Bridging Gaps:

Urban Planning for Coexistence

March 19-22, 2024 ・ Department of Architecture and Urban Studies – Politecnico di Milano

The 18th AESOP Young Academics Conference 2024 will take place from Tuesday 19 to Friday 22 March 2024 in Milan, Italy, under the theme of ‘Bridging Gaps: Urban Planning for Coexistence’.

The conference will be hosted by a group of young academics from the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies (DAStU) of Politecnico di Milano.

Conference Theme

Bridging Gaps: Urban Planning for Coexistence

How can planning reinvent itself? ✻ Which are the tools and practices that will ensure human well-being and coexistence with the world?

Urban planning as a discipline has been continuously evolving in the past decades, aiming to become the response to diverse issues through transdisciplinarity, innovation, creativity and justice. As a result of an ever-accelerating pace of life, we constantly witness worldwide transitions and turbulences, from environmental crises to socio-economic struggles, that challenge cities, regions, and the nature of the planning discipline itself. Climate change and both natural and man-made disasters render territories fragile and force humans and species to migrate, while the growing urban population requires solutions for sustainable transformation for life in the city and beyond. In this context of increasing uncertainty, the planning discipline attempts to suggest ways forward, yet often lacks in providing tangible examples of how to bridge theory and practice.

Within this framework, the conference focuses on the predominant discontinuities that currently characterise the planning field. Those are articulated into two directions of discussion that are in dialogue with and between each other: the urban-rural divide (Track 1 and Track 2) and the academia-practice divide (Track 3 and Track 4). The conference aims to create space for these dialogues to emerge, and to ultimately bridge these gaps by reflecting on our role as researchers, on our position towards, and in relationship with, society and on the effectiveness of practice. The questions that arise are timely and crucial, contemplating on the complexities inherent in a perpetual endeavour for coexistence between humans, species and the environment (Track 5). How can planning reinvent itself? How can we reconcile a holistic perception of territories? Which theories, strategies and methods should planning adopt so as to contribute to a better future for the human and natural species? Which are the tools and practices that will ensure human well-being and coexistence with the world?

We invite Young Academics and practitioners of all relevant disciplines to this conference, and we welcome contributions that challenge the way knowledge is generated, communicated and acquired. We encourage reflections on an inter-scalar and international level that consider planning from a socio-political perspective, one that engages with communities, practitioners and policy makers. We offer five tracks to which you can contribute:


☞ Book of Abstracts

Accepted abstracts of participants presenting at the conference are published open access with an e-ISBN number by AESOP.

Click here to download the Book of Abstracts.

☞ Best Paper Prize

As in previous AESOP YA conference versions, track chairs and co-chairs will jointly decide to award a Best Paper Prize among all contributions that have applied for it. The awarded paper, along with runner-up papers, has the chance to be published in the journal Territorio. The Best Paper Prize is mostly selected among the top 10 papers. Runner-up papers will be invited to be published as part of a special issue in plaNext-Next Generation Planning, the open access journal of the AESOP YA.

Abstract Guidelines

  • Expected abstract contributions should be limited to 250-300 words and contain 3-5 keywords.
  • The official language of the conference is English.
  • Multiple-authored abstracts are eligible, but please note that only one author can participate and present at the conference.
  • Abstracts co-authored by a Master/PhD/postdoc student and his or her supervisor will not be accepted.
  • Master, PhD, and postdoc students can send abstracts. Recently graduated PhD students (within 5 years from graduation) can also send abstracts.
  • Please indicate for which Track you wish to submit your abstract.
  • Please indicate whether you wish to submit your contribution for the Best Paper Prize. Note that in case you submit for the Best Paper Prize, you are expected to submit a full paper by February 23, 2024.
  • Authors will be notified about the abstract acceptance or rejection by January 8, 2024.
  • Accepted authors are asked to confirm their participation in the conference within one week, otherwise their spot will be offered to the members on the waiting list.
  • Accepted abstracts will be published open access in the book of abstracts with an e-ISBN number by AESOP.

Full Paper Guidelines

Participants who have applied for the Best Paper Prize are requested to submit their full paper via email to by February 23

Please adhere to the following guidelines: 

  • Use the template provided. 
  • Full papers have a word limit of 30,000 characters (including spaces and notes) – i.e. about 5,000 words -, excluding bibliographical references. 
  • Include an abstract of maximum 200 words (concise, briefly stating the purpose of the research, the principal results and major conclusions). 
  • Include a maximum of five keywords. 
  • References can be in any style or format, so long as a consistent scholarly citation format is applied.
  • Papers should be submitted via email as Word format files. Please name your file as follows: ‘SURNAME_Name_Track number.docx’ (example: SMITH_John_Track 1.docx)

Note: Participants who have not applied for the Best Paper Prize are not required to submit a full paper. 

