plaNext–Next Generation Planning

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plaNext–Next Generation Planning is an international peer-reviewed open access e-journal. The young academics network of AESOP founded plaNext to provide prospective authors with an opportunity to engage their ideas in international planning debates as well as to make their research available to the wider planning audience. plaNext invites authors to submit original work that includes: empirical research; theoretical discussions; innovative methodologies; case studies; and book reviews on selected books, textbooks, or specific topics dealing within planning.


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Now showing 1 - 20 of 84
  • ItemOpen Access
    Foreword Vol. 12 (2022): Governing the Unknown: Adaptive Spatial Planning in the Age of Uncertainty
    (AESOP, 2022) Cotella, Giancarlo
    I have contributed to the establishment of the AESOP Young Academics Network during the mid-2000s and I have continued to be an enthusiastic supporter ever since. Therefore, it is my pleasure to write the foreword to this important volume of the international open access journal PlaNext – Next Generation Planning, which is a compilation of the most advanced proceedings from the 15th YA conference, that took place in Tirana, Albania, in the Spring of 2021. This conference was the first YA event to take place during the COVID-19 pandemic, and its topic – “Governing the Unknown: Adaptive Spatial Planning in the Age of Uncertainty” – very much reflects the uncertainty that pervaded that period. Simultaneously, it drew inspiration from a lengthy wave of crises that, in Europe and beyond, have gradually increased instability and questioned our development models over the past 15 years. The global financial crisis, the escalating climate emergency, and the energy and food crises spawned by the Russia-Ukraine war have all highlighted the need for alternative models of development that prioritize quality over quantity, society and ecology over economy, equity over growth. These phenomena have had a disproportionate impact on weakened and marginalized communities, resulting in an increase in precariousness and uncertainty. This has for the first time since the post-war reconstruction brought to the fore of planning debates new questions about the capacity of mainstream development paradigms to tackle the critical notions of inequalities, poverty, vulnerability, and marginalisation. As a matter of fact, inequality and crises have mutually reinforced each other over time, with inequality that made cities and regions more prone to decline and crises casting light on and amplifying inequalities.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Editorial Vol. 12 (2022): Planning for uncertainty
    (AESOP, 2022) Privitera, Elisa; Dhrami, Kejt; Madureira, Mafalda; Dörder, Pınar; Toto, Rudina
    Volume 12 “Governing the Unknown: Adaptive Spatial Planning in the Age of Uncertainty” of the peer-reviewed journal plaNext – Next Generation Planning comes as a product of the 2021 AESOP YA Conference that took place at Polis University (Tirana) during March 29 and April 2, 2021. This was the 15th conference of the YA network, aimed at fostering a welcoming environment for debate and peer-learning among students, young and senior researchers, and practitioners interested in urban planning studies. Being the first YA conference since the initiation of the COVID pandemic, it was organized in a hybrid format, with the organizers managing more than 50 participants remotely from Albania. Despite fewer spontaneous and informal meetings than in previous events, due to the limitations imposed by the hybrid format, the conference went smoothly and engendered insightful reflections that provided a tangible input for this special issue of PlaNext.
