AESOP Excellence in Teaching Award 2017

Published at: 17 July 2017

AESOP Excellence in Teaching Award 2017


Educating Planners in a Post-truth World


The competition received 8 applications this year:

+ Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Faculty of Architecture, Gdansk University of Technology  
+ Planning, Design and Technology of Architecture, Sapienza University, Rome
+ Department of Architecture, University of Cyprus.
+ Xi'an Jiaotong, Liverpool University, Suzhou
+ DIDA – Dipartimento di Architettura, Università di Firenze
+ École D'urbanisme de Paris / Institut Français d'Urbanisme  
+ University of Catania - Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture
+ Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

After a thourough review, the Award Committee announced that this year's AESOP Excellence in Teaching Award went to

Luz María Vergara d'Aleçon and Igor Moreno Pessoa
the two coordinators of the course

Rethink the City: New approaches to Global and Local Urban Challenges


run at
Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


In addition the following courses, were also considered Highly Commended:

Landscapes of Mafia (Paesaggi delle Mafie) Lab, University of Catania - Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture

URBAN POVERTY, The praxis of planning in unequal cities, Planning, Design and Technology of Architecture, Sapienza University, Rome

Planning and mental health: how to plan a new psychiatric hospital with patients and professionals?,  École D'urbanisme de Paris / Institut Français d'Urbanisme



With the respect to the winner, the Excellence in Teaching Award Committee considered that:

This was a very innovative module which emerged in a highly original manner from the  initiative of PhD students from the Global South.  The Committee was impressed by the way in which such a ‘bottom-up’ initiative was accompanied by academic staff and subsequently the institution as a whole. The module was clearly-structured around three key themes of ‘social justice’; ‘housing provision and management’; and, ‘urban resilience’. Themes which it is vital for planners to explore critically, objectively and confidently in a post-truth political climate.

The module adopted a ‘MOOC’ (Massive Online Open Course) format making it possible for a very high number of students (including professionals) from different countries to take it, and creating potential for significant transnational impact through a global, and multiple domestic, ‘planning educational networks’. Such successful elements of the module could be replicated at other institutions using similar online platforms to reach out to new groups and connecting different participants over great geographic distances, creating a base for critical reflection and strengthening practice by increasing awareness of differences and similarities in how the themes of the module are addressed in different global contexts.


For more information visit the course webpage


On behalf of the AESOP Community, we would like to congratulate the Winner and the three Highly Commended Courses and express a word of thanks to Olivier Sykes (Chair) and the Award Committee for all their dedicated and generous work put into the selection process.

Categorized as : Excellence in Teaching Prize