International Virtual Conference 2020 on Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development, Online, Feb.5-7.2021

V-Conference Organisers

SPSD2020-VC Chairman


Jianquan CHENG, Manchester Metropolitan University(L)

Guanwei HUANG, Sophia University(R)

Call for paper

Lockdown Urbanism


The ongoing pandemic has led to more than 16 million of confirmed cases and 0.65 million death of people globally (up to August 2020). A variety of health and well-being issues resulting from the largest scale lockdown in the 21st century have addressed emerging global challenges for urban sustainability and smart city development: how to creatively design local neighbourhood and home  in response to changing lifestyles? How to smartly design digital and social infrastructure to support  individual adaption to changed life-styles? How urban governance and smart city deal with a variety of social, spatial and information inequalities? The multi-disciplinary and international discussion and debates on these timely questions help rethink the planning and governance of healthy city in the uncertain contexts.


SPSD2021 Conference Chairman

Feng ZHEN, Nanjing University

On behalf of SPSD Community

Committee members

Cunkuang BAO, Fudan University

Xiaohui CHEN, Fuzhou University

Yawei CHEN, Delft University of Technology

Suzana DRAGICEVIC, Simon Fraser University

Lian DUAN, Nanning Normal University

Ying LONG, Tsinghua University

Bin JIANG, University of Gavle

Nabil MENHEM, Planning Institute of ALBA

M.Reza PARVIZI, Eindhoven University of Technology

Tatsuya SEKIKUCHI, Kanazawa University

Respati WIKANTIYOSO, Universitas Merdeka Malang

Lan WANG, Tongji University

Qingming ZHAN, Wuhan University

Suhong ZHOU, Sun Yat-sen University

Guoping XIONG,Southeast University

The conference will be focused on the following themes:

- Intra-urban mobility patterns and contexts

- Spatial and digital adaption 

- Accessibility to services and living needs

- Promoting Resilient Governance in Dealing with the Covid19 Pandemic

- Natural disaster management amid Covid-19 pandemic

Health effects of multidimensional spatiotemporal environmental exposure

Towards Sustainable Spatial Planning for Human Health and Emotional Wellbeing

Managing mega events and event-led urban development amid the Covid-19 pandemic

Activity space and spatial behaviour

Public perceptions of urban climate and environmental change during lockdown

Spatio-social patterns of crime during lockdown




Abstract Deadline :   Sept.15, 2020 -> extended to 31th, October, 2020 

Full Paper Deadline:  Oct. 15, 2020 -> extended to 1st Decemeber, 2020 

Author Guidelines


SPSD 2020 provides two pathways for contributions and participation, each of which will go through academic review before acceptance. 


1) Abstracts for conference proceedings 

SPSD 2020 requires authors to submit the title, a list of authors, a brief abstract (about 300 words), and a list of 3-6 keywords before the abstract submission deadline.  The abstract should include academic questions, objectives, methods and findings.


2) Selected papers for post-conference publication

When you submit your full paper to IRSPSD International, please select the option "Post conference publication". Please note that you should add "SPSD2020" to your paper title when you fill in your paper information using the ScholarOne system. A review process will be conducted and reviewed reports will be sent out for further revision. Guidelines for post conference publication


Guidelines for book and other special issue submissions                                                      Editors will contact you via email.



Lockdown Urbanism: spatial and digital adaption

Chair: Jianquan Cheng, Manchester Metropolitan University


Many countries have made and implemented disparate policies and measures to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus and manipulate its diverse health and socio-economic impacts during the ongoing pandemic. As the most popular measure, lockdown with varying degree of mobility and socio-economic activity restrictions between different stages has remarkably changed residents’ living, working and other behaviour and habitats. To safeguard individual and family health and well-being, people have been spatially and digitally adapted to changing environments and lifestyles. This session aims to examine and compare the heterogeneous evidences and empirical studies on these spatial and digital adaptions and their impacts within the changing environment across multiple (spatial, temporal and social) scales. The evidences are used to conceptualise lockdown urbanism in the global context and comparative resilient practice.  



