Conversations in Planning Theory and Practice

‘Conversations in Planning Theory and Practice’ is a collaborative e-publication project between the Young Academic network and AESOP (Association of European Schools of Planning). The booklet project aims to document conversations between two generations of scholars about theories, ideas, concepts and practices that matter in planning in an inviting and explanatory way that allows the readers to engage with the discussion easily. The booklets are carefully put together and blind peer-reviewed, i.e., they host comments by people indicated by Senior Scholar that highlights parts of his/her work in a manner that helps to elaborate on the essence of the conversation in knowledge creation. Simultaneously, this was the first product to appear on AESOP’s digital platform for publication, which facilitated the dissemination of this library with everyone and at a minimal cost.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 11 of 11
  • PublicationOpen Access
    Larry Susskind - Action-Reflection-Adaptation-Public Learning: Excerpts from the Life of a Pracademic
    (AESOP, 2020-04) Chandra, Shekhar; Susskind, Larry; Mukhopadhyay, Chandrima
    Larry Susskind is Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His research interests focus on the theory and practice of mult party negotiation and public dispute resolution, the practice of public engagement in local decision-making, global environmental treaty-making, and the resolution of science-intensive policy disputes, particularly those related to climate change adaptation. He is an experienced mediator, having helped to settle more than 50 resource management and development disputes in many parts of the world, mostly through the Consensus Building Institute, which he founded in 1991. Larry is the author or co-author of more than twenty books including, most recently, Environmental Problem-Solving (Anthem), Managing Climate Risks in Coastal Communities: Strategies for Engagement, Readiness, and Adaptation (Anthem), the second edition of Environmental Diplomacy (Oxford Press), and Good for You, Great for Me (Public Affairs Press).He is one of the co-founders of the inter-university Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, where he now directs the MIT-Harvard Public Negotiations Program, serves as Vice-Chair for Instruction, and co-directs the Negotiation Pedagogy Initiative. This booklet is based on the author’s frequent interactions with Larry over several years at MIT. During his doctoral studies, the author has had multiple opportunities to work with Larry that not only inspired the author’s research but also exposed him to some of Larry’s important scholarly contributions to the planning field. Conversations in the booklet are grouped under five broad public policy questions to which Larry has made important contributions.
  • PublicationOpen Access
    Watson - Planning from the South: Learning from academia, praxis and activism
    (AESOP, 2021-01) Kumar, Aditya; Ramesh, Ananya; Watson, Vanessa
    Vanessa Watson is Professor of City Planning in the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics and founder member of the African Centre for Cities, both at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She holds degrees from the Universities of Natal, Cape Town and the Architectural Association of London, and a PhD from the University of Witwatersrand, and is a Fellow of the University of Cape Town. Her research and publications have been on planning theory from a Global South perspective, African cities and urbanisation, food security, informality and currently on planning and corruption in Africa. More recently she has followed the new economic forces re-shaping African cities, in particular the private-sector driven property development initiatives. Watson is Global South Editor of Urban Studies and an editor of Planning Theory. She was the lead consultant for UN Habitat’s 2009 Global Report on Planning Sustainable Cities, was chair and co-chair of the Global Planning Education Association Network, and a founder of the Association of African Planning Schools.
  • PublicationOpen Access
    Planning Practices and Theories from the Global South: Special Issue
    (AESOP, 2021-07) Mukhopadhyay, Chandrima; Belingardi, Chiara; Pappalardo, Giusy; Hendawy, Mennatullah
    The AESOP Young Academics Special Issue on Planning Practices and Theories from the Global South focuses on planning for less-affluent communities and a role for planning to safeguard the interests of underprivileged groups. The innovation and complexity of planning practices in addressing the uneven development demands additional intellectual space than what is reflected in theories emerged in the global North, and can be addressed by a geographic and thematic ‘Global South’. The booklet brings chapters based on three schools of thoughts: Southern theory, which is in the making; transnational planning as a practice; and an ‘one-world shared approach’. The booklet is a valuable place marker in the development of regionally-specific, while globally-informed, planning. Some of the world’s most promising young thinkers review and refine the ideas of current leaders in the break out of new planning perspectives from Africa, Arab States, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.
