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Department of Spatial Planning
BSc lecture seminar

Theory of spatial planning

In the lecture seminar, the most important theoretical approaches to spatial planning since the establishment of the discipline will be presented, an overview of different schools of thought will be given and the relationship between planning theory and planning practice will be discussed. The seminar serves to gain an understanding of the development and current positioning of spatial planning and to reflect on one's own actions as a planner. Planning theory deals with the questions of the content of planning (what), its legitimacy (why) and the planning processes (how). While the content of planning is the subject of a wide variety of courses in the study of spatial planning, the focus of this course is on planning processes, i.e., the question of how planning works. The perspective is primarily theoretical and less instrumental or methodological.

In connection with this, the question of the why of planning, i.e. its legitimacy, will also be addressed against the background of different theoretical currents. Overall, the current relevance of the discussion on planning theory will thus be presented by looking at its foundations and causes. The schools of thought presented in the course include the 'classical' approaches of rational planning and incrementalism, the search for a 'third way' as a response to these classical approaches (perspective incrementalism, mixed scanning, strategic choice), planning as a political process and governance theories, the communicative planning theories, and current approaches to planning theory. The schools of thought are each placed in their historical, social, and political contexts and presented against the background of the interdisciplinary influences on their development.

Details: LSF  |  Moodle