T. Jefferies, J. Cheng, L. Coucill Lockdown Urbanism: Covid-19 lifestyles and liveable futures opportunities in Wuhan and Manchester. Cities and Health. (forthcoming)

Cheng, J, Bannister, J. Special Issue "COVID-19 and Urban Inequalities: Spatial and Digital Dimensions",


Lockdown Urbanism: Natural disaster management amid Covid-19 pandemic

Chair: Guangwei HUANG,  Sophia University


Covid-19 has been with us since January 2020 and so much efforts have been made to control its spread. With limited success in controlling the virus on a global scale, large-scale flood disasters occurred in China and Japan, which presented a challenge to both flood managers and health care workers. How flood risk and covid-19 infection risk affect each other and how the two types of disaster can be managed at the same time are research questions this session is intended to address. Considering that our experience and knowledge for dealing with such a compound risk is limited, a session dedicated to this subject is timely and important. Therefore, this session welcomes general and specific contributions that address the assessment and management of multiple risks at the same time. Special attention will be given to those contributions that deal with flood emergency management amid the covid-19 pandemic in China and Japan.


Lockdown Urbanism: Accessibility to services and living needs

Chair: M.Reza PARVIZI, Eindhoven University of Technology


In late 2019, the cities faced the widespread coronavirus outbreak. The strict policies of urban quarantine became a goal to prevent the transmission of the global epidemic in urban communities. Suddenly, the access to all urban services and the living needs of residents were jeopardized. The provision of food and medicine, access to services and the basic needs became a large challenge for authorities, local governments, policymakers and urban planners. On the other hand, the rapid virus transmission in urban areas and the large number of human casualties affected the crisis in health care system's capacity and destroyed access to the living needs. The virus transmission risk through being in urban spaces has accompanied with the sound of the death knell in cities. As the access to basic needs of life via these spaces had the cost equivalent of illness and death for the residents.

This session aims to answer two main questions as follows;


1) How can we prepare cities to appropriate access to services and living needs for habitants during disease outbreak?

2) In time of epidemic crisis, how can we use all the capabilities and abilities of the city to meet the appropriate access to urban services and living needs?


Ecologic-resilience Spatial Planning of Land & Ocean Integration

Chair: XIONG Guoping southeast university


The intersection area of river and ocean is a geographical unit where the land and ocean systems are interconnected, compounded and intersected. It is an independent environmental system with the characteristics of land-sea transition and a dynamic interaction system between coastal land and offshore. It is the golden area for social and economic development and also the key area for the breeding of metropolises. Metropolises such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin in China and Tokyo, Amsterdam in the west are all located in these areas. Due to the growing world population and accelerating urbanization, the intersection area of river and ocean is facing great pressure such as the global climate change, sea levels rise, regional ecological environment destruction, biodiversity reduction, pollution aggravation and fishery resource degradation, which seriously restrict the sustainable development of these areas. During the periods of pubic health events such as COVID-19, more attention has been paid to the spatial planning for these areas with dense population and frequent economic activity.

       Discussing the territorial space planning for the intersection area of river and ocean from the perspective of ecological resilience, this theory and practice will provide guidelines for the development and protection of oceans, coastal zones, sea areas and islands, help carry out overall urban design and realize the optimal layout of the intersection area of river and ocean.



Lockdown Urbanism:  Intra-urban mobility patterns and contexts

Chair: Tatsuya SEKIGUCHI, Kanazawa University


We have spent daily lives with COVID-19 since the pandemic has occurred in Japan at the beginning of 2020. After the pandemic, against people has been taking various actions in order to prevent the infection to others or themselves. It drastically changed their behaviors in daily lives.

  In these situations, various social problems have been happened such as the damage to specific types of industry or the panic buying phenomena.

  For improvement and future prevention of such problems, it is important to consider appropriate countermeasure by understanding the details about how the pandemic has changes people's various behaviors in daily lives.


   This session aims to examine the people's daily behavior changes across multiple spatial and temporal scales by focusing on Japanese cases. The reports and discussions based on the same cultural and political contexts will enable us to find the common, characteristic patterns or principles of people's behaviors. It will help us not only to make the ideas of countermeasures in one country but also to give useful implications that can be applied in other countries.


