The workshop on Planning and People is dedicated to the social concerns at the core of urban research, policy-making and planning. We, an international group of university professors, are getting together to reflect on our decades of experience researching, teaching and practicing urban and regional planning ‘as if people mattered’.

In recent years, the social aspects of urban planning have been rather overlooked, as many academics and urban planners have focused primarily on economic and environmental factors. With this workshop, we aim to contribute to rectifying this imbalance. In the City of Haifa in January 2009, we intend:

  • To celebrate the gathering of colleagues to Think Social.
  • To reinvigorate the voice of values, especially social equity, in urban planning and practice.
  • To review what published research, together with our own experience and educated interpretation, teaches us about key issues, including:
    • Integrating social considerations into the process of planning and its planned outcomes;
    • Developing equity-oriented and user-oriented plans and programs of housing and neighborhoods, urban regeneration, urban transportation and more;
    • Enhancing the solution of urban problems, including poverty, social exclusion and shortage of affordable decent housing;
    • Making urban areas lively, green and safe for all.

The proceedings of the workshop will form the basis for a book of essays, which will enable to pass on our conclusions and lessons to the next generations of students, teachers and practitioners in urban and regional planning.