  • ItemOpen Access
    COVID-19 Response in Freetown’s Slum Communities Embracing Situated Knowledge in Crises and Beyond
    (AESOP, 2022) Beltrame, Daniela; Benitez, Joaquin; Groff, Karenna J.; Seabold, Amelia
    The difficulties in tackling COVID-19 have shown with unparalleled strength the need to acknowledge alternative epistemologies in planning. Pandemic responses that seem to have been met with relative success were based upon the guidance, knowledge, and embodied experience of communities on the ground. While some recognize the key role of alternative or ‘non-expert’ knowledge in addressing current planning challenges, most have struggled to broaden their definition to include different ways in which community-based organizations generated data, shared knowledge, collaborated with other development actors, and learned from past experiences. This paper studies the response in Freetown´s slum communities to the unprecedented crisis brought by the COVID-19 outbreak. It analyzes how community-based organizations were able to leverage their situated knowledge to negotiate, develop, and occupy spaces of power in their city´s crisis management systems during the first months of the pandemic. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews and personal communications with residents of Freetown’s slum communities, workers of international non-governmental organizations (INGO) based in Freetown, researchers, and local government officials. This research discusses what knowledge is, where and by whom it is generated, and how it can be collectively leveraged in crisis situations. We also offer a reflection on what this may mean for the future of planning, in terms of transforming structures of exclusion and sustaining that transformation.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Cultural heritage challenges and Smart city concept (a strategic planning tool in a strategic planning framework)
    (AESOP, 2022) Borotová, Barbora
    The Smart City concept is often debated in academic, corporate, and institutional spheres, highlighting its conceptual model variations and technological interests. Many cities have decided to implement the Smart City concept as another development strategy with the vision of growth and efficiency enhancement. Such strategy refers to an extra instrument, in many cases, for bridging technological-based solutions with urban development. However, a social aspect is increasingly considered as the missing piece in the Smart City concept. This paper examines the presence of socio-economic aspects in the Smart City conceptual model and the difference by its practical implementation, searching specifically for cultural heritage. The paper uses case studies to investigate the models of cultural heritage integration in different existing Smart strategies of the historical cities and cities significant for their cultural heritage. Case studies aim to provide an oververview of Smart strategies and Smart technologies, that support cultural heritage as one of the main aspects of its development and address its global challenges. The paper provides a critical view of Smart strategies based on technological innovations in historical cities, where the aspect of cultural heritage as an identity creator was neglected. The research addresses the overall position of the Smart City strategy in the strategic planning framework. It draws attention to coherence with other development strategies searching for cultural heritage objectives, in the case study of Nitra. The paper concludes with recommendations for positioning Smart City's strategy in strategic planning frameworks.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Planning with uncertainty place development of undefined becoming in south-west Sweden
    (AESOP, 2022) Staats, Rebecca
    There is increasing awareness in the planning community of the need for planning methods that can work with the complex and uncertain issues that characterise contemporary planning contexts. Through a case study of platsutveckling [place development] in south-west Sweden, this paper explores the potential of a post-structuralist planning perspective as one way forward in approaching uncertainty and complexity in planning. Platsutveckling is an approach to place development planning in the context of regional development, implemented by the Swedish regional government Västra Götalandsregionen (VGR). Place development initiatives in VGR incorporate a participatory approach, actively involving local stakeholders to develop target place visions. The platsutveckling process also has characteristics of structuralist planning methods, with a strong emphasis on goal setting. The case is used to argue that a mindset shift is required in order to move forward with planning with uncertainty. Conceptualising uncertainty-as-opportunity, the paper applies a post-structuralist planning perspective to the case study to consider how planning could respond in contexts with high levels of self-organisation. The paper concludes with a discussion of the potential of a post-structuralist approach in complex and uncertain planning contexts.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Reproduction of Spatial Planning Roles Navigating the Multiplicity of Planning
    (AESOP, 2022) Lamker, Christian; Marjanović, Marjan