  • PublicationOpen Access
    Faludi - Introducing a Theory of Planning
    (AESOP, 2015-04) Mukhopadhyay, Chandrima
    Professor Andreas Faludi is popularly known for taking a new approach towards planning theory in the history of planning education in the UK. He is an honorary member of the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP). After serving his term as Professor of Spatial Planning Systems in Europe at Delft University of Technology, he has recently been appointed a Senior Professor of Spatial Planning at the Department of Planning and Media Design at Blekinge Institute of Technology at Karlskrona in Sweden for teaching a course at the MSc programme on ‘European Spatial Planning and Regional Development’. On the 13th of June 2014 Faludi received an honorary Doctorate from University of Groningen, the Netherlands, for his groundbreaking work regarding the discipline of spatial planning. He started his career as a planning theorist through his appointment to write Planning Theory, accompanied by A Reader in Planning Theory, during the early 1970s. Pergamon Press commissioned it in reaction to the Royal Town Planning Institute’s curriculum for recognised planning schools. This booklet celebrates the completion of forty years since publication of his pioneering books in 1973.
  • PublicationOpen Access
    Fainstein - Fragmented States and Pragmatic Improvements
    (AESOP, 2018-10) Potter, Cuz; Balakrishnan, Sai; Fainstein, Susan
    Susan S. Fainstein is a Senior Research Fellow in the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Her book The Just City was published in 2010 by Cornell University Press and won the Davidoff Award of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP). Among her other authored books are The City Builders: Property, Politics, and Planning in London and New York; Restructuring the City; and Urban Political Movements. She has edited books on planning theory, urban theory, urban tourism, and gender and planning. Her research interests focus on theories of justice, urban redevelopment, and comparative urban policy. She has received the Distinguished Educator Award of the ACSP, which recognizes lifetime career achievement. Dr. Fainstein has been a professor of planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, and the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University and a visiting professor at, among others, the University of Amsterdam and the National University of Singapore. She was an editor of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research and of Ethnic and Racial Studies and a consultant to various public organizations. She received her A.B. from Harvard University in government, her M.A. from Boston University in African Studies, and her Ph.D. in political science from MIT.
  • PublicationOpen Access
    Deleuze and Guattari: Jean Hiller in conversation with Gareth Abrahams
    (AESOP, 2013-07) Hiller, Jean; Abrahams, Gareth
    This publication is structured around a number of ‘conversations with planners’. But, we might ask, what do we mean when we talk about a conversation, and what is this conversation for? This question is considered in Deleuze’s work with Claire Parnet (Deleuze and Parnet, 2002). Deleuze argues that most conversations are structured around a number of dualisms both in the form of the conversation (the interviewer/interviewee; the question/answer), and the content of the conversation (do you think this or that?) These dualisms, he argues, can often lead us into instances in which the ‘aim is not to answer questions (but) to get out’ (Deleuze and Parnet, 2002: 1). This is made all the more problematic, he suggests, because most questions are ‘already worked out on the basis of the answers assumed to be probable according to the dominant meanings’ (Deleuze and Parnet, 2002: 15). Thus, rather than creating something new, these questions and answers re-trace taken-for-granted relationships between selected ideas. ‘Western democratic conversation between friends’ write Deleuze and Guattari, ‘has never produced the slightest concept’ (1994: 6). If we should focus our attention on creating concepts, as Deleuze and Guattari (1994) suggest, then should we discard conversations as a meaningful contribution to such an exercise?
  • PublicationOpen Access
    Practicing a Polycentric (Post) Metropolis: A Dialogue about the Milan Urban Region
    (AESOP, 2019-07) Paris, Mario; Balducci, Alessandro
    ‘Practicing a Polycentric (Post) Metropolis’ is the eighth booklet published as part of the AESOP Young Academics ‘Conversation in Planning Theory and Practice’ project whose aim is learning through conversations across generations of planners. In a first phase of the project, booklets were divided in three series or themes, such as, the use of philosophical theories in planning, planning theories and planning practices (Exploring place matters in planning practice), being the last one the framework for this booklet. Now, we have combined these series into a sole and comprehensive structure. From a pedagogical perspective, the uniqueness of the project is learning through conversations. The booklets aim to provide an introduction to the theories and ideas of senior scholars: what and how they contributed to the field of planning; what and who influenced the development of these theories; and how this implicated/reflected on planning debate in theory and/or practice. The young academic authors not only learn from the senior scholars about their work, but also get involved in conversation with them in order to make sense of how the senior scholars have used these theories in their work, and how such theories are applied in planning theory and practice. This booklet has been conceived as a reflection grounded on the practice of planning in the context of the Milan Urban Region. The dialogue merges the vivid experience of Alessandro Balducci with the sharp questions of Mario Paris discussing the phenomenology of post-metropolis and the governance of polycentric urbanized territories in Lombardy. Corinna Morandi and Willem Salet have offered their comments and enriched the conversation, bringing their perspectives into it. Being Urban Planning a practice-oriented discipline, we think it is important to stress the interdependency between theories and the way they apply in various contexts and places. Also, we think that the direct narrative of planners’ experience may open new interesting perspectives for advancing knowledge. In this respect, the extensive interview that is discussed in this booklet - and the reflections built around it - give the reader many insights concerned with an open and plural planning approach in processes of regional urbanization.
