TU Berlin

Chair of Planning Theory and Urban-Regional Policy AnalysisChair of Planning Theory and Urban-Regional Policy Analysis

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Planning Theory and Urban-Regional Policy Analysis

Planning theory is a critical-reflective perspective on urban and regional planning as social-political domain of agency.

Planning theory thus conceived relies on a broad, trans-disciplinary understanding of what ‘urban and regional planning’ is. It deals not only with measures related to defined ‘bounded’ spaces – ‘spatial planning’ in the narrow sense – but also with practices, discourses and social relations which contribute to the social construction and social meaning of ‘space’.

An important aspect of this understanding is an interpretive policy approach according to which scientific understanding and normative orientation are not primarily pursued through the analysis of formal structures and procedures, but through critical-interpretive inquiry into concrete practices, interactions and processes which define political agency.

According to this understanding, planning theory can take a mediating position in both topical and epistemological perspective between specific areas of knowledge related to spatial development. Its goal is promoting a transdisciplinary reflection on socio-spatial processes and their political dimension.

Research and teaching at the chair focus on the following topics:

  • planning, governance and emerging socio-spatial configurations
  • new governance arenas and social interaction processes
  • urban development and planning and social conflict
  • innovation in urban democracy practices
  • transformations in territoriality in trans-scalar perspective
  • transnationalisation, Europeanisation and post-nationality in spatial policy


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