Lockdown Urbanism: Promoting Resilient Governance in Dealing with the Covid19 Pandemic

Chair: Nabil MENHEM, Planning Institute of ALBA


•Understanding the impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic on urban governance and territorial reorganization;

•Exploring the right scale of intervention from urban planning and governance perspectives

Since its outbreak, the Covid 19 pandemic has left many governments, metropolitan agencies, local authorities, professional communities, civil societies and even individuals in different parts of the world grappling each on their own with devising improvised responses and solutions that could not rise to the level of a shared holistic containment strategy. This was globally attributed to a lack of preparedness, inadequate governance structures, unclear and conflicting prerogatives and agendas between different institutions and sectors, inappropriate fund allocations, and shortage of communication protocols both horizontally and vertically. 

      This session will address questions of building better response mechanisms that could foster resilience through adaptive and inclusive governance structures crafted at the right scale. It will therefore tackle issues related to setting coordination protocols between actors from different sectors and the necessary territorial reorganization to promote agility and flexibility in dealing with the Covid 19 shock  (or similar ones) and its socio-economic and spatial implications on the short, medium and long terms.


Lockdown Urbanism: Health effects of multidimensional spatiotemporal environmental exposure

Chair: Suhong Zhou and Zhong Zheng, Sun Yat-sen University


The outbreak of COVID-19 has raised new challenges for the attainment of healthy cities. Hitherto the implementation of the Health City strategy has focussed on reducing those factors known to negatively affect public health in urban areas, namely; environmental pollution, traffic congestion, imbalanced public service supply and public disorder in built-up and social environments. In the post epidemic era, it is necessary to rethink the interactions between human activities and restricted urban environments and their health impacts. Specifically, how do we measure, analyse and model the health risks of environmental exposure to COVID-19  in different contexts, explore the systematic mechanism of environmental exposure on public health, and evaluate the impact of spatiotemporal and social heterogeneities on social equity? Discussion of these questions will contribute to a theoretical framework and provide evidence-based good practice guidance for environmental planning and design and the allocation of medical resources .

      This session focuses on, but is not limited to, the following topics: measurement of urban environmental exposure;  spatiotemporal patterns of disease and wellbeing; environmental exposure and health risks;  spatiotemporal constraints on active health behaviour; spatiotemporal accessibility of medical services, green and public spaces and its social equity;  managing environmental exposure; and big data and AI applications for data collection, analysis, modelling and participation.


Lockdown Urbanism: Towards Sustainable Spatial Planning for Human Health and Emotional Wellbeing

Chair: Bin Jiang, University of Gävle


It has long been recognised in the literature that environments have significant impacts on human health and wellbeing. A good space has a positive impact and evokes feelings of pride, belonging, wellbeing or healing, whereas a bad space has a negative impact and evokes feelings such as anxiety, discomfort, or unease. That said, Mehaffy & Salingaros (2020) somewhat surprisingly found that some Russian women who were exposed to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster seemed to enjoy better health than those were evacuated and relocated to other industrial-modernist spaces. It was not that the radiation was not harmful, but that the women’s living structure (Alexander, 2002–2005; Jiang, 2019) engendered good feelings that seemed to overcome the radiation damage. In this session, we are interested in papers that contribute to a better understanding of sustainable spatial planning for promoting human health and wellbeing. Relevant key words include, but are not limited to, living structure, space syntax, smart cities, biophilia, fractals, and design patterns.

      Interested authors are welcome to contribute their full paper(s) to the special issue before or after the SPSD conference:



Alexander C. (2002–2005), The Nature of Order: An essay on the art of building and the nature of the universe, Center for Environmental Structure: Berkeley, CA.

Jiang B. (2019), Living structure down to earth and up to heaven: Christopher Alexander, Urban Science, 3(3), 96,


Mehaffy M. W. and Salingaros N. A. (2020), The Chernobyl paradox: The intense connection between health and living structure, Common Edge,


Lockdown Urbanism: Managing mega events and event-led urban development amid the Covid-19 pandemic

Chair: Yawei CHEN, Delft University of Technology


Event-led urban development or event-led regeneration has become part of a deliberate urban policy to position the host cities on the world agenda. Event host cities have the intention of creating a series of physical, economic and social benefits. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, most of the world’s large-scale sports and cultural events have been cancelled or postponed. Several questions have emerged from the current mega event research:

• What actions can be taken to help mega-events recover from the interruption?

