The Directorate responsible for planning at the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment (I&M) is encouraging young planning professionals in Europe 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 anInternational 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 jointly organized by the Association of European School of Planning (AESOP), theInternational Federation of Housing and Planning (IFHP), the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP), the European Council of Spatial Planners (ECTP-CEU) and the host university.

The YPPA is jointly organised by AESOP, IFHP and ISOCARP and the Directorate for National Spatial Planning, Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, Netherlands (mI&M)

The competition aims to promote innovative ideas on selected spatial planning issues in Europeand stimulate thinking on the role of the urban planner in time of major challenges and rapidurban transformation in economic, social, environmental, demographic and political terms.

Key Dates

The EUSS for young professionals and academics, launched in 2010 by AESOP, is hosted annually by one of the European Higher Education Establishments with planning as one of its disciplines. This year, the Ecole Polytechnique de l'Université de Tours, Département Aménagement (EPU-DA) is organizing the 5th EUSS from 1st – 8th September 2014 in Tours in the mid-west of France (where they say the best French is spoken….).

YPPA Theme

The Award theme for 2014 is ‘Heritage conservation and sustainable urban development’, being also the theme of the 5th EUSS.

‘Sustainable development’ is often regarded as an over-used and too broad a term to have a clear meaning. Yet it will remain a fundamental principle which has to be adhered to in all areas of urban and regional planning and development. So too in historic areas of towns subject to the more strict regulations of heritage conservation.

In such areas, there are inherent contradictions: heritage conservation and environmental sustainability measures are often derived from different areas of policy, usually under the competence of different local government departments and different ministries. For example, measures on heritage sites to improve the eco-efficiency of buildings will be obliged by strict rules to retain elements of architectural conservation. Fulfilling both sets of rules, if possible, almost always means a far higher and sometimes prohibitive budget.

We have to reconcile such heritage conservation measures with the demands of environmental sustainability. This is both possible and essential:

  • Urban heritage is extremely important in terms of the general attractiveness and therefore quality of townscapes and in economic terms for tourism.
  • Technologies are improving and a lot of experience has been built up in both areas of policy and regulation.
  • There is general civic and therefore political support to retain the heritage in such city areas.

The YPPA entries will be expected to identify contradictions between heritage conservation and sustainability, describe new ideas/methods/processes for the mutual adaptation of heritage conservation and urban sustainability measures, illustrate such contradictions and adaptation measures by at least one project either being implemented or proposed, explain the role of the planner in the project and demonstrate the applicability of the new ideas/methods/processes in a broader urban context.


Young planning professionals Awards

There will be a maximum of four prizes, two winning entries and two runners-up. The actual number of prizes will depend on the quality of the entries. Every winner will get free registration to the EUSS and their travel to and accommodation in Tours reimbursed. The winner(s) will in addition get a small cash prize for their stay in Tours.

The prize winners and runners-up will be obliged to present their work and discuss with all participants at the EUSS at a special YPPA half-day session during one of the days of the EUSS. Thepresentation (ppt, pptx, pdf) will be about 20-30 minutes.

The paper will be included in the EUSS publication, to be brought out in the autumn of 2014. There will be a little time after the EUSS to refine the paper.


3rd  March                     Online announcement on websites and social media

25th April                       Abstracts submission deadline

5th May                         Notification of 15 selected abstracts to deliver full papers

30th June                      Full papers submission deadline

11th July                        Assessment of papers by jury

21st July                       Winners' announcement on the websites

1st – 8th September        European Urban Summer School, Tours

Submission Requirements

An abstract should reflect the points laid out above in the last paragraph of section 3.

In order to be able to evaluate the papers according to homogeneous and well-defined assessment criteria, the abstracts submitted will fulfil the following requirements:

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

Text format: a frequent paragraph/new line separation is recommended for easier reading and quick understanding of main paper contents.

Language:The official competition and EUSS language is English.Any text written in a different language will have to be ignored. Non-native English speakers will not be disadvantaged as long as the text is understandable.

The application form can be filled online.

Those candidates whose abstracts are considered suitable by the jury will be asked to submit acomplete paper of some 4-5 pp before the end of June. The final winners will be assessed on the basis of the full paper.

Assessment Criteria

Both the abstracts and the full papers will be assessed according to the following criteria. 

Innovation: the more innovative and creative the proposed new idea/methodology/process/project, the better the assessment.

Relevance: relevance to the proposed award theme and to the re-definition of the planner’s role in urban development

Overall quality and coherence: Clarity, coherence, structure, logic, and analytical soundness of the abstract and paper.

Applicability: the broader applicability of the lessons and/or recommendations to other urban settings in Europe than the one in the proposal.


An international jury representing the four YPPA partner organisations will assess the entries, both abstracts and full papers. The Jury’s decision is final.

Fill out the online application form and submit your abstract. Further information and contact