31 May 2017

METREX Stockholm Spring Conference

Looking forward for 3 days of serious debates on "Planning for social cohesion and Implementing EU strategies and programmes."  at METREX Stockholm Spring Conference


26 May 2017

Planning for compact urban forms: local growth-management approaches and their evolution over time

Urban growth is a key issue for spatial planning as it influences urban patterns and disrupts open landscapes. To effectively steer urban growth towards compact urban forms, many growth-management policies have been developed over recent decades. However, few studies have assessed how municipal policy mixes have evolved over time. In our representative Swiss-wide survey, we evaluated the prevalence and the time of introduction of 18 policies. Our results indicate that large municipalities use a broad range of reinforcing policies over decades. In contrast, small municipalities mostly rely on conventional land-use regulations. The lack of innovative, incentive-based policies casts doubt on small municipalities' ability to effectively manage urban growth. However, our analyses reveal recent efforts by small municipalities to diversify approaches to growth management and adopt innovative policies. These efforts should be supported by guiding small municipalities in their policy choices, and providing support to those lacking planning capacity.

Planning for compact urban forms: local growth-management approaches and their evolution over time

Planning for compact urban forms: local growth-management approaches and their evolution over time: (2017). Planning for compact urban forms: local growth-management approaches and their evolution over time. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. Ahead of Print. doi: 10.1080/09640568.2017.1318749

Refining a Conceptual and Operational Framework for Analysing Territorial Governance in Processes of Strategic Spatial Planning at the Urban Regional Level

Short research period at Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University on: 
Refining a Conceptual and Operational Framework for Analysing Territorial Governance in Processes of Strategic Spatial Planning at the Urban Regional Level
The purpose of this visit to the Department of Human Geography at Stockholm University hosted by Professor Peter Schmitt, is to refine a conceptual and operational framework for analysing territorial governance in the context of strategic spatial plan-making and plan-implementation processes at the urban regional level. This visit comes in the context of the CONCUR project, From Plans to Land Change: How Strategic Spatial Planning Contributes to the Development of Urban Regions, coordinated by Dr Anna Hersperger (Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL) and funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF).
This international visit, while brief, is intended to (i) refine the visiting fellow’s proposed framework for analysing territorial governance, within the context of strategic spatial planning, by identifying drawbacks and opportunities, and (ii) discuss with Stockholm-based experts how territorial governance and strategic spatial planning can cross-fertilize with each other.
The visiting fellow*: Eduardo Oliveira, http://cms.wsl.ch/info/mitarbeitende/oliveira/index_EN
The host: Professor Peter Schmitt, Department of Human Geography at Stockholm University, http://www.su.se/english/profiles/pschm-1.188628
Project coordinator: 
Dr. Anna Herspergerhttp://www.wsl.ch/info/mitarbeitende/hersperg/index_EN

Project team
Dr. Simona Raluca Gradinaruhttp://www.wsl.ch/info/mitarbeitende/gradinaru/index_EN ; 
Dr. Sofia Pagliarinhttp://www.wsl.ch/info/mitarbeitende/pagliarin/index_EN ; 
Dr. Gaëtan Palkahttp://cms.wsl.ch/info/mitarbeitende/palka/index_EN ; 
& *

CONCUR WSL will be attending

CONCUR WSL - "How strategic spatial planning contributes to the development of urban regions" project will be attending:
The Network of European Metropolitan Regions and Areas spring conference, 31 May–2 June 2017, Stockholm County Council
Nordic Geographers Meeting, June 18th–21st 2017, Stockholm University
CONCUR project dedicated webpage

What's branding?

22 May 2017

Regional Studies, Regional Science (RSRS).

RSRS is the flagship open access journal from the Regional Studies Association, focusing on regional issues in geography, economics, planning, and political science. Find out more.

How will publishing open access in RSRS benefit you?
Increased visibility

RSRS is one of the few open access social science journals to be included in Scopus.

Increased readership
Articles are made freely available to anyone, thus the potential reach of your paper is much wider than traditional journals. The most viewed papers published in RSRS are within the top 5% of all scholarly papers.

Rapid publication times and high quality peer-reviewRSRS offers field-leading review times - currently averaging 35 days. All papers are double blind peer reviewed, ensuring only the highest quality research is published in the journal.

No submission fee
You will only be asked to pay an article publishing charge if your paper is accepted.

Your work will sit alongside papers by such luminaries as:
Submit your paper here.
Kind regards,
Alasdair Rae,
Co-Editor-in-Chief of RSRS

Basque Country cluster policy: the road of 25 years

This paper addresses how cluster policy, particularly its management part, contributes to the processes of switching path dependency and escaping lock-ins in the old industrial regions. This is based on the case study of the Basque Country in a timeline of 25 years. Analysing the development of the Basque cluster policy on both a period and a stage-by-stage basis gives a practical understanding of the intervention framework for effective cluster policy management. Moreover, it rediscovers and stresses the importance of agile policy capacity to internal knowledge creation, constant learning and adaptation stimulating processes of path creation in old industrial regions by providing new ways of thinking about cluster policy interventions.



