Keynote Speakers / Track Chairs 10th YA Conference 2016 Ghent

10th YA Conference 2016 Ghent image

We are proud to announce the participation of:

  • Professor dr. Willem Salet, professor Urban and Regional Planning at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Amsterdam. Former president of AESOP.

  • Professor dr. Yvonne Rydin, professor Environment and Public Governance at the Faculty of the Built Environment, University College London.

  • Professor dr. Haim Yacobi, professor (Post)Colonial Geographies; Israel and Africa; Planning and architecture in Contested Cities; Comparative Urbanism, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

  • Professor dr. Karsten Zimmermann, professor Planning Theory, Urban Studies, Metropolitan Governance and Transformation of Post-Industrial Regions, Technical University Dortmund. 

Professor Willem Salet

Short Biography

Willem Salet (1951) graduated as physical planner (1975) and as sociologist at Utrecht University (1977), both at the Faculty of Social and Cultural Sciences. He worked at the Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy (1980 -1995) where he also completed his dissertation (Utrecht University 1996). Salet was a part-time professor of governance at TU Delft from 1994 -1996. Since 1995 he is professor of urban and regional planning at the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Amsterdam. From 1998 -2003 he was the Scientific Director of the Amsterdam research institute of the Metropolitan Environment. Prof. Salet chairs the Programme Group Urban Planning since 1998. Willem Salet was the President of the Association of European Schools of Planning (2007-2009).

Willem Salet is specialized in metropolitan governance and spatial planning. He takes an institutional approach in planning studies and coordinated a lot of international and national comparative research into urban development, governance and strategic urban projects. In last ten years he coordinated research on behalf of European Science Foundation, National Scientific Organisation (NWO), Volvo Research Foundation, Urban Europe JPI, national ministries, Habiforum, and a wide number of professional agencies. In 2014, he chaired an international research consortium (2012-2014) into the Contextualisation of Legislation and an Urban Europe JPI consortium on Dilemmas of Planning, Regulation and Investment (APRILab 2013-2016). He chairs a consortium with a Brazilian partner (NWO/FAPESP) on self-building urban neighbourhoods (2015-2019).

Keynote Speech Information


Spatial Planning? Adding Spatial Quality to the Engines of Society

Spatial planning is dead, long live spatial planning! The time is over for autonomous spatial planning authorities acclaiming the spatial design of their future territories. Grown up under the conditions of modernism enduring the building-up of national welfare states, national and regional planning authorities acted as if being privileged in the position to integrate the spatial behavior of sector policies, social agencies and markets. The propensity to planning subjectivism made them imagine to act as the ‘agents of change’ vis-à-vis the ‘world to be changed’. This style of planning became more and more removed from real forces in society. The planners learned in the hard way in the entrepreneurial epoch of the 1990s and the following years of neo-liberal crisis in the years zero. Instead of being called into action in times of crisis as the strategic recipes towards a more prosperous future, spatial planning has been marginalized in a number of advanced societies.

Still, spatial planning intervention is badly needed to enhance the integrated qualities of space. Surprisingly, spatial interventions recently are making a comeback but it is no longer staged by ‘the core agents of change’. Rather than projecting a spatial design of the world, new entrepreneurial and integrating styles of planning are invented by combining spatial energy with the prevailing initiatives and actions in the public sector and in society. The new adage is ‘Do not proclaim the world how to act upon the ideal spatial design but jump on the back of actually unrolling initiatives in policy sectors and in society, demonstrate in these real contexts of action the added value of integrated spatial quality, and be committed to get it done.  The lecture will demonstrate the process of transition with examples of spatial planning in The Netherlands.

Professor Yvonne Rydin


Short Biography

Professor Yvonne Rydin is Professor of Planning, Environment and Public Policy at University College London’s Bartlett School of Planning. She specialises in urban planning, governance and sustainability and is particularly concerned that planning research should be theoretically informed. She has worked with concepts of governance, social capital and (more recently) governmentality and actor-networks (ANT). Her latest three single-authored books are Governing for Sustainable Urban Development (published by Earthscan), The Purpose of Planning: creating sustainable towns and cities and The Future of Planning: beyond growth-dependence (both published by Policy Press). A collection on ANT and planning studies (co-edited with Laura Tate) will be published by Routledge in 2016. Currently and for the last few years, her substantive area of research has been energy, both urban energy initiatives and major offshore wind projects. 