    Planning scholars use complexity perspectives to account for unpredictable societal circumstances in an uncertain and changing world. Questions emerge not only about how planning communication and action can transform but more so about the planner’s ability to navigate the complex relational dynamics of planning. To move forward, we use Gilles Deleuze’s concept of assemblage thinking to frame spatial planning as a continually changing multiplicity of diverse entities and emerging dynamic relations among them. Niklas Luhmann’s social systems theory then helps to promote a perspective on planners as a multiplicity of roles grounded in continuously evolving self-descriptions and self-developed meanings. Planners achieve the organisation (navigation) in an uncertain and complex environment through the reproduction of roles. This paper positions planning as a self-reflexive process that uses a multiplicity of role configurations that ultimately defines and transforms the meaning of planning itself.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The mechanics of drawing Helping planners use serious games for participatory planning
    (AESOP, 2022) Sousa, Micael
    Participatory planning is a way planners can gather valuable information and improve the planning process. To engage citizens in participatory approaches, planners should explore new interactive methods. Combining drawing as a communication activity, and games as an engaging approach can be one of the participatory methods. We propose to explore games that planners can use as tools for this purpose. We searched for analogue games with core drawing mechanics, where planners could learn how to build their serious games. Board Game Geek (BGG) allowed us to explore the most successful modern board games that use drawing mechanics, focusing on examples of how they engaged players. We discussed these, proposing the Modding Drawing Games for Planning Process (MDGPP) framework, and arguing how these core and auxiliary game mechanics could help planners to make game-based planning approaches. With this contribution, we hope to provide a process to help professional planners deliver engaging experiences to collect data for participatory planning approaches.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Is Covid-19 going to change our relationship with space? A paradigm from Greece
    (AESOP, 2022) Komninou, Eleni
    As Greece was in lockdown, the Greek cities resembled ghosts, and their cityscapes reminded us of dystopian movies. Empty streets and motorways, people afraid to go outside, and an uneasy cloud hanging above, encapsulating the minds of people living in these unprecedented times. Space is inherently connected with infectious diseases. In this context, the pandemic crisis posed new challenges to how we perceive and interact with space, both indoors and out. So, the aim of this article is twofold: to discuss whether the relationship with space has changed due to Covid-19 and the confining measures and to contribute to the knowledge base on the field by reflecting on the Greek reality. Greece has been hit by the virus similarly to other European countries: counter-urbanization, quiet urban environment, lifeless streets, etc. Covid-19 brought a disturbance to the everyday lives of people as well as a shift in urban balances. As a result, uber trends have emerged in how we use space, which have altered the interrelation of citizens with urban space. All in all, what is common is the uncertainty of the future, while the level of change regarding how we use and perceive space is unknown yet.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Editorial Vol. 11 (2021) : Introduction: Planning theories from 'southern turn' to 'deeply rooted/situated in the South/context' A project in the making
    (AESOP, 2021) Mukhopadhyay, Chandrima; Hammami, Feras; Watson, Vanessa
    Over the years a growing number of planning and urban theorists located in, or writing on, planning and urban theories in the global South have argued that theories emerged on the basis of assumptions within a northern context that do not ‘fit’ or are not applicable in global South contexts (Rao 2006; Ferguson 2006; Watson 2009; Roy 2009; Myers 2011; Parnell and Robinson 2012). Hence, they maintain, there is a need to rethink the northern bias in planning and urban theory and to develop new concepts, ideas, vocabularies and practices from southern perspectives. McFarlane (2008) uses the term ‘southern turn’ in urban studies, while arguing that productive comparisons across contexts constitute an epistemological transformation in urban theory. He uses the term ‘urban shadow’ to explain how southern cities are considered marginal and on the ‘edges’ of a predominantly Euro-American oriented urban theory canon (McFarlane 2004; 2008). Rao dwells on Amin & Thirft’s (2002) Cities: Reimagining the Urban to develop her ‘slum as theory’ wherein she critically reflects on the dominant discourses that inform and guide planning and urban theory. In 2009, Watson (2009), a scholar based in the South, introduced the idea of ‘seeing from the south’ to explain the need for context-rooted theory development. Yiftachel (2006) introduced a South-Eastern approach instead to break the binary of North-South and East-West. Roy (2009) calls for new geographies of ‘imagination and epistemologies’, as dominant theorizations are based on Euro-American experience, and are unable to capture the grounded reality of the global South.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Generative pedagogies from and for the social production of habitat : Learning from HIC-AL School of grassroots urbanism
    (AESOP, 2021) Weesley, Julia; Allen, Adriana; Zárate, Lorena; Silvia Emanuelli, María