9 May 2017

This island position: An interview with Janice Morphet

Janice Morphet, who will speak at the RTPI Planning Convention on 21 June, tells Simon Wicks how the UK seems to be a nation out of tune with Europe, the times and itself.
Words:Simon Wicks



Educating Planners in a Post-truth World

Applications are open

Teaching in the broad field of planning is one of the main activities of AESOP Member Schools. Thus, in 2002, AESOP introduced a prize (http://www.aesop-planning.eu/en_GB/excellence-in-teaching) which recognizes and encourages Excellence in Teaching. Through this award, AESOP celebrates and disseminates innovative practices in teaching in its Member Schools. The broad aim of the Prize is to stimulate the development of planning courses or groups of courses in order to better prepare students for their forthcoming practice, to further educate practitioners, and to promote the development of a critical perspective. The specific purpose of the prize is to promote and encourage planning schools to apply new pedagogy, theories and/or technologies/techniques in ways that enhance the knowledge and skills necessary to respond to new global planning challenges. The Award provides an important opportunity to disseminate effective practice and importantly to celebrate teaching quality amongst European Schools of Planning.

One of the key features of political debates in recent times has been the rising scepticism displayed towards different forms of expert knowledge by certain political movements and sections of society. The prevailing mood was captured by an anti-EU politician during the 2016 UK referendum on EU membership, who remarked that people in Britain have “had enough of experts”.  Such attitudes have been accompanied by the rise of mendacious and manipulative discourses and narratives in recent political processes, leading to the growing use of term ‘post-truth’ politics to describe this phenomenon. If the realization of true democratic participation requires what Habermas termed to be ‘undistorted’ communication characterized by the features of comprehensibility, legitimacy, truthfulness and sincerity, then the ‘democratic’ quality of many recent electoral episodes is perhaps rather moot.  Instead crude majoritarian views of what is ‘right’ and ‘should’ happen dominate, whilst the rights of minorities, or those, including experts, who take a different view, to be heard are often questioned. This is the case even where a majority of the electorate did not actively support certain choices (e.g. 63% of the UK electorate did not vote for so-called ‘Brexit’), or in truth the absolute majority of voters backed the ‘losing’ side (e.g. Hillary Clinton polled more votes than President-elect Donald Trump in the 2016 US Presidential election). 
The political and societal context described above brings clearly into view notions of the relativity of what constitutes ‘truth’ and who can authoritatively claim to articulate it in given social situations. It presents particular challenges for societal groups such as professions that claim to possess forms of specialized or expert knowledge in relation to a particular field of human action and endeavour. It brings clearly into view notions of the relativity of what constitutes ‘truth’ and who can authoritatively claim to articulate it in given social situations.
The planning profession and its theorists and educators have long grappled with the issue of what gives planning and planners their legitimacy to ‘pronounce’ on the forms and outcomes of development which can be identified as serving a common good, or the public/collective interest. The idea of planning and views of the ‘knowledges’ it should draw on have evolved over time, with the central theme of the position and legitimacy of the planner as the expert, or ‘knower’ being explored in practice and in theory. This issue been a theme of reflection for planning practitioners, scholars and students, and the design and teaching on many planning programmes seeks to take this into account. These issues are given particular and renewed salience by the current political and societal climate in many countries.
In recognition of this context, in 2017, the AESOP Excellence in Teaching Prize Committee are keen to encourage entries from courses that seek to use innovative approaches to develop learners’ capacity to reflect on the kinds of issues outlined above and prepare them to work as practitioners in a world where dissensus rather than consensus around matters of collective interest seems to be growing and the legitimacy of expert and professional knowledge(s) is increasingly called into question. 


Only AESOP member schools can be nominated for this prize. The course must have been successfully implemented for at least one year. Applicants can either be:
  • a planning school; 
  • a planning department within a university; or 
  • a group of teaching staff or an individual belonging to an AESOP Member school.


Please, use the electronic application form available from the AESOP web site.
All material must be submitted electronically.
Applications must be received by 5th of June 2017
Applications must include a full description of the course or module, as it is described and structured in the 2017 application form.

A panel of academics (AESOP Excellence in Teaching Award Committee) will judge the nominees. The panel will consist of AESOP members, including a representative from AESOP’s Young Academics Network.

A prize of €1000 will be presented to a representative of the winning programme during the AESOP 2017 Congress in Lisbon, at the AESOP General Assembly which will take place on 13th July 2017.

The winner will be expected to make an audio-visual presentation of the programme at the subsequent year’s congress. He/she/they will also be expected to allow the programme to be presented on AESOP’s website.

5 May 2017

RSA Funding Opportunities - deadline approaching

Non-members may apply for membership at the same time as applying for a grant.

Are you a mid-career researcher in need of a grant to finance for example a pilot study? Apply for the RSA Membership Research Grant worth up to £5,000 (Deadline 8th May 2017).

Are you an early career researcher within five years of you PhD? Apply for the RSA Early Career Research Grant worth up to £10,000 (Deadline 31st May 2017).

Have you published a paper/ thesis which deserves an award? Apply for one of the RSA awards (Deadline 31st May 2017).

Are you interested in organising a series of events examining an issue of collective interest? Apply for the RSA Research Network worth up to £10,000 (Deadline 31st July 2017).

2 May 2017

The limits of growth: A case study of three mega-projects in Istanbul


Istanbul continues expanding the limits of its growth (and sustainability).
Mega-projects are the dominant mode of production of urban space and infrastructure.
The problems of jeopardized natural resources, property rights and expected migration influx could violate the existing urban fabric.
The key issue with mega-projects is the danger of losing green areas to business development.

how Jane Jacobs saved New York from Bulldozer Bob


Special issue in European Planning Studies Spatial planning and place branding: rethinking relations and synergies

Introduction:  Kristof Van Assche, Raoul Beunen and Eduardo Oliveira  Rethinking planning-branding relations: an introduction . https:...