Keynote Panel: Encounters in Planning Thought (AESOP 2015)

Personal Reflections from Key Thinkers in Planning


This Keynote Panel took place on Thursday, July 16th 2015 as part of the AESOP 2015 Conference in Prague (CZ).  It provided a unique space to reflect on where we are as planners at the beginning of the 21st century, how we have got there and where we are going as a community into the future.




Keynote Panel Description

Organisers & Moderators:

Beatrix HASELSBERGER – Vienna University of Technology, AT

Laura SAIJA – University of Catania, IT


Speakers (in alphabetical order):

Louis ALBRECHTS – University of Leuven, BE

Rachelle ALTERMAN – Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, IL

Andreas FALUDI – Delft University of Technology, NL

Cliff HAGUE – Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, GB

Klaus KUNZMANN – University of Dortmund, DE

Gerhard SCHIMAK – Vienna University of Technology, AT



Where are we?  The session starts with some reflections and observations about what has been discussed in the frame of the 2015 AESOP conference. It seeks to highlight in particular the many different perspectives on what planning is and should be: different challenges, different political environments, different planning cultures, different fields of specialisations, different institutional settings, etc.


How have we got there?  Looking back from today’s point of view all the panel speakers explain what they have learned and discovered over the course of their intellectual journeys. They shed light on those influences that have shaped their ideas, including personal life circumstances, places, political frameworks and value systems, networks, cultural backgrounds, institutions or professional experiences. They unpack how and why they have developed their theories and conceptual tools, including how these have influenced and shaped academia, research, education and professional practice. Their very personal narratives provide insights and background information about how planning ideas evolved, developed, circulated and moved through time and space.


Where are we going?  In the final part of the session we want to explore together with the audience how we can further planning as an independent discipline as well as how we should tackle future planning challenges, particularly in respect to the congress theme of the emerging phenomenon “fuzzy responsibilities for definite space”.