3rd YA Meeting (Vienna, February 2009) Planning as REAR VIEW MIRROR or CRYSTAL BALL?

3rd YA Meeting (Vienna, February 2009)  Planning as REAR VIEW MIRROR or CRYSTAL BALL? image
  • February 9, 2009



The discipline of planning should be innately optimistic and forward-looking. Planning processes and practices are fundamentally oriented towards attempting to influence and shape the future by regulating and guiding the present. Planning is continually concerned with anticipating (future) trends and innovations in order to better predict (and shape) what the future might bring.


Yet, paradoxically, planning is also strongly influenced by its past in a variety of ways. Whilst obvious, it is not always acknowledged that local, regional and national planning cultures shape the way (that) planners perform their tasks and how planning is practised. But the idea of planning culture is not a simplistic, transparent or an orderly construct. It is deeply and often unconsciously embedded in the practises and professions of people involved and their interests in planning.


Planning identities are historically and socially rooted and are strongly embedded in planning traditions AND expressed through current diverse practices. Although the ideas behind "spatial planning", Raumplanung, Urbanistica, Ruimtelijke Ordening are largely cognate, they all carry specific national resonances which reflect as much the evolution of national planning systems and successes as the wider cultures of governance and government within which they are embedded.


It is widely acknowledged that contemporary society faces a spectrum of intense pressures driving rapid changes and evolutions in social, political, economic and cultural structures. Similarly, planning systems and policies in many regions and countries are going through an unprecedented period of rapid adjustment, affecting processes and policies of planning systems, but also planning cultures. These pressures are creating a demand for greater trans-national working, and whilst there are pressures for harmonisation across borders, little is known of how differing planning cultures are shaping the emergence of “new planning” practices.


In this conference, we seek to reconcile these two perspectives, and understand how past and future can be constructively brought together in contemporary planning practices and research. The conference will be structured in four sub-themes, which fall under the remit of the general topic of the event:


Track 1: Past Planning and Planning Futures


Track Chair: Luigi Mazza (Italy)


Discussant: Beatrix Haselsberger (Austria)


Track 2: Public Participation in Planning


Track Chair: Simin Davoudi (UK)


Discussant: Vojtěch Novotný (CzechRepublic)


Track 3: Bridging Planning Cultures, Traditions and Identities


Track Chair: Petra Hirschler (Austria)


Discussant: Paul Benneworth (UK)


Track 4: Cities of the Past - Cities of the Future


Track Chair: Zeynep Merey Enlil (Turkey)


Discussant: Oliver Frey (Austria)







Young Planning Scholars (Ph.D Students and Junior Academic Staff at the early stage of their career) are invited to submit an abstract addressing one particular track of the event. 32 papers (8 papers per track) will be selected for the 3rd YA Meeting with regard to three criteria, namely:


  • the academic quality of the submission,


  • their contribution to the aims and themes of the conference, and


  • their capacity to address both geographical scales and analytic dimensions of interest.








  •  Abstract Submission:          19.09.2008


  •  Notification – Acceptance:   26.10.2008


  •  Full-Paper Submission:        09.01.2009






NO conference fee will be charged for this event! Moreover accommodation, refreshments and meals throughout the event are provided thanks to sponsorship from the Vienna University of Technology.





Haselsberger Beatrix,