Thematic groups

AESOP Thematic Groups are working groups on specific themes established in order to create more effective platforms for debate and discussion amongst AESOP members.

Ways in which AESOP can support the TGs :

  • Institutional patronage,
  • Rights to the logo and to include the words ‘AESOP Thematic Group’ in the name,
  • Support for their logistical activities via the main AESOP website,
  • Possibility to propose topics of events (i.e. Congresses) by the TGs,
  • Possibility of financial support from AESOP (with some more requirements),
  • AESOP quality assurance,
  • Affiliation of the final results with AESOP,
  • Usage of AESOP’s platform of communication.


Thematic Groups shall deliver annual report to the Secretary General by the end of January.
Application form for AESOP funding is available here.


The application for a new Thematic Group should include:

  • Name of TG,
  • Name and affiliation of the Coordinator,
  • List of interested participants (including at least three AESOP members from different schools),
  • Short description of the area of interest,
  • Main aims,
  • Main topics to be discussed,
  • Anticipated outcomes,
  • Planned activities.

Annual Report for 2017

Published at: 20 July 2018

Annual Report for 2017Organized by Stefania Ragozino, BurcuYigitTuran, and Mohamed Saleh, in collaboration with further TG members

17th meeting: Emerging Patterns in the Built Environment: Analytical Tools & Responsive Governance

Published at: 11 June 2018

Our 17th meeting will be held from 7-9 of November, 2018 at Ben-Gurion University and Tel-Aviv University, Isreal. The event is hosted by our dedicated colleagues Prof. Nurit Alfasi and Prof. Itzhak Benenson.

The theme for this meeting will be 'Emerging Patterns in the Built Environment: Analytical Tools & Responsive Governance'. On Wed. 7th and Thus. 8th of November we will stay in Beershaba and the final day of the conference takes place in Tel Aviv.  

Prof. Ehud Meron, amongst others know from the book 'Nonlinear Physics of Ecosystes', will deliver a keynote speech. 

You are invited to joint this meeting and to submit an abstract. Abstract should be between the 500-800 words and can be send to Deadline for submission is 15th of July 2018

Do not hestitate to distribute this call for abstracts in your network. 

ATLOT summer meeting - Gothenburg 2018

Published at: 11 June 2018

You are invited to a weekend of intense work and fun in an informal setting with other academics from around the world. The AESOP Transport Laboratory of Thought is a complement to ordinary conferences in the fields of transport, mobility and planning, providing a space for radical new ideas and dedicated project collaboration under the same roof.

Planning and Complexity

The aim of the group is to contribute to the creation and maintenance of a network of lecturers and researchers, who are willing to explore and debate new developments influencing both planning theory and practice in the light of non-linearity, resilience, adaptivity, complexity, complexity thinking and complex adaptice systems.

Coordinated by: Dr. Ward Rauws

New Technologies & Planning

The GOAL: improve the communication and the knowledge between AESOP members on what is the state of the art, the methodologies and the practice of New Technologies in Planning.

Coordinated by: Paulo Silva

Planning, law and property rights

Law is an essential element of planning. Statutory law, as interpreted by the courts, defines planning powers, the planning process, and the mandatory elements of binding development plans. Although the law often attributes a wide margin of discretion to the planning authority, it also limits planning powers for the protection of individual rights.

Coordinated by: Dr Linda McElduff

Transboundary Spaces, Policy Diffusion, Planning Cultures

The aim of this group is to create and grow a network of researchers interested in, broadly speaking, the Europeanisation and internationalisation of spatial planning, and the various forms it takes – the creation of new, softer planning spaces and corresponding governance arrangements, the change of policies and practices through ‘travelling ideas’ etc.

Coordinated by: Prof. Dr. Giancarlo Cotella

Urban Design in Planning

The main intention of the urban design group is to develop a better understanding of status of urban design within planning education across Europe, and of its relationship to both the professional disciplines of planning and architecture.

Coordinated by: Dr. Alan Reeve

Transportation Planning and Policy

The Goal of this group is to create and grow a network of researchers interested in the complex interlinkages between transport behaviour, transport infrastructure, the role of technology, sustainability, governance structures and interventions.

Coordinated by: Dr Enrica Papa

Ethics, Values and Planning

This TG is based on the contention that research into planning raises ethical issues which are distinctive enough to warrant more attention than the routine references to standard social science discussions which are the usual responses of research monographs and doctoral theses.

Coordinated by: PhD Claudia Daniela Basta

Resilience and Risks Mitigation Strategies

The Thematic Group “Resilience and Risks Mitigation Strategies – RRMS” has the overall aim to enhance debate, educational coordination, research, policies and practices on resilience strategies and risk mitigation and adaptation for sustainable spatial development within Europe

Coordinated by: Prof. Dr. Richard Sliuzas

French and British Planning Studies Group

French and British Planning Studies Group


Groupe d'Etudes sur l'Urbanisme Français et Britannique



Coordinated by: Dr Lauren Andres

Evaluation in Planning

This group of AESOP researchers is focused on the evaluation of planning interventions - both of physical developments and application of new tools for evaluation. Initially set up to run as a series of conferences to be held every 3-4 years with invited experts presenting case-studies of robust evaluation methods.

The early facilitators of these conferences were Nathaniel Lichfield, Abdul Khakee and Dino Borri.

The 7th international workshop was organised by Angela Hull in Edinburgh in 2008, and the 8th international workshop was organised by Johan Woltjer in Groningen in March 2013.

