AESOP Conversations in Planning – Special Issue: Planning Practices and Theories from the Global South

4 min. read + videos

Building upon our previous editorial on the Conversations in Planning booklet series focused on a perspective of the global south in association with Prof. Vanessa Watson, this week we highlight the recently published special issue titled ‘Planning Practices and Theories from the Global South’ published by AESOP.

The global discourse of planning has been dominated by the production of knowledge developed within the Euro-American or “western” academia. This Euro-American-centric perspective of planning, ‘dominated by planners and academics from the Global North’ [1] has certainly influenced planning theory and practice in the Global South. Meanwhile, theoretical and practical branches within the field of planning emerging from the Global South remain largely understudied.

With this background in mind, the special issue aims to bring a much-needed focus on the planning perspectives emerging within this field of study from underrepresented voices. The special issue sheds light on understudied planning processes by assimilating the voices of young and senior academics and aims to ‘discuss shared perspectives of urban planning theories and practices arising in the global north and south in more practical and tangible terms, including recently emerging southern theory perspectives.” [1]

Editorial of the special issue: Planning Practices and Theories from the Global South

The chapters of the booklet are largely categorized within three approaches which ‘emerge from varied contexts and are at varied stages of maturity’ [1] namely southern theory, transnational planning and a one-world approach to bring a unique and holistic understanding on the theme of planning in the Global South.

The following videos offer a comprehensive insight into each of the themes outlined in the special issue.

New vocabularies in southern planning (Part 1)

New vocabularies in southern planning (Part 2)

The planning practices and theories were discussed while simultaneously re-interpreting and questioning the notion of the ‘Global South’.

Planning practices and theories while emergent from certain geographies also extend to varying frameworks through which such similar processes unfold and create the built environment. As a result, it becomes necessary to establish the use of the term ‘Global South’ itself, asking questions such as:

What constitutes the global South?

How can certain epistemologies tie geographies together?

These questions were explored through the theme ‘Geographic versus thematic Global South’ which discusses how the production of knowledge and theory is posited within or without these geographies.

International planning education (Part 1)

International planning education (Part 2)

Make sure to download your e-copy of the Special Issue from this link: SPECIAL ISSUE: PLANNING PRACTICES AND THEORIES FROM THE GLOBAL SOUTH, and stay engaged with our blog for the continuation of this series where we focus on ‘southern’ themes.

[1] Mukhopadhyay, C., C. Belingardi, G. Papparaldo, and M. Hendawy (eds.) (2021). Special Issue: Planning Practices and Theories from the Global South. Conversations in Planning Theory and Practice Booklet Project. Dortmund, Germany: Association of European Schools of Planning-Young Academic Network.


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