Every year, planners in Europe gather for our annual conference. This year, it was held in Gothenburg from 10th to 14th July. These are intensive days of discussions and networking. The R-LINK research team uses these moments to catch up with state-of-the-art theories, debates and practices in the field of planning. We also use these moments to learn about interesting and new international cases relevant to our research and connect with international researchers in Europe, America, Africa, Asia and Australia.

The R-LINK team were privileged to have presented the following papers;
(Bold – presenter, italics – R-LINKer)

1. “Planning for self-sustaining energy infrastructures: challenges for the citizen-based incremental development approach in Oosterwold” – L. Van Karnenbeek, L. Janssen-Jansen, W. Salet and S. Majoor
2. “Thought for Urban Food Planning: the Oosterwold (NL) Experiment to Normalise Agriculture in Urban Planning” – J. Jansma, L. Janssen-Jansen, A. Van der Valk and S. Wertheim-Heck
3. “Failing housing production: applying an institutional opportunism framework on public-private negotiations” – R. Meijer, T. Spit and L. Janssen-Jansen
4. “Implementing the ideal of the ‘undivided city’ through local housing development networks in Amsterdam” – A. Jonkman, L. Janssen-Jansen, and F. Schilder
5. “Legitimizing self-interests in informal planning? How changing power structures challenge legitimacy in new approaches to urban development” – F. Van Berkel, M. Levelt and L. Janssen-Jansen
6. “Research-based teaching and teaching-based research to educate future planning practitioners” – L. Van Karnenbeek, L. Janssen-Jansen and D. Peel
7. “Scaling Arnstein’s Ladder: Community Participation in Mobility and Transport Planning Education” – W. Tan and F. Niekerk
8. “Understanding Mobility Inequality: Applying Space Syntax in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur” – I. Hidayati, C. Yamu, W. Tan and R. Holzhacker
9. “Contested mobility time-spaces as emergent social learning laboratories in post-efficiency planning: the case of the Minhocão, São Paulo” – K. Von Schönfeld

Our beloved project leader who passed earlier this year was also honoured during the opening ceremony and during the memorial session in the planning law track. Touching speeches were made by Prof. Rachelle Alterman, Lilian van Karnenbeek MSc and Prof. Deborah Peel.

Here is a vignette of what the team saw, learned and would like to share with the consortium.

Wendy Tan

Pop-up public space during engineering works at Grönsakstorget, Gothenburg.

In one sentence: what did you present, saw or discussed that is relevant for the R-LINK consortium/practitioners?
Presenting about community participation in planning education, reminds me that who the ‘community’ is can be fluid, and restricted by context and resources.

In one sentence: what have you learned from AESOP 2018 that has stayed with you?
The best mobile workshops are the ones that you spontaneously organise with like-minded researchers!

Melika Levelt

Guerilla actions in Riga: re-planting trees, tree dripline gardening and an unofficial cycle lane (removed now). (Presentation by Alisa Korolova and Sandra Treija).        

In one sentence: what did you present, saw or discussed that is relevant for the R-LINK consortium/practitioners?
Karolina Isaksson’s and Christina Scholten’s research on the development of a new bus lane in a middle-sized town in Sweden shows how space is politics as it is related with power relations, with emotions, and with history and that this should be taken into account when making plans for its use.

In one sentence: what have you learned from AESOP 2018 that has stayed with you?
The credibility of bottom-up, citizen-linked spatial developments can exist in the absence of legitimacy (take-away from a presentation of Katie McClymont).

Lilian van Karnenbeek

The streets of Gothenburg and the industrial activities in the background.

The crane, the buildings and the bridge in the photo are all outcomes of various urban developments in time that define the existing urban fabric in Gothenburg.

In one sentence: what did you present, saw or discussed that is relevant for the R-LINK consortium/practitioners?
To what extent the urban fabric can be typified as incremental is dependent on how you define the aspect of time.

Kim von Schönfeld

A joke on Airbnb in the city centre of Gothenburg: a very well set up ‘Air-Bee-n-Bee’ for bees.

In one sentence: what did you present, saw or discussed that is relevant for the R-LINK consortium/practitioners?
Presenting about my case in the Minhocão makes me remember how important it is not to forget that everywhere in the world there are marginalised groups, even when in some places they are more visible (e.g. the homeless living under the Minhocão in São Paulo, Brazil).

In one sentence: what have you learned from AESOP 2018 that has stayed with you?
We need to bring back political discussions into planning, without turning fully into normative advocates of particular values.

Rick Meijer

In one sentence: what did you present, saw or discussed that is relevant for the R-LINK consortium/practitioners?
Gothenburg has a similar housing development challenge as many cities in the Netherlands, with the ambition of building 7.000 new houses before 2022.

In one sentence: what have you learned from AESOP 2018 that has stayed with you?
Regardless of the context, implementation of planning policies remains a complex challenge with a lot of pitfalls along the way.