  • PublicationOpen Access
    Changing Planning Discourses and Practices: Flanders Structure Plan
    (AESOP, 2017-07) Olesen, Kristian; Albrechts, Louis
    This booklet explores the contributions of Professor Emeritus Louis Albrechts (KU Leuven) to planning practice, with special reference to the case study of the ‘Flanders Structure and Plan’. Albrechts has, through his long academic career, maintained a strong interest in planning practice. His academic work has in many ways been focused on developing more appropriate and responsible ways of doing planning and at the core of Albrechts’ academic thinking has been the question of how to improve the practice of planning. His scholarly work has always been deeply rooted in his own experiences and reflections from working closely with and in planning practice. Albrechts has a long and impressive CV, and there are a significant number of projects that I could have explored deeper in this publication. In the end, I decided to focus on Albrechts’ perhaps most well-known contribution to planning practice, his work on the first Structure Plan for Flanders in the early 1990s. This choice reflects partly my own interest in strategic spatial planning, but it appeals hopefully also to a broader audience interested in how new planning ideas emerge, gain momentum, and then partly loose legitimacy, as socio-economic and political conditions change.
  • PublicationOpen Access
    Innes: The Evolution of Communicative Planning Theory
    (AESOP, 2015-10) Machler, Leonard; Milz, Dan
    Judith Innes is Professor Emerita of City & Regional Planning at University of California, Berkley. She holds a Ph.D. from MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning and an undergraduate degree in English from Harvard University. Innes is one of the proponents and main contributors towards communicative planning. As the authors mention in the booklet, she built communicative planning up from a concept into a practicable craft.
  • PublicationOpen Access
    Jacques Lacan - Introducing thinkers for planners: a narrative and conversation
    (AESOP, 2019-06) Gunder, Michael; Wang, Chuan
    Jacques Lacan (1901 –1981) was one of the most influential intellectuals in French cultural life during the 1960s and 1970s. As a renowned philosopher and a controversial psychoanalyst, his yearly seminars in Paris (1953-1980) and concomitant writings (the series of Écrits) further explored Freudian theory based on the study of language and established his celebrity status in France and beyond. In connection with a broad range of other disciplines, his ideas have immensely benefitted critical theory, linguistics, French philosophy, feminist theory, sociology, literary theory and film theory. For urban planning, Lacanian theories enlighten the studies on the unconscious and irrational dimension of theory and practice, which is so often neglected in planning research.
  • PublicationOpen Access
    The work of Ananya Roy: Reckonings and Encounters
    (AESOP, 2017-02) Tucker, Jennifer; Hinkley, Sara
    Ananya Roy is Professor of Urban Planning, Social Welfare and Geography and inaugural Director of the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin. She holds The Meyer and Renee Luskin Chair in Inequality and Democracy. Previously she was on the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, where she founded and played a leadership role in several academic programs including those concerned with poverty research and poverty action. Ananya’s research and scholarship has a determined focus on poverty and inequality and lies in four domains: how the urban poor in cities from Kolkata to Chicago face and fight eviction, foreclosure, and displacement; how global financialization, working in varied realms from microfinance to real-estate speculation, creates new markets in debt and risk; how the efforts to manage and govern the problem of poverty reveal the contradictions and limits of liberal democracy; how economic prosperity and aspiration in the global South is creating new potentialities for programs of human development and social welfare. Ananya is the recipient of several awards including the Paul Davidoff book award, which recognizes scholarship that advances social justice, for Poverty Capital: Microfinance and the Making of Development (Routledge, 2010); the Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest teaching recognition that the University of California, Berkeley bestows on its faculty; and the Excellence in Achievement award of the Cal Alumni Association, a lifetime achievement award which celebrates her contributions to the University of California and public sphere.