The French and British Planning Studies Group was founded in 1998, initially by British academics who had undertaken research in France. Very soon after its foundation it developed into a dialogue between French and British academics undertaking research in the other country, which allowed in-depth discussion based on the very extensive knowledge of its members. In the first instance the Group had no other objective than to provide what proved to be an invaluable meeting point for the exchange of ideas at its biannual meetings. From these discussions, however, arose the possibility of joint publications, and the Group, led by Philip Booth, has been instrumental in producing two books, both of which have appeared in both English and French, and a special edition of Town Planning Review on European Capitals of Culture (January 2011). In the second of the two books, Spatial Planning Systems of Britain and France (Booth et al. 2007) each chapter was co-authored by a French and British member of the Group. More recently further to two seminars in 2012-2013, a special issue on Rail and Urban Development was published in Town Planning Review (2014, 85/2).
The group currently gathers more than 50 members, mostly from Britain and France. A dedicated steering group, composed of Lauren Andres (University of Birmingham), Elsa Vivant (Université Paris-Est), Florine Ballif (Université Paris-Est), Philip Booth (University of Sheffield), Mike Devereux (University of the West of England), Olivier Sykes (University of Liverpool), is responsible for the management of the group. Since 2005 it has been formally constituted as a sub-group of the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) and will shortly have a web-page on the new AESOP site. This has enabled the Group to tap into a larger European audience and it has had a presence at the annual AESOP congresses since 2004.
Sykes, O., Andres, L. & Booth, P. (2015) The potential and perils of cross-national planning research, Town Planning Review, 86(2), pp. 98-103
Olivier Sykes, Lauren Andres and Philip Booth in this paper offer some reflections on cross-national planning research from a decade and a half of ‘Channel hopping’
Andres, L., Booth, P. & Sykes O. (2014), AESOP's Thematic Groups – Part 1: French and British Planning Studies Group, DisP, 50(2), pp. 50-52
Lauren Andres, Philip Booth and Olivier Sykes present the history and activities of the group in the Aesop News Section.
Linking rail and urban development: reflections on French and British experience - Town Planning Review (2014, 85/2)