Teaching and capacity development in the field of spatial planning is one of the main activities of AESOP Member Schools. Thus, in 2002, AESOP introduced a prize (https://aesop-planning.eu/activities/awards/excellence-in-teaching-award ) to recognize and encourage Excellence in Teaching.

Through this award, AESOP celebrates and disseminates innovative practices in teaching in its Member Schools. The broad aim of the Prize is to stimulate the development of planning courses (also referred to as “modules”) or groups of courses/modules (i.e., programmes) to better prepare students for their forthcoming practice, to further educate practitioners, and to promote the development of a critical perspective. 

Ultimately, the prize seeks to promote and encourage planning schools to innovate in ways that enhance the knowledge and skills necessary to respond to current and emergent global challenges in planning. The Award provides an important opportunity to disseminate effective practice and, importantly, to celebrate teaching quality amongst European Schools of Planning.


For the 2024 Excellence in Teaching Award, we are looking for individual courses (modules) or sets of courses/modules that offer innovative pedagogical approaches to teaching urban, regional, or spatial/territorial planning contributing to a degree that prepares graduates to become planning practitioners. 

There is no particular theme or topical focus for the planning prize. The jury welcomes entries by planning schools that feature any individual courses/modules or sets of courses/modules which as a unit feature novel content, pedagogical concepts, and approaches to for example:

  • address local, national and international planning challenges in an innovative manner; 
  • teach subject-specific planning skills in new creative ways, and/or 
  • apply innovative and creative pedagogies, such as including co-learning with partners or skills development via community-engaged activities and service-learning projects. 

Applications will be judged on the following criteria: 

  • the novelty in terms of content brought by this teaching at the scale of the institution or the academic tradition of the institution/country;
  • the degree of innovation in respect of pedagogical approaches implemented;
  • the level of transferability of the teaching to other institutions;
  • the inclusive dimension of the teaching (gender, socio-economic, etc);
  • the level of relevance to planning practice.


Only AESOP member schools can apply and be nominated for this prize. The module/course or set of courses/modules must have been successfully implemented for at least one year. Applicants can either be:

  • a planning school;
  • a planning department within a university; or
  • a group of teaching staff or an individual belonging to an AESOP Member school.


Please, use the application form available from the AESOP website. 

Please, send the application form to: secretariat@aesop-planning.eu

Applications must be received by 16 March 2024 (23:59 CET)


A panel of academics (AESOP Excellence in Teaching Award Committee) will judge the nominees. The panel consists of representatives of AESOP member schools and includes a representative from AESOP’s Young Academics Network.


The nominated winner of the award will be notified no later than 30 April 2024. The Award comprises 

  1. conference registration waiver (early bird) for attending the 2024 AESOP congress for 1 representative of the winning planning school, and
  2.  1000 Euros prize money. 

The Prize award conditions stipulate that the winner (or a representative of the winning team/programme) provides a presentation about the prize-winning course/module during a pre-organised session at the 2024 AESOP Congress in Paris (France). If in-person attendance is not possible, alternatives can be discussed with the prize committee chair and AESOP secretary general. 

To facilitate the transferability of innovative practices across Europe and beyond, the winner(s) also will have to provide an extended write-up of the course/module(s) to be deposited in a newly established AESOP Excellence in Teaching Award repository and are encouraged to publish an article in Transactions of AESOP (AESOPs online, open-access, free journal). 

For any questions please contact secretariat@aesop-planning.eu