We are pleased to inform that there is still time until the 31st of December to take part in the Special Issue of PlaNext: Cities in the face of crises - Planning and designing future living environments.

More details here:

The Covid-19 pandemic hit cities all around the world as an acute shock. Both in the emergency and recovery periods, we have seen the significance of local action in search of urgent responses to the challenges created by the pandemic in cities. One way or another, planning authorities have developed temporary solutions trying to cope with the health problems in everyday life. While different actors developed strategies deployed to deal with mostly the impact on public health, it is questionable how they respond to the urban inequalities derived from socio-spatial injustice in cities.

At the moment, a number of cities are debating the need for new long-term recovery plans and programmes in order to develop frames and new visions for policy and practice. This moment could be considered as a new window of opportunity to trigger changes. These attempts display the significance of preparing cities for known and unknown stresses in future. The current situation opens up the main question: Could the pandemic shock be a triggering point for learning how to respond to complex environmental, health, and socio-spatial inequalities? In what ways can it catalyse the development of alternative coping mechanisms for future challenges? How can local authorities respond to future crises better? In the first period of emergency, public action has been devoted to health measures and the management of public spaces. Going beyond these dimensions, what type of spatial mediums are needed? And more specifically, how do local authorities approach the planning and design of public spaces for all in this changing context? What new conditions may provide the ability to manage urban inequalities in public spaces?

We are specifically interested in mapping the opportunities crisis may produce, and the different planning and design-related effective responses to the Covid-19 pandemic in different socio-spatial contexts. Contributions, including research papers and shorter pieces, may report empirical and/or theoretical inquiries in relation, but not limited, to any of the following themes:

  • Challenges for planning and designing public spaces
  • Temporality and public space
  • Change in urban governance: demands, actors, resources, initiatives and forms of support
  • Spatial effects of forced migration and mobility
  • Planning and designing new modes of consumption
  • Rise in the socio-spatial inequalities (gentrification, polarization, marginalization…)
  • Transformative urban recovery programs
  • Changes in mobility and infrastructures (needs and solutions)
  • Emerging new lifestyle patterns in cities

The submitted manuscripts will be published in the open-access journal plaNext – Next Generation Planning.

Please send an abstract (150 words) expressing your interest by 31st December 2021 via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Your abstract should outline the special theme, geographical area, and research questions clearly. Once you have been notified of abstract acceptance you will be asked to submit a full paper (7000 words) by 28th February 2021.