The main outcomes of these conferences are a series of edited books to disseminate the latest approaches to evaluation in planning. The latest book: Hull, A., Alexander, E.R., Khakee, A., and Woltjer, J., (Eds) (2011) Evaluation for Participation and Sustainability in Planning, Routledge: London.


Coordinated by: Professor Angela Hull

Sustainable Food Planning


This Group aims to bring together academics, policy-makers and practitioners from an international audience and provide a forum for discussion and development of sustainable food systems.  Fashioning a sustainable food system is one of the most compelling challenges of the 21st Century.  Because of its multi-functional character, food is an ideal medium through which to design sustainable places, be they urban, rural or per-urban places.


Meetings are held annually, hosted in different cities.  The four meetings that have been held so far have attracted between 80-100 participants and discussed a wide variety of issues within sustainable food planning.  Further details of keynote speakers and all of the meeting presentations can be found in the blog posts.

Coordinated by: Prof. Dr. Arnold van der Valk

Public Spaces and Urban Cultures

About the AESOP TG Public Spaces and Urban Cultures’

The AESOP Thematic Group on Public Spaces and Urban Cultures has been initiated after the Annual Meeting of the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) in Liverpool (UK) in 2009. In April 2010 the initiative has been recognized as a new thematic group Public Space and Urban Cultures by AESOP. In 2015, the group has decided on self-organized management structure:

AESOP Thematic Group for Public Spaces and Urban Cultures – Self-Organized Management Network

A. Group Coordination

2017-2019 Gabriella Esposito De Vita (Italy, gabespo(at); gabriella.esposito(at) (Main Volunteer), Ceren Sezer (Netherlands/Turkey, C.Sezer(at) (Secondary Volunteer)
2019-2021 Ceren Sezer (Netherlands/Turkey) (Main Volunteer) – to be elected (Secondary Volunteer) further

B. Research Affairs
Sara Santos Cruz (Oporto, scruz(at); Nikolai Roskamm (Erfurt, nikolai.roskamm(at); Nadia Charalambous (Nikosia, nadiac(at), Sabine Knierbein (Austria/Germany, knierbein(at)

C. Public Relations
Burcu Yigit Turan (Uppsala,; Stefania Ragozino (Naples, s.ragozino(at); Mohamed Saleh (Groningen, mohamed.saleh(at)

D. Public Liaison
Tihomir Viderman (Berlin, tihomir.viderman(at); Elina Kränzle (Vienna, elina.kraenzle(at)

E. Social Media
Weronika Mazurkiewicz (Gdansk, wero.mazurkiewicz(at), Katarzyna Bartoszevicz (Gdansk, kat.bartoszewicz(at), Matej Niksic (Ljubljana, matejn(at)

The Aesop Thematic Group for Public Spaces and Urban Cultures has been founded upon an initiative of Sabine Knierbein, Ceren Sezer and Chiara Tornaghi in 2010. It has been supported especially by Ali Madanipour (University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK) and Sophie Watson (Open University, UK).

The aim of the group is to settle the research and design focus on Public Spaces and Urban Cultures in planning-related disciplines. For more information about the thematic group, please visit the group’s official blog: For questions please send an e-mail to:

Coordinated by: Dr. Gabriella Esposito De Vita


The AESOP Planning/Conflict thematic group aims at bringing together different perspectives on conflicts around urban planned developments, with a focus on the role planning practices may play both in defining/framing and in possibly solving/reframing conflicts. The purpose of the Planning/Conflict thematic group is to offer a durable framework for scholarly exchange, focussing on the empirical analysis of planning conflicts and promoting their critical/interpretive inquiry, in order to highlight what planning conflicts can teach us:

  • about changing features of urban development policies and trends and their impact on local societies and communities;
  • about changing conditions under which urban planning practices take place;
  • about the effectiveness and legitimacy of established planning practices in dealing with conflicts;
  • about the transformative potential that might be brought to light by facing planning conflicts;
  • about the potential productive and innovative contribution of agonistic practices in view of a democratization of planning.

The AESOP Planning/Conflict thematic group is open to participants’ proposals for joint initiatives: Please do not hesitate to advance proposals!

Would you like to contribute and/or to keep informed?

Coordinated by: Enrico Gualini

Sustainable Cities

The challenges presented by Climate Change are becoming more pressing as time continues. And as international negotiations are in a deadlock, cities are taking the lead in climate adaptation and mitigation. These are the places where the impact and associated cost of climate change will be greatest. However as prime sources of greenhouse gasses and polluting activities, they also offer the greatest potential for change. More and more researchers are joining the search for more sustainable and healthy cities and it is important for the planning community to be a part of this movement. By collaborating and sharing knowledge we can genuinely influence the cities of tomorrow. 

We currently have a googlegroup and linked in group:

If you would like to know more, do not hesitate to contact me.

Mendel Giezen

Coordinated by: Dr Mendel Giezen

AESOP Discussion on the New Urban Agenda

This is blog describing AESOP involvement in Habitat III Process.


Coordinated by: Dr Lauren Andres

Urban Futures

This Thematic Group aims at fostering new ideas and ways of understanding urban futures. In this sense, we encourage to consider the possible evolutions of some environmental, technological, political, social variables or conditions in the very long term and, subsequently, envision specific urban scenarios at the local, regional or global scales. These scenarios can refer, for example, to the impact of radical climate change (flooding, extreme scarcity of fresh water in given regions), pervasiveness of smart technologies or security measures, dismantling of statehood, radical modifications in current geopolitical order, massive migrations or other similar changes.


Coordinated by: Prof. Dr. Peter Ache

Planning Education

Coordinated by: Dr Andrea Frank