Editorial Vol. 7 (2018) : Planning and Critical Entrepreneurship

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Revisiting the relation between planning and entrepreneurship is a needed focus in planning education, yet not an unambiguous task to address. The 11th Conference of AESOP Young Academics Network followed the theme “Planning and Entrepreneurship”. It was hosted by the Chair of Urban Development at Technische Universität München in Germany. In April 2017, it brought together over 50 participants from 17 countries who presented 46 papers on the subject matter. Sometimes explicitly, at times more implicitly, young international planning scholars sought to review benefits and potential pitfalls of introducing the study of diverse forms of entrepreneurship and related concepts to contemporary planning debates, in theory and praxis, as well as at their interface. The conference embraced a “wide definition of entrepreneurship” (AESOP YA Online, 2016), encompassing the range from commercial entrepreneurship to civil initiatives that “are sometimes filling the void that planning leaves” (ibid.). It simultaneously promoted the notion that both businesses and publics take a sceptical stance towards technocratic planning and government interventions. This scepticism, apparently, “has brought the discipline into crisis, from which it has not yet fully recovered” (ibid.). The following questions accompanied the event: How can planning support innovative activities? How can planners react to technological start-ups moving into the realms of planning, architecture, and geo-localised data? Can (or should) planners themselves become entrepreneurs? (cf. AESOP Online, 2017).
plaNext-Next Generation Planning Vol. 7 (2018): Planning and critical entrepreneurship 7-26
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