An Urbanicity Alert: REAL CORP 2018


we are pleased to announce


23rd International Conference on Urban Planning
and Regional Development in the Information Society

Expanding Cities – Diminishing Space

4-6 APRIL 2018

Cities are growing. Retreat and regeneration areas are getting smaller. This brings along enormous challenges and threats.

At the same time there are unprecedented technologies that might help solve the issues.

Can “Smart Technologies” and “Smart Cities” be the answer on how to handle the challenges of urban growth.

What is the role of urban planning in those highly dynamic developments? Let us discuss these issues at REAL CORP 2018!


Call for papers

We invite researchers and practitioners from the world of urban planning, urban technologies and related disciplines to propose presentations for REAL CORP 2018 via Your abstract should indicate the topic of your presentation and how the paper will make an original contribution to the subject.


Introduction to the conference topics

Cities are not only growing in population, but are expanding in area. Even with constant number of inhabitants there is a demand for more space. As a consequence cities also grow into 3rd dimension: “up into the sky” and “going underground”. Many cities kind of expand in time, become “cities that never sleep”, extending their urban activities to 24 hours per day all the year round – 24/365. Even in countries and regions with constant or declining population numbers, it is still the cities that attract people. However, at the same time the “spaces in between”, especially agricultural land, but also natural retreats and buffer zones, are diminishing.

Questions arise on how to deal with these problems at short notice, and what has to be done to find solutions to these challenges thinking in long-term strategies – the challenges and problems seem huge. More and more unprecedented (urban) technologies are available to monitor and manage cities. An essential aspect is to overcome “disciplinary approaches” and having a holistic view of the city – an approach that urban planners claim to have been using forever.

REAL CORP 2018 is going to show the current state of the art and to present projects and approaches for the use of future urban technologies.

These are some proposed topics for your contribution to REAL CORP 2018:

Facts behind Urban Expansion: Which cities are growing? Why? Where? How? At which rate? Sensors, Satellites, Drones … – modern technologies help monitor, analyse and explain the dynamics of urban and rural areas. Can they also help find solutions?

Exceeding the City Limits, Urbanisation Continues: Cities are growing fast. What can be done if the existing urban areas are exhausted? Expansion into the outskirts – urban sprawl and dedensification, expansion into higher density, expansion into height, expansion into underground spaces?

Housing, Infrastructure, Commercial development, …: the real estate perspective on future cities

GIS, 3D and 4-Dimensional Planning, BIM: When systematically expanding in height and into the underground, how about the rules and the planning in 3rd dimension – do we need a 3D cadastre? Nowadays many buildings are not built to stay forever any more. Especially commercial buildings have a life span; when they have fulfilled their purpose, they can be replaced by something else. So what about 4D planning that requires 4D information systems? Can BIM (Building Information Management) help manage highly complex projects.

Vacant Countryside: Still people tend to move into cities: for better jobs, shorter paths, more infrastructure, easier supply, ... Rural areas lose more and more population, but what about further maintenance of these spaces? Will rural areas be marginalised or can they become more attractive again? What about “Smart Villages” and “Smart Countryside”?

Migration: Movement into cities does not only affect the domestic population. Cities also have to face international migration, by choice and in terms of refugees, causing the risk to overburden cities regarding their melting pot functions. What can be done to improve, organise and manage the coexistence of many different nationalities, religions and culture in a limited area?

Future Mobility: eMobility, autonomous vehicles, (semi-)public transport, intermodal and multimodal mobility, “self-powered mobility” – cycling and walking – or can we even avoid mobility growth by creating an infrastructure of short paths? REAL CORP discusses approaches in passenger mobility as well as in cargo mobility.

Soil Sealing: The total area covered by cement, asphalt, concrete etc. is expanding. Today’s footprint of the world’s urban settlements is more than 1 million square kilometres (which, for reasons of comparability, equals the area of whole France and Spain). Sealing of soil leads to problematic urban microclimates with heat islands and falling ground water levels whereas at the same time the surrounding areas have to absorb all the water that is drained from cities. Extreme weather and flooding cause lots of damage and destruction and lead to further problems by contamination and plagues. Can green buildings, green roofs, vertical farms and green spaces in cities solve the problem, or is it already to late and we can just face the consequences of the last decades’ developments?

