How planning help medium-sized cities to improve their attractiveness?

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Reflection on new housing and planning opportunities for middle-sized cities in the wake of the pandemic.

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Main Themes

Are the middle-sized cities the winners of the post corona? How resilient (strong and lasting) is the territorial reshuffle to the benefit of the medium sized cities? Are the large cities continuing to grow?Is the focus on medium sized cities leading to more fragmentation of our territories? Does the tendency to fragment imply a new territorial balance to make the revitalization of medium-sized towns a reality?

Since the start of lockdown, and under social pressure, a series of factors have changed or are likely to change that challenge architects and planners alike. How sustainable are these new behaviours in a post corona environment (working conditions, housing, travels, food and agriculture, general mobility, ecology, health

How these changes are reflected in the spatial organisation of the urban and rural areas, and their interrelations with the large cities or regions. if people are living and working at home more than before does this change our spatial planning?

There is a population shift in the centre of the large cities: what does that mean for democracy and social issues?Employment, at the heart of concern: whatever the assets of medium-sized cities in terms of living environment, employment remains a central issue to trigger a move from the larger agglomerations.

The planning impacts are felt at different scales: retail, various infrastructures, real estate with overcapacity of offices or storage places, soft mobility and temporary cycle paths, social needs, cultural aspects, housing costs and price, education… Impact also on the type of planning such as tactical planning - transitional before transformational.To what extent the generalization of teleworking will either give a second breath to the "train effect", and no only to the High Speed, for cities more or less an hour from their economic capitals, or lead to a strengthening of peri-urban areas?

Physical proximity replaced by digital proximity: but it is not guaranteed that digital can meet all the needs in terms of culture, leisure, education, health or transport. Neighbourhood and proximity: during confinement, the inhabitants discovered their immediate environment, a regulated social sphere and their neighbours; is that sufficient to create a sense of belonging to a community?

Additional authority to local levels. What comes first - health as a global/national issue -before the spatial planning- or the other way. Denmark is discussing to integrate Health in the Planning Act, and that will change the responsibility of the parties involved in planning, and the role of the cities/ municipalities.


( Confirmed )

Christer Larsson, Malmo, Sweden - Lawrence Barth, London, England - Helle Juul, Copenhague, Denmark - Sylvain Ducas, Montreal, Canada - Monica von Schmalensee, Sweden - Andreas Schubert, Rostock, Germany - Fernando Nunes Da Silva, Portugal

( to be confirmed )

Karolina Skog, Stockholm, Sweden -

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