• What should be done to help host cities resume mega event business?

• What spatial, economic, financial, managerial and social interventions can host cities    explore to embrace changes to future mega events and pursue event-led regeneration?

      Considering the lengthy interruption to mega event business, tourism and event-led urban development during the pandemic and the consequent impact on stakeholders involved in related local tourism and the retail sector, a session dedicated to this subject is necessary and timely. This session welcomes general and specific contributions that address challenges to mega events during the pandemic. Special attention will be given to understanding physical, financial and managerial challenges and which scale of intervention from an urban planning or governance perspective will ensure that event-led urban development/regeneration creates a sustainable urban legacy.


Lockdown Urbanism: Activity space and spatial behaviour

Chair: Lan Wang, Tongji University


In density-susceptible epidemics like COVID-19, cities are at significant risk due to the high population density and limited open spaces. The social isolation and restriction policies adopted in many cities to battle against the spread of the virus have led to adverse impacts on the mental and physical health of urban residents. One of the new challenges we face is to maintain liveability in cities during lockdown, including opportunities for everyone to do physical exercise and lead an active lifestyle, especially those with financial difficulties who lack adequate activity space and sanitation to stay healthy and social distanced. The exercise needs of different groups at multiple urban scales should be accounted for. After the closure of stadiums, sports centres, parks and playgrounds, governments could consider planning and designing barrier-free, safe and nearby outer spaces that provide equal opportunities for physical activity whilst minimising the risk of disease transmission.


This session will address the following questions:

How can we provide sufficient spaces for physical activity without increasing the risk of exposing urban residents to a virus like COVID-19?

What measures could be implemented to design existing activity spaces and transformable outer spaces (like streets closed to cars) to enable residents to exercise safely?


Lockdown Urbanism: Public perceptions of urban climate and environmental change during lockdown

Chair: Qingming Zhan Wuhan University


The Covid-19 pandemic has provided a unique opportunity to observe the urban climate and environmental change during lockdown conditions. Lockdown has created an environment in which people stay at home, factories and shops are closed, and traffic has ceased. It is interesting to know how urban climates and environments have changed as a result of such a large scale lockdown and to investigate  public perception of these changes. The increase in public awareness of such changes helps public participation in local urban sustainable development. This evidence allows planners to understand the interaction and relationship between human activities and the natural environment, particularly within critical and uncertain contexts. This session welcomes empirical studies and evidence of climate and environmental change outcomes and their impacts on public perceptions and awareness.


Lockdown Urbanism: Spatio-social patterns of crime during lockdown

Chair: Lian Duan, Nanning Normal University


The lockdown measures introduced during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have greatly reduced socioeconomic vitality, and have changed individual and collective patterns of mobility, social interaction, work and living behaviour.  These abrupt changes have reduced the incidence of common crimes, such as theft, robbery and rape etc., but have led to the increase of less common crimes, e.g. domestic violence, diffusion of mis-(dis) information (e.g. concealment of COVID-19), selling fake goods and fraud etc. Digital infrastructure developed to combat COVID-19 (e.g. health QR codes), has, as a secondary consequence, helped to detect criminal suspects identified by increasing the capacity to record the detailed movement of individuals over a large scale. This session seeks to analyse, model, examine, and compare the spatial and temporal influences of COVID-19 lockdown on crime patterns and corresponding processes in various social contexts. Empirical case studies and data driven evidence will enable us to understand the relationship between lockdown and crime in uncertain and dynamic geographical contexts. The findings will contribute to the theoretical development of effective crime countermeasures in response to large-scale public heath disasters. This session focuses on but is not limited to the following topics: the spatiotemporal distribution characteristics of emerging crimes; the dynamics of crime spatial flows before and after lockdown; the impacts of lockdown on the spatiotemporal agglomeration of crimes; comparative studies  of crime patterns between home, neighbourhood and urban levels; the growth  and casual factors of illegal social activities (e.g. family and neighbourhood parties) across space and time; and  the critical role of digital technologies in crime detection and prevention.