Things to Know

☞ No registration fees

The conference is free of charge to members of the AESOP YA Network (registration for the network is free on their website through this link).

The conference will provide free coffee and lunch breaks. 
Transport within the city of Milan, as well as participation to the social dinner is self-paid.

☞ Bursaries

This year, AESOP offers ten bursaries that will cover travel and accommodation costs for participating at the conference. In case your abstract gets selected and you confirm your participation at the conference, you are eligible for applying for a participant bursary. If you are interested to apply for a bursary, you will be asked to motivate your application during registration. The ten bursaries will be awarded to five participants from institutions/universities that are members of AESOP, and to five participants from external institutions.

☞ Important dates + deadlines

November 3, 2023 Submission of abstracts
November 17, 2023 Submission of abstracts FINAL CALL
December 23, 2023Notification of acceptance
January 8, 2024Confirmation of participation + bursary application
February 23, 2024Full paper submission deadline
March 1, 2024Registration deadline
March 19-22, 2024Conference


Click here to download the programme.

The conference is a four-day event consisting of keynote speeches, workshops and roundtables around the conference theme. Participants will get to present their research in parallel sessions, where they will benefit from the insight of renowned track chairs and have a chance to receive feedback on their work. Keynote speeches will set the overarching foundations for discussions within the tracks and parallel sessions, while roundtables will aim to find common ground between the themes tackled by the conference and draw conclusive thoughts. Through workshops, participants will have the opportunity to informally discuss, speculate and experiment on the concept of being a young academic. Finally, through site visits and social activities, the city of Milan will act as a backdrop on which to reflect and discuss on current urban planning matters.

☞ Posters


Department of Architecture and Urban Studies (DAStU), Politecnico di Milano

Città Studi Campus
Via Edoardo Bonardi 3 – 20133 Milan, Italy

The 18th AESOP Young Academics Conference is organised and hosted by a group of PhD candidates in Urban Planning, Design and Policy, from the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies of Politecnico di Milano.

Politecnico di Milano was established in 1863 and is the oldest university of Milan. Offering undergraduate, postgraduate and research courses in the fields of Engineering, Design and Architecture. It is the largest technical university in Italy and has a global reputation. The Department of Architecture and Urban Studies (DAStU) carries out research, design experimentation and training activities in the fields of architectural and urban design, spatial planning and territorial governance, urban policies, preservation and interventions in both built and natural heritage, historical and critical interpretation of architecture and the city. DAStU is one of Italy’s leading research structures in urban studies, integrated in a strong international network of centres of excellence and open to interdisciplinary forms of co-operation with institutional and social actors at the local, national and international levels. For the period 2018-2022 and together with other 180 Italian departments, DAStU was awarded the ‘Department of Excellence‘ title by the Ministry of University and Research and received funding to carry out innovative research on the theme of Territorial Fragilities. The Città Studi Campus, in which the conference will be held, has been recently renovated. It is nestled within a vibrant neighbourhood, while being at a stone’s throw from the centre of Milan, Italy’s second most populous city.

Milan is renowned worldwide for its innovative takes in industry, science, research, art and fashion. Located at a crossroads between Central Europe and the Mediterranean, the city has a rich history dating centuries. Strolling through its city centre, visitors will be able to admire architectural remnants from late antiquity and the Middle Ages up to Renaissance buildings, liberty style palazzos and contemporary skyscrapers. Being part of a large metropolis and considered as the motor of Italy, Milan has a strongly international and multi-faceted character which renders the city unique and challenging at the same time. As Milan grapples with pressing issues such as urban sustainability, social inequality, gentrification, land use and sprawl, climate change, and ecological justice, these concerns continue to drive discussions. Drawing inspiration from such contemporary challenges and with Milan as a backdrop, the conference invites young academics to reflect and discuss on current urban planning matters under the theme of ‘Bridging Gaps: Urban Planning for Coexistence’. The conference’s rich program of activities includes stimulating workshops and enlightening site visits, offering participants the opportunity to explore the multiple facets of Milan and its broader territory.


Organising Team

Local Organising Committe (DAStU)
Aamina Shahid
Abdallah Jreij
Anita Martinelli
Anna Fera
Antonio Salvador
Asef Ayatollahi
Beatrice Meloni
Busra Ince
Chenling Wu
Dafni Riga
Danila Saulino
Giulia Oldani
Jaime Sierra Muñoz

Conference Coordinators (DAStU)
Abdallah Jreij
Dafni Riga
Danila Saulino

AESOP YA Coordination Team
Sila Ceren Varis
Milan Husar
Rüya Erkan
Rumeysa Ceylan
Asma Mehan
Sophie Leemans
SaeBom Song