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AESOP 2014 Conference in Utrecht, The Netherlands

July 9-12, 2014

Call for papers for a special panel in:

Track 11: International Comparative Planning


Panel 1: Critical characterization of spatial planning/territorial management in Latin America: How is spatial planning conceived and enacted in Latin America?

Panel organizers: Dr. Ana Maria Fernandez Maldonado, Dr. Roberto Rocco (TU Delft), Luisa Sotomayor, Dr. Abigail Friendly (University of Toronto), Dr. Daniel Galland (University of Aalborg/McGill University)


Spatial planning activities and the systems that create them are deeply embedded in the historical conditions of particular places. Consequently, Latin American planning systems share common features inherited from the South European planning tradition (as defined in Duhr et al., 2010). During the mid-twentieth century, many countries adopted ideals proposed by the CIAM, either partially (e.g. Mexico City, Bogota or Medellin) or fully (i.e. Brasilia). At the same time, different countries in the region have developed their own forms of conceiving and enacting spatial planning, according to their own institutional and historical legacies, and their political, economic and demographic circumstances. Since the 1950s, vernacular planning and the dynamics of informal urbanization added yet another layer to this mix, producing what Gilbert (1994) describes as a distinctive quality of the Latin American city. More recently, following trends in other regions, cities are also embracing strategic planning arrangements in order to respond to changing local needs, but also, to the perceived pressures of economic restructuring and globalization.

As the European Union has advanced the characterization of its spatial planning systems for purposes of integration and social cohesion, we would like to make progress in the characterization of spatial planning systems in Latin America to encourage and enrich the current debate on the theory and practice of planning in the region. This characterization aims to describe and understand the types of planning that are carried out in the region and to critically explore its spatial goals and consequences in urban and regional development and governance. It seeks to acknowledge innovative aspects, challenges and limitations in order to propose a framework for action.

For this panel, we hope to receive articles that critically describe and assess the different ways that spatial planning activities are conceived, enacted and carried out in Latin American countries, while identifying important challenges to be faced. Issues we would like to see dealt with include, for example, the origins and foundations of spatial planning in the region, how planning measures are enacted, coordinated and executed at different levels of planning administration.  We want to investigate the main historical issues and current trends that planning tries to manage. Moreover, we want to investigate how ‘spatial’ is spatial planning? How are spatial interventions decided? What enables or prevents planning from achieving its goals? What is the distance between planning goals and outcomes? How are new planning directions changing planning roles and tasks? Which particularities are salient in the spatial planning system and interventions of a particular country? What forms of governance play a role in different planning systems and practices?

We encourage both conceptual and empirical case studies including both historical perspectives as well as more recent planning shifts. Please send an abstract to Track 11: International Comparative Planning, by using the abstract submission platform Please mention your willingness to participate in Panel 1. The deadline is January 1st, 2014.



DUHR, S., COLOMB, C., & NADIN, V. 2010. European spatial planning and territorial cooperation. Routledge.

GILBERT, A. 1994. World Cities and the urban future: The view from Latin America. In: LO, F.-C. & YEUNG, Y.-M. (eds.) Globalisation and the World of Large Cities. Tokyo: United Nations University Press.

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). (2008). Spatial Planning–Key Instrument for Development and Effective Governance with special Reference to Countries in transition. Report ECE/HBP/146, F. Geneva, UNECE.



Panel organizers:

Abigail Friendly (University of Toronto)

Ana Maria Fernandes Maldonado (TU Delft)

Daniel Galland (University of Aalborg/ McGill University)

Luisa Sotomayor (University of Toronto)

Roberto Rocco (TU Delft)

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