Conferences of year 2016

11th AESOP Young Academics Conference 2017: Planning and Entrepreneurship


Planning and Public Policy at the Intersection of Top-down and Bottom-up Action

11th AESOP Young Academics Conference
Technical University of Munich
Chair of Urban Development
10 - 13 April 2017


Between 10 and 13 April 2017, The Chair of Urban Development at the Architecture Department of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) will host this year's edition of the international AESOP Young Academics Conference in Munich. AESOP is the Association of European Schools of Planning, and the Young Academics conference is the largest gathering of young scholars – PhD students and PostDocs – from urban planning and other related fields in Europe, which attracts researchers from all European countries and beyond.

We encourage inter-/multi-disciplinary contributions on the conference theme that present empirical research and/or theoretical discussions. We invite PhD students, post-docs, early-stage career researchers but also young activists or practitioners to submit their contributions to the YA Conference.

The conference is a four-day event around the successful frame developed by the YA: four keynote talks, two parallel tracks for presentation of 40-50 papers by young academics, as well as workshops and roundtables.

The conference is free of charge for participants whose abstract was accepted. The track chairs will decide on a best paper prize to be awarded, which has the chance to be published in DISP - The Planning Review.

Theme: “Planning and Entrepreneurship”

Widespread scepticism towards planning and technocratic government interventions on behalf of businesses and the public has led the discipline in crisis, from which it has not fully recovered. Entrepreneurs, in the form of commercial and civil initiatives are sometimes filling the void that planning leaves - hence, we embrace a 'wide' definition of 'entrepreneurship'. At the same time, technological innovations are accelerating social change. It is time for new planning theories and practices. The Young Academics community is a particularly suitable forum to discuss these trends.

Europe has left the years of rapid economic growth and large city expansions long behind, and its cities are facing new challenges of urban quality improvement, the management of economic stagnation, increasing social inequality and environmental change under the condition of a shift of power from governments to local stakeholders and global players. Also outside of Europe, the focus of action is increasingly changing from developing the new to transforming the existing. While most planners are aware of these new challenges, their response suffers from inadequate instruments and concepts. Many planning systems have been established to respond to the challenges of rapid modern urban development. In the case of Europe, planning had its heyday after the destruction of its cities during the Second World War, with the aim to create healthier, lighter, more efficient cities on the rubble of the old. Planning has often strived for desirable end-states, neglecting the fact that what appears to be worthwhile today, may not be desirable for future generations. And indeed, large parts of the public haven’t been thankful for the planning efforts of the past, instead planning has been penalised and marginalised.

Avoiding the mistakes of the past requires a new paradigm of focussing on the transforming, the fluid, and the temporary. Perhaps, planning must embrace a new entrepreneurial spirit? The conference invites young planners, who try to push forward the discipline of urban planning. Is there a Silicon Valley for planning? Can there be a new generation of urban pioneers? Are economists really “the enemy” for planners (Kunzmann, 2015)? Of course, abstracts that are critical of the term 'entrepreneurship' and what is commonly associated with it are very welcome!

See you in Munich!

The Young Academics Network