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  • Shekhar Chandra Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Larry Susskind Massachusetts Institute of Technology




cover larry susskind booklet


“Action-Reflection-Adaptation-Public Learning: Excerpts from the Life of a Pracademic. Larry Susskind in conversation with Shekhar Chandra” is the ninth 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 the first phase of the project, the booklets were divided into three series or themes, such as the use of philosophical theories in planning, planning theories, and planning practices. 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 a 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.

Since Urban Planning is a practice-oriented discipline, many raise questions about the role of theories in the discipline. Most of our published booklets have addressed the debate and interdependency between theory and practice in planning. Previous booklets also demonstrated various ways of understanding planning theory, urban theory, or critical theory. They show how the academic discipline of urban planning evolved, in different times and contexts, often cross-pollinating with other disciplines, and creating new branches.

This booklet regards the relationships among theories and practices and the positions scholars and academics can and should assume while reflecting and working in the realm of public involvement and dispute resolution. It concerns some of the major scholarly works and important thoughts of Larry Susskind and is enriched with a number of voices of other scholars who have worked together with him, providing their own glimpses on his work.


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Action, Reflection, Adaptation, Public Learning, Planning