    Re-thinking dominant epistemological assumptions of the urban in the global South implies recognising the role of grassroots networks in challenging epistemic injustices through the co-production of multiple saberes and haceres for more just and inclusive cities. This paper examines the pedagogies of such networks by focusing on the experiences nurtured within Habitat International Coalition in Latin America (HIC-AL), identified as a ‘School of Grassroots Urbanism’ (Escuela de Urbanismo Popular). Although HIC-AL follows foremost activist rather than educational objectives, members of HIC-AL identify and value their practices as a ‘School’, whose diverse pedagogic logics and epistemological arguments are examined in this paper. The analysis builds upon a series of in-depth interviews, document reviews and participant observation with HIC-AL member organisations and allied grassroots networks. The discussion explores how the values and principles emanating from a long history of popular education and popular urbanism in the region are articulated through situated pedagogies of resistance and transformation, which in turn enable generative learning from and for the social production of habitat.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Rooting metropolitan planning in critical theory and participatory practices : A university planning experience in Belo Horizonte, Brazil
    (AESOP, 2021) Costa, Geraldo; Costa, Heroisa; Monte-Mór, Roberto
    The paper aims at contributing to the discussion about planning theory and participatory practices in the Global South by focusing on a planning experience for the Belo Horizonte Metropolitan Region, Minas Gerais State, Brazil, led by faculty, researchers and students at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, between 2009 and 2019. The initiative unveils the University autonomy in designing and carrying out the metropolitan analyses and planning proposals, in adopting theoretical principles and methodologies and, in developing an outreach programme tightly linked to education and research, resulting in significant improvements in planning education, innovations in planning methodology and the potential for rooting radical planning practices in the metropolitan context. First, objects and subjects of the experience are introduced, together with the three phases of the process: the drafting of a metropolitan plan known as the Integrated Development Master Plan for the RMBH; the Metropolitan Macro-Zoning; and the review of municipal Master Plans within RMBH. Secondly, the trajectory and influences of Brazilian urban and metropolitan planning are reviewed to the extent that they fed into the experience. The discussion of municipal planning processes leads to an assessment of the experience’s main achievements. The concluding section offers some thoughts on rooting metropolitan and urban planning in critical theory and participatory practices, as a means to contribute to discussions of planning practices in the Global South.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A Lacanian understanding of the southern planning theorists' identification under the hegemony of western philosophy
    (AESOP, 2021) Mohammadzadeh, Mohsen
    As a planning theorist who has studied and taught planning theory in the Global South and North, I grapple with the question - "What does planning theory mean in the Global South?" To answer this question, I ontologically investigate the meaning of Southern planning theory based on a Lacanian approach. Drawing on the Lacanian theory of human subjectivity, this article explains how planning theorists’ identities are constituted through their interactions within academia. Lacanian discourse theory assists in exploring how most Southern planning theorists adopt, internalise, and use hegemonic Western philosophy, ideas, and discourses as the only accepted mechanism of truth. Consequently, this process profoundly alienates Southern planning theorists from their local context, as they often devalue, overlook, and neglect non-Western beliefs, ideas, knowledge, and philosophy. I argue that although the number of Southern planning theorists has increased during the last decades, non-Western philosophy is seldom utilised as the core of their critical studies. Based on the Lacanian discourse theory, I show that they mostly remain in the hegemonic mechanism of knowledge production that is embedded in the colonial era.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Inclusion in urban environmental governance of small and intermediary cities of the global South
    (AESOP, 2021) Adelina, Charrlotte; Archer, Diane; Johnson, Oliver; Otieno Opiyo, Romanus
    Urban sustainability is governed beyond the urban scale through trans-local networks and assemblages of actors and institutions. There is an emerging field of interest that aims to understand the outcomes of urban sustainability interventions, both from the environmental and social equity perspectives. This paper contributes to the literature on governing urban environmental sustainability transitions, with a distinct focus on small and intermediary cities of the global South. Actors in cities of the global South are adopting a variety of ways towards achieving urban sustainability transitions in the realm of disaster risk reduction, adaptation building, greenhouse gas emission reduction, and natural resource management. Our paper employs an analytical framework derived from Bai et. al. (2010) to chart the actors, drivers, finances, barriers, and the inclusivity and sustainability outcomes in seven interventions led by different actors. Five of the cases are drawn extensively from literature, while two case studies reflect on our primary engagement in the cities of Nakuru in Kenya and Udon Thani in Thailand. We find that the actors leading and financing the projects and the drivers of the intervention can explain differential outcomes in the inclusion processes and the framing of environmental solutions. We then delineate the opportunities and barriers to achieve multi-level governance approaches that are relevant to planning transformations in the South.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Legacies of mistrust : Why colonial imprints on the implementation of fiscal reforms in Mozambique and Mexico matter
