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.

AESOP Transport Laboratory of Thought 2017 14-15 July Lisbon

Published at: 10 May 2017

The next  AESOP Transport Laboratory of Thought will take place on the 14th and 15th July, in Costa da Caparica, following the AESOP annual congress. 

ATLoT takes place in an informal setting, where the purpose is as much to enjoy each others company as to develop new research initiatives. Attendees are typically regulars from the transport track at the annual AESOP congress with interests in a broad range of transport-related planning issues. As an unconference, the ATLoT format fosters an excellent exchange of innovative ideas in a high-energy environment. Be a part of the meeting and bring us your ideas! 

Attendees cover their own transportation and accommodation expenses.
If you are interested in joining us in Lisbon, please contact prof David Vale (


Mobility Planners learning experience

Published at: 21 April 2017

At the Department of Transport and Planning of the University of Westminster, we are conducting an online survey as part of a research project looking into 'Mobility Planners learning experience'. It has two purposes.  The first is to gather valuable insights into how academics and professionals involved in transport planning experienced their Master degree. The second purpose is to understand how these individuals rate different subject areas in terms of their relevance for their professional practice.
The results of the survey will be presented at the next AESOP conference and will inform the AESOP Transportation Planning and policy group.We would greatly appreciate your participation in this survey and please fell free to circulate the survey link among your colleagues. 
Survey link:
Many thanks for your help!
If you have any questions, please write to

2017 Aalto Summer School on Transportation - Integrative Envisioning of Mobility Futures

Published at: 21 April 2017

2017 Aalto Summer School on Transportation (August 21 – 25) is themed Integrative Envisioning of Mobility Futures. Summer School is a week-long event, and the activities will include lectures, workshops, and site visit, focused on various aspects of transport and land use planning and policy, including technological trends and a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods. In addition to Aalto University, this year’s lecturers are from TU Delft, Newcastle University, UWE Bristol, Istanbul Technical University, NMBU, Tel Aviv University, University of Amsterdam, University of Leuven, and Virginia Tech.

The Summer School is intended for transportation professionals, managers in transport agencies, transport and traffic engineers, planners, transport consultants, citizen advocates, educators, and advanced graduate students in their Master or Doctoral studies. Expected class size is 40, with the participants coming from countries across the world.


For further info, please visit the following link:   


Planning the Mobile Metropolis Transport for People, Places and the Planet

Published at: 2 April 2017

Planning the Mobile Metropolis. Transport for People, Places and the Planet’, is the new innovative text by Luca Bertolini. It shows how mobility planning - which takes seriously the demands of both urban and transport planning - offers solutions to transport challenges in the 21st Century.
The book brings together more than twenty years of research and teaching and aims at enabling the integration of urban and transport planning and cultivating a reflective, exploratory attitude. On 
the website of the publisher, you will find the table of contents, a sample chapter, early reviews by prof. Patsy Healey (Newcastle University, UK) and prof. Carey Curtis (Curtin University, Australia), and the possibility to order a sample copy.
Enjoy the reading!

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. Leonie Janssen-Jansen

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: Assistant Professor Senior Claudia 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: 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
2015-2017 Sabine Knierbein (Austria/Germany knierbein(at) (Main Volunteer), Gabriella Esposito De Vita (Italy gabespo(at) (Secondary Volunteer)
2017-2019 Gabriella Esposito De Vita (Italy) (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)

C. Public Relations
Stefania Ragozino (Naples, s.ragozino(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: Associate Professor, Dr. phil. Sabine Knierbein


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