Planning is always an attempt at coordination of spatial organization, whatever the nature of the envisaged ideal space. As such, it is correlated to the changes in many parts of society. Planning will need to be institutionalized to be effective, but the process of institutionalization also introduces a rigidity that makes it harder to adapt to changes in the systems it tries to coordinate. In that sense, planning is always a balancing act, and needs to be re- evaluated continuously. We are interested in the institutionalization of planning, the crystallization and re- definitions of roles in planning systems, the implementation of planning innovations.

More broadly, we are interested in evolution and innovation in governance. Focus areas are spatial governance,  including planning and design, environmental governance and development.

Topics include informal institutions, formal/ informal dialectics, de- institutionalization, innovation policy, roles of law in governance evolution, institutional design, knowledge and power in institutional change.

Cooperation with Roel During, Martijn Duineveld, Raoul Beunen, Andre van der Zande, Wageningen University, Gert Verschraegen, University of Antwerp, Gabriel Badescu and Petruta Teampau, Babes Bolayi University, Cluj- Napoca, Joseph Salukvadze, Tbilisi State University, Constantin Iordachi, Central European University, Budapest, Hans Leinfelder, Gent University, Ming Lo and King Banaian, St Cloud State University, Karl Ziegler, Kaiserslautern Technical University, Jo van Biesebroeck, Leuven University.

Two book chapters on innovation and transition in governance, with Roel During and with Martijn Duineveld, for a book edited by Katrien Termeer and Krijn Poppe, and a chapter on Luhmann, planning and innovation/ transition for a book edited by Sietze Vellema (both books published by Wageningen Academic). The Innonet report Over goede bedoelingen en hun schadelijke bijwerkingen. The book on city culture and city planning in Georgia, dealing extensively with institutional change, as well as the other Georgia papers (in Planning Perspectives, Planning Practice and Research, and in European Planning Studies). Much of the Uzbek research revolves around the question of reinvention of governance, and the search for new coordination options.

More general theoretical papers in Administration & Society, Public Administration, Land Use Policy, Environment & Planning A and Planning Theory on various aspects of evolving governance (path dependence, performativity, knowledge inclusivity, informality) are to be considered stepping stones towards a new Evolutionary Governance Theory [EGT] With Raoul Beunen and Martijn Duineveld, we are working on a book that will synthetically present this new perspective.

For full references and links see the Publications page.

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