    (AESOP, 2021) Carolini, Gabriella Y.; Lynn Hess, Sarra
    National authorities across Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa have implemented various forms of fiscal decentralization over the past three decades with equivocal results. The design of such reforms has long rested on theories based on the experiences of high-income countries’ efforts at increasing local autonomy, accountability, and basic service efficiencies. Critics of the global advocacy for fiscal decentralization, however, point to several challenges with its implementation across diverse political economies that differ significantly from those in high-income environments. Nonetheless, these critiques often obscure the impact that colonial regimes and their legacies have on current efforts to fiscally decentralize. In two post-colonial environments where fiscal decentralization projects have unrolled, namely Mozambique and Mexico, we show how colonial imprints remain critical to understanding efforts at fiscal decentralization. Our focus in these cases is on how race-based caste systems introduced under colonial administrations fed the development and evolution of dual governance systems across spaces and peoples that bred mistrust between residents, local authorities and central authorities. We argue that the conflicting rationales in evidence between stakeholders involved in fiscal decentralization projects today are rooted in the social mistrust and power struggles born from these colonial experiences. In conclusion, we contend that fiscal decentralization reforms must explicitly grapple with these spatialized and racialized legacies of mistrust and the diverse rationalities guiding stakeholders in both the design and evaluation of public policies meant to strengthen local autonomy, transparency, and efficiencies.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Infrastructural insurgency : Constructing situated data at Brazil’s urban periphery
    (AESOP, 2021) Stiphany, Kristine
    This paper focuses on how insurgencies are continually recast in parallel to State-led redevelopment or 'upgrading'. It brings attention to communities that shape and are reshaped by inclusion of data in processes through which citizens participate in city-making. Drawing on a comparative case study of intensively upgraded informal settlements in São Paulo, Brazil, findings show that data-based insurgencies have been forged from prior collective action. The resultant co-created or situated data challenge the State’s legitimacy as sole arbiter of informal settlement representation and infrastructure transformation in cities. In this context, the term infrastructural insurgency is proposed as a way that socio-material agencies iterate over time and in space, and to stimulate discourse about the future of upgrading. It reflects on which interactions between data and redevelopment can inform planning in post-redevelopment conditions across global south.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Retrofitting, repurposing and re-placing A multi-media exploration of occupation in Cape Town, South Africa
    (AESOP, 2021) Rose Cirolia, Liza; Ngwenya, Nobukhosi; Christianson, Barry; Scheba, Suraya
    The vast majority of city planning literature on informal occupations has focused on how residents occupy vacant and peripheral land, developing informal structures to address their basic needs. A smaller body of work, but one with much purchase in South Africa, explores the informal occupation of existing formal structures and how residents infuse these emergent places with social and political meaning. Across this work, occupations represent a dominant mode of city-building in the Global South. Contributing to this debate on city-making and occupations, this paper departs from an unusual case of South African occupation. We explore how displaced people have occupied a multi-storey vacant hospital building situated close to Cape Town’s city centre. Using documentary photography and interviews with residents, we argue that this occupation reflects a logic of ‘retrofit city-making’. We show that, through processes of repairing, repurposing, and renovating, dwellers have retrofit an institutional building, previously designed by the state for a very different use, to meet their needs and desires. As cities become more densely built and vacant land more peripheral or scarce, the retrofit of underutilised buildings, particularly through bottom-up actions such as occupation, will become an increasingly important mode of urban development. Not only are the practices of material transformation useful to understand, so too are the ways in which occupations reflect significantly more than simply survivalist strategies, but also care and meaning-making.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Housing systems in the Global South : The relevance of the ‘social housing’ approach in meeting housing needs
    (AESOP, 2021) Vaziri Zadeh, Alireza; Moulaert, Frank; Cameron, Stuart
