? There are different approaches towards “Smart Cities”. Sometimes the impression prevails that technology is seen as a self-purpose, but above all cities are for and about people. With all the technology in focus of course the goals of sustainability and resilience remain as important as they have always been. Cities are mainly about people and not about technology, so it is still “quality of life” that should be in focus.

Please feel free to add your own research topics on
“Expanding Cities – Diminishing Space” when submitting an abstract.

Registration and abstract submission

To register and submit your abstract, please go to and sign up for conference participation. If your abstract is not accepted, you may withdraw your registration free of charge. If your abstract is accepted, your registration is automatically confirmed.

Co-operation partners

REAL CORP 2018 is a co-operation of