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Planum Events 3.2018  YA AESOP CfA Congress Groningen

26 March 2018 – 29 March 2018

Navigating Change: Planning for societal and spatial transformations

GroningenThe Netherlands
• AESOP, Association of European Schools of Planning
• 06.11.2017 ( DEADLINE)

A 4-day event consisting of keynote talks, parallel sessions for young academics to present their research, 2 parallel workshops and 1 fieldtrip.

The conference aims to look for insights into how various disciplines within planning, and related to planning, are dealing with change. It invites researchers and practitioners dealing with environmental, technological, population and political change. Attention is paid to how these processes are conceptualised and which planning responses are promoted.
Additionally, the conference aims to ask how is it possible to diversify planning approaches that deal with various forms of (positive or negative) change, and questions how they impact society and affect people’s every-day lives. It wishes to examine both the analytical and normative dimensions across various disciplines within and closely related to planning, therefore aiming to contribute to interdisciplinary exchange within planning related research and practice on navigating change.
In the parallel sessions participants will benefit from the insight of a track chair that is renowned in his/her field, and the feedback of a discussant. 

Sudden shocks (such as flooding and earthquake disasters) and more slowly emerging changes (climate change) demonstrate how the natural environment is in flux. Planners are trying to find sustainable solutions to these changes at various time-scales (short-term vs. long-term), geographical scales (local vs. global) and functional scales (e.g. sectoral vs. integral). To illustrate, planners have been focusing on disaster response, adaptation, increasing (community) resilience and contributing to broader socio-technical transitions such as the energy transition. What have these concepts brought us until now? And what is their potential for planning? This track is open to papers that provide insights into the creation of more sustainable and resilient socio-ecological and socio-technical systems and the role of planning in this.

Society and, by extension, our living environment are experiencing ongoing changes due to technological developments such as robotics, e-transportation and IT applications. In an increasingly globalised society these changes can spread fast. Whereas some developments have already demonstrated their potential to be disruptive to places (e.g. AirBnB, Uber and related platforms for the sharing economy), the impact of other developments is yet to be seen (e.g. self-driving cars). Whether we, as planners, can use new technology to create innovative and smart urban and rural areas is the central focus of this track. Accordingly, we welcome papers that investigate the impact of various technological innovations on public space, as well as spatial effects of globalisation and increased mobility. We are also interested in planning processes and research methods that utilise new technologies, for example, related to Geographical Information Systems.

While some cities are rapidly growing, the ‘move to the city’ also means that less urbanised areas are confronted with population decline. This also affects the population composition: Europe faces, for instance, both an ageing population and dynamic migration flows. These variations of change pose challenges to the general well-being in these areas, such as public health and the accessibility of services. How can planners develop fit-for-purpose strategies that can either accommodate growth or address decline? To understand these population changes, as well as to identify appropriate strategies, this track welcomes papers that address the urban-rural divide, propose suggestions for both ‘planning without growth’ and ‘planning for growth’, and place-based strategies that enhance inhabitants’ well-being.

The current political-institutional landscape has changed considerably. Processes of decentralisation and globalisation (e.g. through the European Union) have led to a multi-level governance landscape in which different levels of government interact. Simultaneously, promising civic initiatives are launched by social movements, both locally and globally, that emphasise the self-organising capacities of communities and regions. These initiatives are further enhanced by governments under the umbrella term of the ‘Big Society’. Some research hints upon emerging ‘geographies of discontent’ in which differences among inhabitants are growing. This track aims to explore the mutual relationships between political-institutional changes and established planning systems. Do these systems still account for these political changes, for instance, in terms of social justice and legitimacy? Do we need to reconsider the role of the planner in this?

Planning is inherently concerned about the future. Its early focus was predominantly on extrapolating current trends, but more recently it has acknowledged more fundamental future uncertainties. Consequently, the ‘toolbox’ of planners continues to grow by advancing existing planning approaches and introducing new planning approaches that incorporate more fundamental change. We question the extent to which the current planning toolbox is equipped for dealing with change, and whether these tools also work in different settings (e.g. areas that face either growth or decline). This track is especially interested in (theoretical) papers that bring forward tools and approaches to help navigate change. Furthermore, this track will explore if such approaches are either expert-based, community-based, or a mixture of both. Topics in this track can include, but are not limited to, institutional design, scenario planning, serious games, research by design, self-organisation, social learning, and co-creative planning strategies.

Each of these tracks also relates to central themes, such as social, cultural and spatial transformation. Therefore, abstracts related to these central themes are welcome to submit to any of the tracks. We will consider modifying the tracks in order to do justice to the approved abstracts, and we aim to end up with four official conference tracks.

• Maarten Hajer | 
Distinguished Professor of Urban Futures and Director of the Urban Futures Studio, Utrecht University
• Philip McCann | Chair in Urban and Regional Economics, Management School, Sheffield University

• Deadline for (video) abstracts: November 6, 2017
• Notification of Acceptance: December 11, 2017
• Full Paper Submission: January 31, 2018


YA AESOP website
YA AESOP conference 2018

Event schedule:

  • Start: 03-26-2018
  • End: 03-29-2018.