About the International Forum on Urbanism

The International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU) is a network of universities, research institutes and knowledge centers with the task to strengthen the international collaboration in the field of Urbanism. Governmental and professional institutions that are related to the planning and design of the built environment, can be associated members.



IFoU aims for the following objectives:

    • to initiate and realize international comparative research in the fields of urban design, planning and management of metropolitan areas and regions;
    • to support the development and dissemination of knowledge on the international level;
    • to organize international exchange programs of training and education;
    • to facilitate the dialogue between the academic world, professional organizations, corporate entities and politicians in the above mentioned fields.


To strengthen the international collaboration in Urbanism IFoU develops the following activities:

  • International Conferences

    • To contribute to the international debate on Urbanism and to stimulate the exchange between academic and professional institutions, IFoU organizes at least once a year an international conference.
  • Student Mobility

    • IFoU supports student mobility between the member institutions.
    • IFoU aims for an accreditation system between the different member institutions to facilitate student mobility.
  • Staff Mobility

    • IFoU stimulates and supports the exchange of staff members between the member institutions for research and teaching.
    • IFoU tries to activate research fellowships, grant programs and programs for sabbatical leaves to support staff mobility between the member institutions.
  • Joint Studios

    • IFoU organizes joint (design) studios that are open for students from all member institutions.
    • As a special form of joint studios IFoU organizes IFoU Summer Schools outside the regular lecture period.
    • For each joint studio the content of the program, the study goals and the conditions of participation have to be elaborated and be published on the website of IFoU before the students sign in.
    • Each participating institution on joint studios appoints one professor who has the task to supervise the quality of the program.
  • Joint Education Programs

    • IFoU supports the development and implementation of joint education programs between the member institutions. Special attention will be given to joint postgraduate courses in Urbanism.
  • Professional Capacity Building

    • IFoU provides training courses and visiting programs for the capacity building of professionals on high level. These courses will be organized as shared activity of different member institutions. Shared Research Projects
    • IFoU initiates and supports the development of shared research projects between the member institutions. Shared topics in research will be determined in order to assure a strong and coherent program.
    • Special attention will be given to the participation in international research programs and in international funding for research.
  • Exchange Programs for PhD students

    • IFoU stimulates the development of exchange programs for PhD students between the member institutions.
  • Publications

    • IFoU will develop a publication strategy for research results and conference contributions.
    • IFoU strives to establish an international scientific publication series in the field of Urbanism that will be distributed to all member institutions. This series will contribute to a distinct profile of IFoU.
  • Website

    • IFoU provides a website that informs about the activities of IFoU, presents results of research and education programs and refers to publications of the network.


The organization of IFoU consists in the following institutional bodies:

  • Scientific Board

    • The Scientific Board is responsible for defining the identity of IFoU and decides about policy, new memberships and activity program on annual basis.
    • The Scientific Board meets at least once a year for an annual meeting.
    • Each member institution appoints one representative for the Scientific Board. Representatives can appoint a stand-in if they are not able to attend a meeting.
    • The Scientific Board determines rules of procedure.
    • The Scientific Board appoints a Chairman, the members of the Board of Supervisors and the Executive Director.
    • The Chairman presides the Board of Supervisors and the meetings of the Scientific Board.
    • The Chairman represents IFoU in general.
  • Board of Supervisors

    • The Board of Supervisors is the executive body of the Scientific Board.
    • The Board of Supervisors takes decisions in the framework of the mandate given by the Scientific Board.
    • The Board of Supervisors consists in the following members:
      • Chairman
      • 6 members appointed by the Scientific Board.
  • Distinguished Fellows

    • The Scientific Board can appoint outstanding personalities as Distinguished Fellows for their special contribution in accordance with the aims of IFoU.
    • The Distinguished Fellows of IFoU will be invited to attend the annual meetings of the Scientific Board and to give advice in all relevant questions of IFoU.
    • The Distinguished Fellows will be invited as honorable guests for all public manifestations of IFoU.
    • In principle the Distinguished Fellows will be appointed for a period of 5 years. However, by order of the Scientific Board the Distinguished Fellowships can be continued.
  • Executive Director

    • The Executive Director presides the Executive Team, directs the Central Office and coordinates the activity program of IFoU.
    • The Executive Director supervises and approves all official announcements on behalf of IFoU including the website.
  • Executive Team

    • The Executive Team is responsible for the execution of the activity program.
    • Each member institution appoints at least one member of the Executive Team.
    • The Executive Team is presided by the Executive Director.
  • Central Office

    • The Central Office coordinates the information between the member institutions, prepares the meetings of the Scientific Board, supports the Board of Supervisors, provides the website and coordinates publications and announcements of IFoU.
    • The Central Office is directed by the Executive Director.
    • For special tasks the Executive Director can appoint executive managers as members of the Central Office.

Financial Agreements

    • Each member institution bears the operational costs for their contribution to IFoU by herself.
    • Pre-investments for new activities have to be shared proportionally in accordance to the involvement of the parties concerned; while the risk and the profit are to be shared evenly.
    • The Scientific Board determines a method to share the costs of the central organization (e.g. Central Office, website, printed documents for the presentation of IFoU).


    • The visibility of the corporate image of IFoU has to be implemented to every single official document that has been produced in the framework of IFoU activities. This refers in particular to posters and other announcements of shared activities, certificates, reports, publications in books and magazines, brochures, websites etc.
    • Each member institution takes care for the corporate visibility in accordance with the Central Office.


    • Members of IFoU are academic institutions that are involved in research and education in the field of planning, design and management of the built environment. Each institution is participating with at least one representative who is responsible for the contribution of the institution.
    • Governmental and professional institutions can be associated members.
    • The Scientific Board decides about new memberships and associated memberships.

Renewal, Termination and Amendment

    • The undersigned parties can terminate their membership by informing the others in a written statement, at least six month in advance.
    • The Scientific Board can amend or complete the statutes. In the event of a major revision of the statutes, current projects must have the opportunity to be completed.