The theoretical foundation of what we call (spatial) planning sciences or studies is difficult to grasp. Even researchers in the field of planning disagree on what is meant by a planning theory, by the core of planning or by the subject of planning sciences. If one considers (planning) sciences in general as knowledge foundation of the profession in which planning actions are reflected, analysed, discussed and modified, this missing theoretical foundation leads to a multitude of problems – for researchers in spatial planning, for planners in practice and for scientific institutions. The lack of clear explicit understandings of spatial planning, its foundations and theoretical core aspects leads to insufficient clarifications of the arguments in the academic debate itself and, in the worst case, fundamental incomprehension. Practitioners in the field of planning, however, hardly benefit from contemporary planning theories, resembling ideal-typical reflections on planning processes far off everyday challenges. In sum, planning sciences hardly provide researchers and practitioners with sufficient knowledge to improve both theories and practices. The International Working Group aims to provide a platform for setting planning sciences on the move, through innovative debates about the challenges, barriers and necessities to rethink planning sciences, its origins and characteristics. A crucial challenge is to focus on those issues that are of direct relevance to spatial planning as scientific activity.
2021 – 2023
Akademie für Raumentwicklung in der Leibniz Gesellschaft (ARL)
Behrend, L. & Levin-Keitel, M. (2020): Planning as scientific discipline? Digging deep toward the bottom line of the discussion. Planning Theory Online First. DOI: 10.1177/1473095219897283
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1473095219897283 (open access)