Energy of the Future: Today’s energy demand, especially in peak hours, still forces the use of fossile energy sources or nuclear power. However, fossile energy resources are limited – to solve energy demand problems in a long-term perspective, on the one hand renewable energy sources have to be fostered, on the other side the overall demand for energy has to be scaled down introducing low energy urban solutions. Cheap oil is a driving factor of urban growth because it beats down the prices of city supply and logistics.

Scarcity of Resources: The permanent growth of population, especially in cities, has already led to shortages in supply of food and drinking water in some regions of the planet. Also rare-earth elements which are a key factor for (rechargeable) batteries and electronic devices, are subject to limited availability. Continuing urbanisation as in its current form will be an overall threat to global food supplies in the future when food production cannot keep up with population growth any more. Can new spaces for the production of renewable resources be developed? Are there ways to deal more thriftily with non-renewable resources?

Expansion of the Internet, Big Data: In 1984, the whole internet consisted of about 1,000 cross-linked computers. Today approximately 3 billion people have internet access, this equals to 40 percent of the world’s population. Data storage is cheaper than ever before and broadband access makes it easy to have even hugest amounts of data travel around the world, even with mobile devices where the next communication standard 5G is already in preparation. Big Data and the internet of things are already a reality. What are the consequences for cities, citizens and for urban life?

Cities as Liveable, Accessible, Human-Oriented Places: By means of information and communications technologies cities are transformed into smart organisms that are designed to work perfectly to create a high standard output in terms of knowledge, carbon footprint, mobility and logistics, big data etc. – but what about the people living in the city? Are they willing to be part of a high tech environment? How to design safe, liveable, healthy places to live? There are different approaches towards “Smart Cities”. Sometimes the impression prevails that technology is seen as a self-purpose, but above all cities are for and about people. With all the technology in focus of course the goals of sustainability and resilience remain as important as they have always been. Cities are mainly about people and not about technology, so it is still “quality of life” that should be in focus.

Please feel free to add your own research topics on

“Expanding Cities – Diminishing Space” when submitting an abstract.



Submission of abstract until 7 December 2017

Feedback on general acceptance until 17 December 2017

Full paper for reviewing has to be submitted until 8 January 2018

Reviewing process until 31 January 2018

Final version of full paper for publication until 15 February 2018


Registration and abstract submission

To register and submit your abstract, please go to and sign up for conference participation. If your abstract is not accepted, you may withdraw your registration free of charge. If your abstract is accepted, your registration is automatically confirmed.


Early bird conference fees

  • Standard fee EUR 390.- (early bird registration until 31 January 2018)
  • Student fee EUR 250.- (early bird registration until 31 January 2018, confirmation of study required)

Each conference fee includes one person's unlimited access on all conference days of REAL CORP 2018, catering on all conference days (coffee breaks, lunch breaks), 1 conference presentation including publication of your paper in the conference proceedings, participation at side events of REAL CORP 2018 (informal welcome meeting, evening reception, excursions and guided expert tours) as long as no additional service charge is mentioned, conference materials incl. proceedings (CD-ROM version). Advanced conditions apply if more than one paper per person is published.


Co-operation partners

REAL CORP 2018 is a co-operation of



REAL CORP 2017 was held from 12 to 14 September 2017 at TU Wien, Vienna, Austria. The complete conference proceedings can be found here:

We collected photos of REAL CORP 2017 and published them an Google Photos. Click here to have a look.


REAL CORP online paper archive

All REAL CORP papers since 1996 are available online free of charge. Just use the paper search engine on our website. Also many conference presentations (slideshows) since 2011 are available online.


It would be a great honour to be able to welcome you to REAL CORP 2018 in April in Vienna. All further information on REAL CORP 2018 can be found at as usual.

With best regards from Vienna,

Manfred Schrenk, Clemens Beyer and the REAL CORP Team

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