RuR-CfP for a Special Issue on Accountable Strategic Planning at Local and Regional Scales in the Age of Decarbonization

ARL International ARL International
published on 09/01/2024

The global challenge of climate change can only be effectively addressed at the regional and local scale if a large number of regional and municipal systems in highly diverse contexts aim towards decarbonisation. Strategic planning – as a flexible planning tool for developing holistic and long-term development strategies in a cooperative and communicative way – is a popular form of shaping urban and regional futures in the age of decarbonisation.

The Special Issue “Accountable Strategic Planning at Local and Regional Scales in the Age of Decarbonisation” focusses on strategic planning for decarbonisation at regional and local scales in a variety of international settings. It aims to contribute to conceptualizing, examining and critically reflecting upon accountability in local and regional strategic decarbonization planning (tools and processes), involved actors, context conditions and results. It seeks to explore accountability gaps as well as approaches and measures that reconcile flexibility and accountability in tackling a global challenge at regional and local scales.

Contributions to planning and governance research from different disciplinary perspectives are particularly welcome. The papers may be in English or German and relate to regional strategic planning towards phasing out coal as well as local strategic climate action planning. The goal is to include international and national contributions that reflect a variety of approaches in accountable strategic decarbonization planning and related challenges in diverse governance settings encompassing the Global North and South.

Particular foci can be on: 

  • approaches that combine (innovative) strategic planning for decarbonisation with instruments that translate the mostly informally agreed upon strategies and measures into more binding targets, planning instruments and measures, 
  • selected elements of accountable planning such as responsibility, assessment, transparency and participation, 
  • the embedding of regional and local strategic climate planning in multi-level and polycentric climate governance, respective accountability chains and designs,
  • individual and comparative case studies that explore which forms of accountable strategic decarbonization planning and related challenges take in different context conditions,
  • reflecting upon conceptual framing of and the relationship between accountability, legitimacy and effectiveness, 
  • the role of (climate) justice in accountable strategic planning towards decarbonisation, 
  • the role of data, assessment, transparency and related standards in accountable strategic planning, including challenges related to the “politics of data”.

Call for Papers

Authors of suitable abstracts will be invited to submit a manuscript. Manuscripts can be written in German or English have to be submitted as a “Forschungsbeitrag / Research Article”. Submitted manuscripts (60,000 characters max.) have to be prepared according to the journal’s Instructions for Authors (
Double-blind peer review: As usual, all manuscripts will be subjected to an anonymous review process and will only be accepted on the basis of positive reviews.

Preliminary timetable

Call for abstracts: 5 January 2024
Deadline for the submission of abstracts: 29 February 2024
Feedback to and selection of authors: 31 March 2024
Deadline for the submission of complete manuscripts: 31 July 2024

The initial online publication (online first) will take place approximately four weeks
after the respective contribution has been accepted

The print publication of the special issue is scheduled for summer 2025

For subject-related queries, please contact the guest editors: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Cathrin Zengerling ( and Prof. Dr Antje Matern ( 
For organisational queries, please contact the Editor-in-Chief Prof. Dr. Andreas Klee (