The 8th International Workshop Planning and Evaluation was organised in the days between 13-15 March in Groningen, The Netherlands with the support of University of Groningen and Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment.
Planning and Evaluation is a research group, which organises research workshops on the current state and future of evaluation in spatial planning. Initially set up to run as a series of conferences to be held every 3-4 years with invited experts presenting case studies of robust evaluation methods. It held its first workshop in 1992 in Umeå (hosted by prof. Abdul Khakee), and has held seven more workshops or conferences since. Seven edited books of workshop papers have been published so far. The latest book: Hull, A., Alexander, E.R., Khakee, A., and Woltjer, J., (Eds) (2011) Evaluation for Participation and Sustainability in Planning, Routledge: London. The current organising committee representing this group are prof. Dino Borri, prof. Ernest Alexander, prof. Abdul Khakee, prof. Angela Hull, and prof. Johan Woltjer.
The workshop followed 3-day format, featuring walking tour of Groningen by prof. Gregory Ashworth, plenary sessions, discussion meetings, and group activities. Academic participation in the workshop reached numbers of some 30 participants from different countries – Sweden, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Italy, USA, Germany, etc. The chairs of the workshop sessions and the organisers highlighted the presence of young researchers and professionals amongst the participants, next to the presence of well-established practitioners and academics in the field of planning and evaluation. A few practitioners form the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment joined for most of the sessions.
Some of the topics presented and discussed in the workshop programme were related to evaluating value and benefit in land-use and infrastructure development; understanding impact assessment and plan effectiveness; place-based evaluation and issues of spatiality; evaluating planning intervention and spatial change. To emphasise the dialogue between practise and research, there was also a session emphasising on the use of evaluation in national Dutch infrastructure and spatial development.
The main outcome of the workshop will be an edited book, which is to disseminate the latest approaches to evaluation in planning. Additionally, a workshop report is in preparation stage for submission in the Journal of Town Planning Review. Below you can see some impressions form the workshop.
The 9th international workshop is being organised by prof. Dino Borri in the autumn of 2014 (Polytechnic University of Bari).
Text: J. Woltjer / M. Hasanov
Photos: D. Esti / M. Hasanov
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