Contemporary Planning Theories


Zimmermann, Karsten, Prof. Dr. (EPK)
Seminar | 2 SWS | English | 4 Credits

Day From To Place Begin End
Tuesday 12:15 13:45 Hörsaal 3 21.04.2020 18.07.2020

Cancelled on 02.06.2020 (excursion week)

In this course, students will learn more about the more recent debates in planning theory. Hence, the course will not give an encyclopedic overviews on all strands of planning theory in the last decades. Instead, we will discuss a selection of planning ideas and theories that entered more recently or are resurging. This includes systems theory, actor-network theory, agonistic planning theory and conflicts, urban experiments, planning theories from the global south, planning and the public interest, postmodernism and power. In the first one or two sessions we will discuss the Why of doing planning theory.


Philip Allmendinger, Mark Tewdwr-Jones (eds.) 2002: New Directions for Planning Theory. Routledge.

Susan S. Fainstein, James DeFilippies (eds.) 2016: Readings in Planning Theory, 4th edition, Wiley.

Stefano Moroni 2010: An evolutionary theory of institutions and a dynamic approach to reform, Planning Theory 9 (4) 275–297.

William J. V. Neill 2017: Beyond the Balm of Communicative Planning: Can Actor-Network Theory Insights and a More Agonistic Practice Help Unlock Creative ‘Post-Conflict’ Potential?: Towards a Renewed Research Horizon in Northern Ireland Planning Practice & Research, VOL. 32, NO. 3, 319–332

Federico Savigni 2018: Responsibility, polity, value: The (un)changing norms of planning practices, Planning Theory, 1–24

Vanessa Watson 2016: Shifting Approaches to Planning Theory: Global North and South Urban Planning, Volume 1, Issue 4, Pages 32–41


The participation in this course is limited. The application procedure for all courses starts at the beginning of the semester. More information and deadlines will be announced on the Faculty’s website, via E- Mail and through the introductory event.


Students will give a longer presentation on one of the mentioned theories and act as discussants of other presentations. Working on Planning Theory implies consequent and thorough reading. Students will also write a term paper. The course is open for doctoral students.