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Department of Planning

PLANNORD

Tromsø 2009

4th Nordic Planning Research Symposium and PhD course on Local Authority Planning in Change

University of Tromsø, Norway, 13–15 August, 2009

The Symposium will bring researchers, Phd students and practitioners in the field together to explore different aspects of planning and culture.

How do we understand culture within planning? Culture is a concept, which has different meanings in specific settings. In an analytical sense culture could be understood as something stable in which norms and values are internalised and shape common ways of understandings and behaviour. Another way to see it is to understand culture not as an integrating power, but rather as different interpretations of symbols and norms and how these are contested in power games. Generally we address an examination of the symbols, meanings and understandings within different areas in the field; even though we acknowledge that the cultural should not be seen independent of the ecological, economic, political and social dimensions of planning.

The so-called “cultural turn” in planning penetrated the idea of planning in the 1990ies particularly within the paradigms of collaborative and communicative planning. Emerging immigration, globalisation and the shift to a post-industrial economy together with a more culturally orientated theoretical thinking are some of the driving forces in this turn. Lately the focus on planning as relational, understanding planning as a dynamic web of flows and relations could be seen as a new direction within this paradigm. Issues about participation from civil society must handle the new cultural diversity, which indeed has increased the complexity of planning in postmodern society. This however is not the only way culture has impacted on planning. The focus on cultural economy has introduced a new understanding of economy, which has had a more direct impact first of all on spatial planning and urban development. Linked to this issue is how cultural life and cultural meanings are linked to place. Linking culture to planning could also be seen as introducing planning to a different rationality from the instrumental. Looking at planning authorities themselves and the styles of planning could also be understood in a cultural perspective, but then as a specific form of organisational culture. Introducing culture in a planning context thus invites different theoretical approaches and planning discourses.

In this international Symposium researchers and practitioners within the field of planning are invited to reflect upon the relation between planning and culture. It is an invitation to explore also the more interpretive, narrative and discursive approaches to planning. The Symposium will seek answers to these questions:

How does the increasing culturalization of social theory affect planning? How can culture as everyday life be integrated in planning? Planning the multicultural community; challenges and solutions

Main lecturers

Dr. Greg Young, Centre for Cultural research, University of Western Sydney, Australia.
Professor Ole B. Jensen, Department of Architecture and Design, Aalborg University, Denmark.
Dr. Margo Huxley, Department of Town and Regional Planning, Sheffield University, UK.
Professor Sigmund Asmervik, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway.
Dr. Raine Mantisalo, University of Oulo/Professor, Director Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, Finland.
Professor Nils Aarsæther, Department of planning and community studies, University of Tromsø, Norway.

Program

Phd-course:
Wednesday, August 12.

13.00: Introduction and welcome
13.15- 15.00: Planning and Democracy: Theoretical developments and institutional challenges in the Nordic context.
Dr. Raine Mantisalo, University of Oulu/Professor, Director Centre for Urban and Regional Studies.
15.15-17.00: Writing a Doctoral Dissertation in planning; clues and critical moments.
Dr. Margo Huxley, Department of Town and Regional Planning, Sheffield University.

Thursday, August 13

09.15-11.00: Designing a study in planning and culture: 3 models
Professor Nils Aarsæther, Department of planning and community studies, University of Tromsø

Symposium:
Thursday, August 13

11.30: Lunch and Registration
12.30: Welcoming by Dean or Rector
13.00: Keynote lecture 1:
The Culturization of Governance – Fuzzy Prophecy or Future Planning?
By Dr. Greg Young, Centre for Cultural research, University of Western Sydney, Australia.
14.30: Coffee
15.00 – 17.30: Parallel session 1
19.00: Symposium dinner

Friday, August 14

09.00: Keynote lecture 2:
Planning and Designing for the Experience City.
By Professor Ole B. Jensen, Department of Architecture and Design. Aalborg University.
10.30: Coffee
11.00: Keynote lecture 3:
Looking into the Cultural Histories of Planning
By Dr. Margo Huxley, Department of Town and Regional Planning, Sheffield University.
12.30: Lunch
13.30- 15.30: Parallel session 2:
15.30: Coffee
15.30- 16.30: Discussion

Saturday, August 15

Excursions