Comparative Research and Planning Pract

Faculteit Ruimtelijke Wetenschappen
Jaar 2022/23
Vaknaam Comparative Research and Planning Pract
Niveau(s) master
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester I b

Uitgebreide vaknaam Comparative Research and Planning Practice: Learning Across the Borders
Leerdoelen 1. Describe how specific planning systems and practices operate within a particular socio-spatial context;
2. Compare the socio-spatial contexts that shape different planning systems and practices and explain their different outcomes;
3. Apply the case study and the ‘Qualitative Comparative Analysis’ (QCA) methods with guidance of a supervisor;
4. Evaluate the opportunities and challenges for cross-country learning with regard to particular planning systems and practices using concepts and ideas from ‘policy transfer’ and/or ‘policy translation’;
5. Collaborate in a systematic way in the design and execution of a comparative research project and reporting the results thereof, and critically reflect on their own research process and outcomes.
Omschrijving The overall aim of this course is to compare multiple spatial planning cases within and across countries—thus identifying the similarities and differences between planning systems, practices, and contexts within and across countries—to draw lessons from such comparisons, and to critically discuss the opportunities and limitations of cross-border learning using insights and arguments from the policy transfer, translation, and policy-mobilities literatures.

The course predominantly discusses spatial planning in the European context focusing on three domains of interest for spatial planning: water management, renewable energy, and infrastructure/transportation planning. The second overall aim of the course is to provide students with methodological tools to conduct (international) comparative research. The course focusses on the case study, Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), and policy transfer and translation.

Comparative research allows students to better understand spatial planning systems, practices, and contexts in their country of origin; to determine—given extant national contexts—the opportunities and challenges for drawing lessons or transferring/translating policies from one spatial planning system or practice to another; and to critique different systems and practices, as well critically discuss possibilities for improving them.

Spatial planning systems and practices are often highly diverse across countries. Planning systems and practices are namely strongly embedded in their socio-spatial contexts: different physical circumstances, institutional designs, and planning cultures have developed historically and give rise to different spatial planning systems and practices. National (planning) cultures can be supportive or unsupportive of a planned intervention. The institutional context of spatial planning is closely related to national judicial traditions and the constitutional make-up of the State. As a result, planning systems and practices for influencing spatial development are contingent upon their specific national contexts. In this course, the students will develop an understanding of spatial planning systems and practices in their socio-spatial contexts.

The comparison of spatial planning systems and practices from different countries, and drawing lessons from the comparison, is central to this course. The case study methodology and ‘Qualitative Comparative Analysis’ (QCA) are research methods that are introduced, applied, and that structure the course. The course features three types of lectures.
1. In order to set the scene and to explain the socio-spatial context of a particular planning system, one individual country is normally at the focus of each so-called case lecture. Within the context of each country, key institutions, power relations, limitations, and strengths of the planning system are explored. This is done through an examination of particular tools, techniques, and practices that operate within. Each case lecture is connected to one of three spatial planning domains: water management, renewable energy, and infrastructure/transportation planning.
2. In the methods lectures, an introduction is given into case study methodology, QCA, and policy transfer and translation as useful methods and theories to analyze, understand, and draw inspiration from different national planning systems and practices.
3. In the seminars, the students work under the guidance of the course lecturers on their group assignment. The group assignment (a research report) and a (digital) individual essay will form the basis for the final grade of the course. The seminars focus on the application of the case study and QCA methods. The assignment focusses on doing case study and comparative research and on drawing lessons from one national context (the donor country) to another (the recipient country), whilst being sensitive and critical towards cross-country differences, opportunities, and limitations involved.
Uren per week 4
Onderwijsvorm Guest lectures, Lectures, Seminars
Toetsvorm Essay, Group assignments
(individual essay (digital))
Vaksoort master
Coördinator Dr. E.M. Trell-Zuidema
Docent(en) Guest lecturers ,Dr. E.M. Trell-Zuidema ,dr. S. Verweij
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs
Literature will be announced at the start of the course.
Opmerkingen Max. 75 students. Open for EIP and ReMa students (always accessible for these groups), however when there are more than 75 students, other master students will not have access to the course.
Please e-mail for the waiting list.
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
MSc Environmental and Infrastructure Planning  (Basic programme EIP) 1 semester I b verplicht
MSc Spatial Sciences (research)  (Optional thematic courses (GERMTTO) year 1 and 2 Spatial Sciences) - semester I b keuze