Beyond the process

Geschäftsstelle der ARL: 

Beyond the process – Finding common ground for a discussion on planning’s substantial foundation

In the academic discussion, a debate about substantial foundations of planning, knowledge specific to planning subjects as well as the scientific perspectives of planning is hardly ever held. This is the starting point of the suggested International Working Group.

The International Working Group aims to provide a platform for setting planning sciences on the move, through innovative debates about the challenges, barriers and necessities to rethink planning sciences, its origins and characteristics.

A crucial challenge is to focus on those issues that are of direct relevance to spatial planning as scientific activity. This implies to rethink what spatial planning is and what is meant by planning, what the paradigmatic foundations of planning sciences/ studies are and the impact they have on planning research and practice, what distinguishes planning approaches from conceptions, models and theories in and especially of planning, about the theoretical linkages and complementarities with other sciences and their theoretical foundations about quality standards of an interdisciplinary research without neglecting disciplinary origins or the role of space in planning sciences.

Thereby we do not seek to reduce planning to one universal understanding or to develop one overarching planning theory – in contrast, it is the crucial challenge to build a complex puzzle of what planning might be and elaborate on a contemporary understanding of planning sciences in the 21st century. Further, it shall encourage scholars to make space for theoretical furthering of ‘planning’ itself. The high demands on starting a joint discussion about this long-time tabooed topic longs for an intensive exchange of ideas, thoughts, perspectives and critiques on planning sciences within the group.

Especially semantic differences in the meaning of key terms like (spatial) planning or planning sciences or studies and their national, cultural and personal backgrounds ask for an intense exchange to be able to speak and understand each other at all.