French and British Planning Studies Group

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.

Latest publication: Linking rail and urban development: reflections on French and British experience - Town Planning Review (2014, 85/2)

Available online:

·         Introduction Linking rail and urban development: reflections on French and British experience. Xavier Desjardins, Juliette Maulat and Olivier Sykes.

·         Trends in the social disparities in access to jobs by train in the Paris region since 1975. Xavier Desjardins and Matthieu Drevelle,

·         Crossrail: the slow route to London's regional express railway. Michael Hebbert.

·         A European perspective on the planning of major railway stations: considering the cases of St Pancras Station and Paris Gare du Nord. Etienne Riot.

·         Reluctant capitals: transport mobility and tramways in London and Paris 1830-1950. Arnaud Passalacqua.

·         Territorial opportunities of tram-based systems: a comparative analysis between Nottingham (UK) and Valenciennes (FRA). Cyprien Richer and Sophie Hasiak.

·         Derailed: understanding the implementation failures of Merseytram. Mark Smith, Olivier Sykes and Thomas B. Fischer,

·         Train stations in areas of low density and scattered urbanisation: towards a specific form of rail oriented development. Antoine Brès,

·         Contrats de développement territorial in the Grand Paris project: towards negotiated networked development?. Caroline Gallez.

·         Using contrats d'axe to coordinate regional rail transport, stations and urban development: from concept to practice. Juliette Maulat and Aurélie Krauss.

Contact & Coordination:
Dr. Lauren Andres, University of Birmingham,
Dr. Olivier Sykes, University of Liverpool,

French and British Planning Studies Group


Groupe d'Etudes sur l'Urbanisme Français et Britannique

Coordinated by: dr lauren andres