European Council of Spatial Planners - Conseil européen des urbanistes

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Founded in 1985, ECTP-CEU (European Council of Spatial Planners – Conseil Européen des Urbanistes) brings together 25 professional town planning associations and institutes from 23 European countries as well as corresponding members. It is an umbrella association providing its members with a common framework to promote the visibility, recognition of the important societal role and practice of planning and urban development in Europe and its teaching, continuing professional development and the definition of professional responsibilities.

ECTP-CEU sets standards of education and conduct for the planning profession; engages in dialogue with local, national and European government, identifies, and rewards examples of good planning all over Europe in particular through its “Awards” (see infra “events”).

ECTP-CEU Actions – Working Groups

Qualification Recognition

Taking forward work to facilitate the free movement of planners: an ECTP-CEU working group on the recognition of spatial qualification in Europe is working with AESOP (Association of European Schools of Planning) and EFLA (European Federation of Landscape Architects) towards recognition of professional qualifications and education, maintaining and developing negotiations with DG Internal Market to obtain recognition for planning as a profession and continuing work to establish a common basis for professional practice through the Education Task Force and other forums.

Vision for Spatial Planning of the XXI century

The ECTP-CEU’s vision for Spatial Planning in the 21st century is recorded in three publications: “Try it this way”, “Fifteen Steps towards Territorial Cohesion” and “The New Charter of Athens” available in several European languages. A revision of the Charter is underway to ensure that it remains relevant response to emerging challenges.

Young Planners

The ECTP-CEU has established a special working group to offer young planners the opportunity to create a network across Europe and prepare the future of spatial planning in Europe, drawing on its policy work on territorial cohesion and its economic, social and environmental dimensions

GIS & 3D

Like all disciplines, planning needs to use new tools, in particular the GIS (Geographic Information System) and 3D modelling.

In this regard, ECTP-CEU participates since 2011, in the “Imagina Forum” held annually in Monaco presenting the latest research techniques and software for GIS and 3D. In 2011, ECTP-CEU co-chaired the event with FNAU (Fédération Nationale des Agences d’Urbanisme, France), the SRL (Vereinigung für Stadt-, Regional-und Landesplanung, Germany) and the University of Coimbra, Portugal.

Climate Change

During 2012 the Working group on Climate Changes involved ECTP-CEU in Intelligent Energy in Europe programme, developed by the EU.

ECTP-CEU Actions – Events & Calendar

Awards: Since the early 1990’s the ECTP-CEU has organised, the European Urban and Regional Planning Awards every two years. Since 2010, these awards have been supported by and are in collaboration with the Committee of the Regions of the European Union where the ceremony is held concurrently with the COTER (Commission for Territorial Cohesion) assembly of local and regional elected at their Brussels location. The ECTP-CEU is also setting up for 2013 a European Spatial Planners’ Award.

Conferences: ECTP-CEU regularly organises conferences , sometimes during its General Assembly, and has, amongst others, organised a series of three conferences in London, Paris and Llubjana on “Territorial Cohesion in Europe”, participated in the Centennial of the SFU (Société Française des Urbanistes) and is actively involved in events related to the Decade of Planning (see below).

Calendar: ECTP-CEU publishes on its website a calendar of European and Worldwide events related to spatial planning while providing targeted research (by theme, date, organization, etc.)..

ECTP-CEU Actions – Publications

In addition to the above mentioned publications (see “Vision for Spatial Planning of the XXI century”), ECTP-CEU publishes the result of the conferences self-organised or in which ECTP-CEU participated and publishes a Newsletter in relation to its website.

ECTP-CEU Actions – Professional assistance

ECTP-CEU is gradually setting up a registry of cross-border experts and plans which will provide, through its website, a tailored selection of calls for tender.

ECTP-CEU Network

The ECTP has relationships with the following institutions, with representative delegates who report to the General Assembly:

  1. The Committee of the Regions of the European Union. (In addition to the collaboration for the Awards); ECTP-CEU contributed to the Toledo Declaration on integrated regeneration issued by the Committee of the Regions;
  2. The EU Network of Territorial Cohesion, NTCCP (Network of Territorial Cohesion Contact Points) and UDG (Urban Development Group).
  3. The Council of Europe and CEMAT (the Conference of Ministers of Spatial/Planning): ECTP-CEU has undertaken to translate the CEMAT glossary into several European languages;
  4. European Heritage Alliance 3.3
  5. The European Biennial of Towns and Town Planners;
  6. Other international associations dealing with Spatial Planning: AESOP, EFLA, INTA (International Urban Development Association), ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites), ISOCARP (International Society of City and Regional Planners) with who are organised events such as the Decade of Planning (with all) or Summer courses (with AESOP, IFHP and ISOCARP) and manages a common calendar for conferences, meetings and seminars;
  7. UN-HABITAT (United Nations Habitat);
  8. The FIU (Federación Iberoamericana de Urbanistas) was established with the support of local authorities, AETU (Spain), AUP (Portugal) and ECTP-CEU;
  9. The WTPD (World Town Planning Day) on-line conference;
  10. As member of the GPN (Global Planners Network), ECTP-CEU supports the proposal from its UK member, RTPI, to create a web portal for planners to share experience.

ECTP-CEU Members

ECTP-CEU is composed of full members (European national planners institutes & associations) and corresponding members such as regions, municipalities, faculties, associations related with urban and regional planning, planning offices, and planning research organizations. With the exception of voting rights at the General Assembly, corresponding members also participate in all ECTP-CEU activities.


European Council of Spatial Planners – Conseil européen des urbanistes ECTP-CEU
Avenue d’Auderghem 63
B-1040 Bruxelles


European Council of Spatial Planners – Conseil européen des urbanistes ECTP-CEU
Avenue d’Auderghem 63
B-1040 Bruxelles


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