Prof. Dr. Benjamin Davy
Currently, I'm working on two topics. One is human dignity and spatial planning, the general motto of the Lisbon congress. Many presenters didn't even bother to put the term »dignity« in the title of their presentation (actually, only four out of almost 1,000 did). I am more and more curious why planners refrain from participating actively in the growing international discourses on human dignity. The other topic is concerned with spatial commons in the Ruhr. Fortunately, the Ruhr is rich with spatial commons such as former industrial sites now used for leisure, pleasant river banks and vast green spaces, public parks and community gardens, or hundreds of miles of bycicle lanes. Little is known about the effect of these common goods on the distribution of wealth. Who uses spatial commons in the Ruhr, who benefits and who has to bear the burdens?
I am a professor at the School of Spatial Planning, TU Dortmund University (Germany), one of AESOP’s founding member schools. Since 1998, when I attended my first AESOP congress in Aveiro, Portugal, I have been inspired by the intellectual exchange typical of the AESOP community. I owe the AESOP community much of my personal development as planning theorist and educator. Together with Rachelle Alterman and Willem Salet, I co-organized the first of AESOP’s tracks on planning and law during the 1999 annual congress in Bergen, Norway. Since then the law track has grown into one of AESOP’s largest regular congress tracks. In 2007, together with Rachelle Alterman, Leonie Janssen-Jansen, and Willem Salet, I have been one of the co-founders of the International Academic Association on Planning, Law, and Property Rights (PLPR), one of AESOP’s most successful spin-offs. I enjoyed mentoring at AESOP PhD workshops in Wien (2005), Manchester (2009), Belfast (2013), Stare Lesna (2015), and Aveiro (2017). From 2006 through 2014, I have been one of two AESOP country representatives from Germany. In 2008 and 2012, I have been involved in two unsuccessful bids by the School of Planning, TU Dortmund University, for hosting an AESOP annual congress. In 2012, I have assisted in organizing a Silver Jubilee Event at TU Dortmund University by delivering a lecture on »Do planners have heroes?«