An Urbanicity Alert


  • Special Call for Papers: Emergencies, Disasters, Epidemics and the Role of Urban Planning
  • Further dates for VIRTUAL CORP events
  • How will it continue until September?
  • RWTH Aachen Survey on "Arising Cities"


In response to the global events of the past weeks and months, we want to expand our platform to strengthen the knowledge transfer within the planning community, also to include experiences, lessons learned and insights from the pandemic and its consequences. For this reason we are pleased to announce our Special Call for Papers:

Special Call for Papers

Emergencies, Disasters, Epidemics and the Role of Urban Planning

Since the beginning of this year the world, economy and society have changed dramatically. Even if it is too late for the current pandemic, in retrospect this raises some questions:

  • How did this pandemic come about?
  • What mistakes were made in the perception of the approaching disaster? What could have been avoided, what could have been done in a different way?
  • To which extent was the rapid spread of the virus favoured by our lifestyle of unlimited mobility and freedom? Conversely: What restrictions will be necessary and reasonable in the future to be able to react better to further such events?
  • What has been insufficiently considered by the planning discipline so far and why?
  • How much will public life change in the future and what consequences will this have for architecture and planning?
  • How important will one's own neighbourhood be in the future?
  • What influence do current precautions have on the use and significance of public space, also in the future?

After events in February and March overtook us and we accordingly postponed our conference to September, we all had to adapt to a new lifestyle. Our mobility was reduced to a minimum, the economy was shut down on a large scale and all available resources were concentrated on fighting the pandemic and its far-reaching consequences. It may not be possible to complete a scientific paper on this subject by the summer which meets the usual quality standards. Nevertheless, we would like to encourage you to send your contributions to

Emergencies, Disasters, Epidemics and the Role of Urban Planning

to be submitted. What topics, what content do we expect from your submissions?

  • Looking back on the acute crisis: Where did a failure of the public authorities manifest itself and to what extent were these effects felt? What mistakes could have been made? Would they have been avoidable?
  • Your personal experience of the crisis situation: How did your country, your city, your business and personal environment react to the new challenges?
  • Which role will scenarios play in future planning? What do we have to take into account in the future to be able to react to spontaneous events? What methods and resources will be required for this?
  • The technical side of the crisis: What role do simulation and scenario tools play? Would their use be expandable or are they not yet mature enough for this? “Corona Apps”: Can (location-based) Big Data be used to better master the crisis or is this just a perfidious pretext to get even closer to the transparent human being?
  • The ethical component of the crisis – how far can restrictions go, how can they be balanced with the negative consequences of the pandemic? What does this mean for the future availability of data and what will this change in planning practise?
  • Long-term effects of the pandemic: Will there be far-reaching social and economic changes? Which local and regional effects induced by the sudden short-term halt to globalisation will remain or have lasting effects? Do we need to redefine gLOCALisation?
  • Will neighbourhoods change in the future and will public space take on a new meaning?
  • Which participation tools will be obsolete in the future and which will be added?
  • Can planning already take measures now to avert similar events in the future?

Your contribution does not have to be a finished full paper. In a first step we will collect all submissions and on this basis we will give the special programme item a framework and format. Parts of the special programme will be dealt with directly at the conference, other parts will take place online, and there will also be the possibility to contribute directly to the conference via online statements.

In a second step, you will have the opportunity to submit your contribution in an adequate scope, depending on the available time budget and the content framework, this may be:

  • Abstract
  • Extended abstract (long abstract)
  • Full non-reviewed paper
  • Full reviewed paper (depending on the availability of our reviewer team)
  • Field report
  • Impulse statement
  • ... or another format according to your suggestions.

Submission Guidelines

Please register as conference participant on MY.CORP and choose the “Special Corona Fee” there. You are not obliged to pay this fee at this stage, but have the opportunity to submit your contribution to MY.CORP. To do so, select “I want to speak at the conference” and follow the instructions on the screen. We will acknowledge the receipt of your upload in due time.

At the end of the Call for Papers we will review and organise the material sent to us. Subsequently, we will contact you to agree individually on how your contribution should look like and to what extent you will contribute to the conference or our online event series VIRTUAL CORP. This will also determine the final amount of the conference fee to be agreed.

VIRTUAL CORP: further dates

All contents of the VIRTUAL CORP of 15 April (presentation slides of the speakers and a summary of the parallel running chat protocol) can be found on The next dates for VIRTUAL CORP events are Tuesday, 9 June 2020, and Tuesday, 14 July 2020, both at 15.00 CEST (UTC+2). Content, speakers and registration will be published in due time on and of course announced by e-mail.

How will it continue until September?

We postponed REAL CORP to September 2020:



25th International Conference on Urban Planning
and Regional Development in the Information Society

GeoMultimedia 2020
1st Aachen Urban Planning Conference

15-18 SEPTEMBER 2020



The conference programme planned for April will serve as a starting point for September:! (Also all later changes and additions are always available at the same link).

RWTH Aachen Survey on "Arising Cities"

Our partner, the Chair of Urban Planning and Design at the RWTH Aachen University, is participating in an international research initiative to investigate the effects of the corona virus on urban life. The study was initiated by various European and Latin American universities to learn from the current situation for the further development of urban spaces. More information can be found at


Co-operation partners

REAL CORP 2020 is a co-operation of



With best regards from Germany and Austria,

Prof. Christa Reicher, Canan Çelik and the RWTH Aachen Team
Manfred Schrenk, Clemens Beyer and the REAL CORP Team, Vienna



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