Congress Theme – Definite space – fuzzy responsibility While many of the initiatives and powers moved outside public control, the sense of responsibility for spatial change and sustainable development of cities and regions hardly overstepped the domain of city halls and ministries, and planners as their experts. The gap between sprawled powers / potency and blurred sense of responsibility should be the focus of the Congress debates. Our cities are spreading, the distances that most of us have to travel for jobs, shopping, entertainment, etc. are steadily increasing, and money available for maintenance and improvement of roads, utilities and public services is shrinking. Rich people are retiring to gated communities while some others may remain trapped in social and ethnic ghettoes. All these problems are expected to be tackled by planning as an instrument for urban and regional management. But planning itself was affected by drift from hierarchic control by state and local governments, through public-private partnership projects, to governance where the actual field of municipalities´ and states´ action is dissolved and shared with business. Also many services formerly provided by public domain have been outsourced. Who should take responsibility for how the cities and regions are being changed? See more