    This paper addresses the problem of accessing decent and affordable housing in the Global South, where the housing need is, in general, more problematic than in the Global North. The paper first identifies five distinctive characteristics of housing systems in the Global South as compared to those in the Global North. These include: (a) the diverse facets of global financialization; (b) the role of the developmentalist state; (c) the importance of informality; (d) the decisive role of the family; and (e) the rudimentary welfare systems. Given these features, the paper reflects on the concept and practices of social housing, particularly their appropriateness to deal with the housing problem in the Global South. The paper then addresses the question of whether the social housing approach is relevant for solving the contemporary housing needs in the Global South. It argues that social housing, redefined to better encompass the distinctive characteristics of housing systems in the Global South, is indeed a useful policy approach and can play a decisive role in satisfying unmet housing needs. Such an approach needs to take into account the great role of informality and family support systems and develop appropriate funding instruments and modes of institutionalization protecting housing rights and the quality of life.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Gentrifying the Brazilian city? Convergences and divergences in urban studies
    (AESOP, 2021) Toneli Siqueira, Marina
    There is a growing number of processes in Brazilian cities that have been identified as gentrification. However, the classic definition of gentrification as a process of transformation of existing urban housing stocks by new homeowners with a higher socio-economic profile poses challenges to understand recent empirical data coming from Brazil and the Global South more generally. Instead of dismissing them as deviant cases, this paper challenges the Northern empirical foundations of gentrification theory and calls for a new methodological approach to both classic and new cases that take into consideration its contextualization. This new framework for gentrification research is based on necessary dimensions that identify the production of gentrifiable space as the initial condition to the process of socioeconomic change with displacement in which built-environment upgrades constitute one of its most visible feature. These dimensions are present in each and every case, bounding the concept and operationalizing research, while local mediating forces make gentrification context-specific. Therefore, urban studies on gentrification. Should understand and explore the nature of these differences, in a return to in-depth studies and empirical research, opening spaces for de-centering positions and building theory from multiple positionalities.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Editorial Vol. 10 (2020) : Planning inclusive spaces–in a new light
    (AESOP, 2020) Dörder, Pınar; Ibrahim, Batoul; Keil, Roger
    It is deeply satisfying to know that Volume 10 of AESOP Young Academics’ peer-reviewed journal plaNext – Next Generation Planning is now available to you. This volume stems from the 13th Young Academics conference which took place from the 2nd to the 5th of April 2019 in Darmstadt and was hosted by the Graduate School of Urban Studies (URBANgrad) at the Faculty of Architecture of Technical University of Darmstadt. The conference was held under the title “Planning inclusive spaces: An inter- and transdisciplinary approach” and provided 50 young planning researchers with a platform for exchange for the following themes: “'Public space' and the dilemma of inclusion,” “Health promoting urban planning and design,” “Citizenship and governance in the production of space,” and “From sustainable to resilient urban strategies.” This volume comprises three top-quality papers which were presented at the conference. These are highly valuable contributions, as they approach complex matters of “planning inclusive spaces” from a variety of aspects, make critical observations, and reframe and reflect on topical debates in academia and planning practice. By presenting these papers, we believe this volume provides an insight into advancing our collective knowledge through the debates on inclusivity. We learn our lessons from policies and practices that are “good” but also from those that are “not so good”. The volume, therefore, shares these perspectives and viewpoints with relevance to the conference theme, and it does so by trying to identify what is really needed to adequately address spatial challenges and to facilitate a sustainable transition towards (more) inclusive spaces through inter- and transdisciplinarity.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Implementing social sustainability in area development projects in the Netherlands
    (AESOP, 2020) Janssen, Celine; Daamen, Tom; Verdaas, Co
    During recent decades, urbanization processes and changing population compositions in European cities have underlined the relevance of social sustainability for urban development. Despite a growing amount of research on the social sphere of sustainability, the actual implementation of social sustainability in area development projects remains problematic. In the Netherlands, as in most other European countries, area development is understood as an interdisciplinary practice that strives to integrate strategies, activities and interests of public and private actors into perceived sustainable projects. If area development projects are considered as acts of policy implementation, two questions rise: 1) How are social sustainability dimensions planned, operationalized and implemented through area development projects? and 2) How are they related to governance configurations and mechanisms that relate to decision-making and interventions in these area development projects? The main aim of this paper is to construct a theoretically informed analytical approach to be further developed and applied in PhD research about the implementation of perceived “social sustainability” in area development projects in the Netherlands. We conclude that the implementation of social sustainability in area development projects is a governance process that requires political interventions in a market-driven society and hypothesize that the outcomes of social sustainability in area development are dependent on various aspects of this governance process.