Found in Translation? Crossing language divides in spatial planning research

A paper I co-authored with Simone Allin of Nottingham Trent University and originally published as a working paper of the National Institute of Regional and Spatial Analysis in Ireland in 2010 has been reproduced in Turkish translation in the journal Planlama, one of the leading urban and regional planning journals in Turkey (thanks to a translation by Dr. Savaş Zafer Şahin of Atilim University).

The paper ‘Strategic Spatial Planning in European City-Regions: Parallel Processes or Divergent Trajectories?‘ drawing on a comparison of the Dublin and Erfurt city-regions called for a grounded, context-sensitive approach to comparative research on spatial planning in Europe, recognising the role of distinct planning cultures but also the need to engage with the different schools of planning thought found in the Anglophone and German language literatures. Indeed a subsquent much revised version of the paper, published as a peer-reviewed article in International Planning Studies, made further specific reference to the challenges of working across language divides. From this perspective, it is fitting that the paper has found its way into a Turkish journal  where it may go on to inform approaches to comparative spatial planning research in a wider context. Coincidently I have also had the pleasure to welcome a Turkish planning professor as a sister-in-law over the Summer, which will undoubtedly help to further my (very limited) knowledge of planning and urban development in this rapidly changing country.

The English-language abstract is reproduced below:


Drawing on recent experiences of strategic spatial planning in two city-regions  in Europe, the paper seeks to challenge dominant narratives of the emergence  of strategic spatial planning as a uni-dimensional process of policy  convergence. Recognising a need for fine-grained analysis of practices of  spatial planning in diverse territorial and institutional contexts, the paper presents a framework for contextualised comparative analysis, identifying multiple levels of differentiation. The application of this comparative framework is subsequently illustrated with reference to the two city-regions of  Dublin and Erfurt. The paper concludes with an outline of an agenda for further research.

The Turkish title is Avrupa Kent-Bölgelerinde Stratejik Mekânsal Planlama: Paralel Süreçler mi Farklılaşan Yörüngeler mi?


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