Keynote Speech Information


Multi-case study research from a relational perspective: an exploration using analysis of urban energy initiatives

Studies in urban and environmental planning have become increasingly characterised by the adoption of case study research methodology to the point where it would not be unreasonable to say that case studies, often a small number of such cases, are the default. This has been reinforced by the widespread espousal of relational approaches, inspired by postmodern geographical thinking and the influence of science and technology studies. Assemblage and ANT thinking, for example, implies detailed case study analysis. The results have been numerous rich and insightful accounts. However, without detracting from the value of these relational case studies, the question can at least be raised of how far it is possible to generalise from such research; this is the focus here. Using urban energy research as a reference point, the paper will explore the way that such relational case study research has led to an emphasis on heterogeneity and myriad pathways of transition, creating problems of generalisability. It will then propose a protocol for analysing research based on medium-sized sets of case studies, a protocol that retains the essence of a relational perspective but enables a process of clustering. It is argued that this offers some prospect of generalisability. It will illustrate this by drawing on the published results from two projects:  the EPSRC-funded CLUES (Challenging Lock-in through Urban Energy Systems) project where the author was principal investigator, encompassing thirteen case studies; and the project funded by an ESRC Climate Change Leadership grant held by Harriet Bulkeley, whose results (covering eight case studies) were published in book form (Bulkeley et al., 2015) in sufficient detail to allow re-analysis.

Professor Haim Yacobi

Short Biography

Prof. Haim Yacobi, an architect who specialized in urban and political geography, is the head of the Department of Politics and Government at Ben Gurion University. The main issues that stand in the center of his research interest in relation to the urban space are social justice, the politics of identity, migration, and colonial planning. In 1999 he formulated the idea of establishing "Bimkom – Planners for Planning Rights" and NGO that deals with human rights and planning in Israel and was its co-founder. His work has been published widely in some of the leading journals such as Environment and Planning A, Environment and Planning D, Urban Geography, City, Planning Theory and Practice and the International Journal of Middle East Studies. His latest books are Israel and Africa: A Genealogy of Moral Geography (Routledge 2016); Rethinking Israeli Space: Periphery and Identity (Routledge 2011 with Erez Tzfadia) and The Jewish-Arab City: Spatio-Politics in a Mixed Community (Routledge 2009).


Keynote Speech Information


Planning, protest and the making of a neo-apartheid city

The demand for political participation in current urban contexts is far beyond “the right to the city” discourse. It is about the very present of marginal communities in the city, about their material conditions and equal distribution of resources and it is about their political presence in the public sphere. As I will suggest throughout this presentation, some of the discussion on these matters assumes democratic-liberal, often Eurocentric, urban contexts -- overlooking current colonial urban regimes and the struggle of marginal groups. In this presentation I would like to examine whether participation in what I would term as neo-apartheid city, is possible, and if so under what conditions. Specifically, I will refer political participation in the context of urban planning while referring to two cases from Jerusalem: the struggle of Silwan’s Palestinian inhabitants against the ongoing colonization process of their neighborhood characterized by the use of archeology, architecture and planning to do so, and the protest in Sheich Jarach neighborhood against Jewish settlers appropriating Palestinian property, based on planning and legal acts. The presentation will focus on: (a) a brief political history of planning in Jerusalem, (b) the notion of the neo-apartheid city and (c) problematizing participation in planning

Professor Karsten Zimmerman

Short Biography

Since 2012 Karsten Zimmermann is Professor at the Faculty of Spatial Planning at Technical University of Dortmund where he holds the chair for European Planning Cultures. He is educated as a political scientist and dedicated most of his academic work to the study of cities and regions. Currently he is the president of the European Urban Research Association (EURA).

Keynote Speech Information


Governance and Spatial Planning. A fruitful or irreconcilable combination?  

The notion of governance found wider recognition in political science in the late 1990s. Many empirical studies pointed out that states as well as markets fail in terms of effectivenes and legitimacy in the provision of public services. Bob Jessop and Renate Mayntz were among the leading scholars in the field and the work of Jessop is still an inspiring literature because he pointed out quite early that also collaborative governance is prone to fail. In fact, the current debate on governance in political science is quite ambivalent. Some scholars claim for a stronger consideration of issues of power. Others see the return of the interventionist or hierarchical state (bringing the state back in). This is why the concept of meta-governance (introduced by Jessop and Kooiman already in the late 1990s) or the politics of self-governance (Eva Sörensen) came to the fore. These recent debates have been considered less in the planning sciences but offer an inspiring perspective for research. The concept of governance has heuristical value as can be shown by referring to the work of Joachim Blatter on patterns of metropolitan governance. 

In a more normative way the idea of territorial governance is now widely used in the European discussion on territorial cohesion and the Territorial Agenda of the EU. In my speech I argue that, seen from the perspective of spatial planning, the concept may have unwanted effects. Territory has found stronger recognition in EU policies (at least rhetorically) but may be considered as a reductionist version of spatial planning.