Federation for
Housing and

Young Planning Professionals Award 2013

As in 2012, the Young Planning Professionals Award (YPPA) was in 2013 again integrated into the European Urban Summer School (EUSS), which was held at the Universidad CEU San Pablo in Madrid, Spain from 8th-15th September last.

The Young Planning Professionals Award (YPPA) was a joint IFHP, ISOCARP, AESOP activity sponsored by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment.

This year the theme of the YPPA was: ‘Ensuring climate resilient cities: innovative ideas for effective measures in a low-level investment environment’.  There were two truly international winners: Veronika Kovacsova (a Slovak attached to the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture and living and working in Vienna) and Clenn Kustermans (a Dutchman working in Belgium).

Veronika Kovacsova
Veronika’s paper ‘Urban Permeability: on plants and Plinths’ compared two totally different areas of Bratislava – the densely populated old town with only 6% open and green space, and the pre-fab mass-housing neighbourhood Petrzalka, with too much (66%) open space, causing a level of social dis-functioning. The paper looks into the different planning strategies and specific measures being taken with very limited financial resources in these vastly different areas to improve both their social functioning and their climate resilience.

Clenn Kustermans
Whereas Veronika’s paper looked at the micro, neighbourhood level, Clenn’s paper ‘Après nous le déluge’ looked at the macro, city-level.  He compared the climate resilience measures being taken in the three port cities of Antwerp, Rotterdam and Hamburg as part of their urban development strategies. These port cities, as concentrations of population and major economic hubs, are in the front line of the fight against sea-level rise, so have to find the resources to invest in resilience which is for them a main priority. At the same time the cities, as any other major centre, have to adapt to changing social and spatial circumstances in their urban development. He drew some interesting parallels and conclusions from all three cities in which public-private partnership plays a central role and the ‘planner’ has to find new procedures and tools.

EUSS 2013 publication
As there were only two winners this year (in 2012 there were four, with two additional honourable mentions), the jurors of the YPPA – Izabela Mironowicz (AESOP), Piotr Lorens (ISOCARP) and Derek Martin (IFHP) also contributed to the half-day YPPA session at the EUSS with presentations looking respectively into the topic of speculation and the way it affects the city, into examples of somewhat different planning and development projects from Singapore and Australia and into the way in which the quite socialist system of public housing in the Netherlands has had to adapt to the neo-liberal wind of change.
All these papers will be included in the EUSS 2013 publication which will be published in February 2014, once again with the grateful thanks to the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment for its support in giving young planning professionals a platform to express their ideas in what is especially for them a difficult employment climate.

Next year’s EUSS and YPPA will be held at the Ecole Polytechnique de l’Université de Tours in France.  The call for abstracts will be going out at the beginning of next year, so young planning professionals, keep a look out!