The keynote speakers of the 36th AESOP Annual Congress 2024 Paris, France
University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
Sabine Barles, a distinguished scholar, holds expertise in civil engineering, urbanism, and the history of techniques. Currently serving as a professor of urbanism and planning at the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, her research is deeply rooted in an interdisciplinary approach. Barles explores the materiality of cities and their intricate relationships with surrounding territories and environments. Delving into the intersection of history, techniques, and the environment, she focuses on the transformative role of professions and knowledge, notably those of doctors and engineers, in shaping urban spaces since the eighteenth century. Barles' extensive work on the Paris agglomeration encompasses the management of water, by-products, waste, roads, and subsoil. Her investigations have culminated in the concept of urban or territorial metabolism, examining the intricate web of energy and material flows within a temporal framework. These studies provide valuable insights into the formation of dominant socio-ecological regimes and the concept of transition. In recent endeavours, Barles has actively contributed to territorial foresight exercises on the scale of the Seine Basin and the Paris agglomeration, further solidifying her impact in the field.
University of Cambridge
Prof. Claire Colomb is Professor of Land Economy (Planning, Public Policy and Urban Studies) at the University of Cambridge. She was previously Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London (2005-2023), where she remains an honorary professor. She has a first degree in Social and Political Sciences from Sciences Po Paris (1998) and a PhD in Town Planning from University College London (2008). She is a chartered member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (MRTPI) and Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS). Over the past 25 years she has worked and researched in France, the UK, Germany and Spain. Her research interests span urban and regional planning; EU policies; urban governance; urban social movements and the contentious politics and regulation of urban development in an international comparative perspective.
Alex Deffner holds a PhD in Planning Studies (London School of Economics and Political Science: LSE), an MSc in Regional and Urban Planning Studies from the LSE and a Bachelor's in Architecture from the National Technical University in Athens, Greece. From 2013 till his retirement in 2022, he has been a Professor of Urban and Leisure Planning at the Department of Planning and Regional Development (DPRD) in the Univeristy of Thessaly, Volos, Greece, where he has taught since 1996). From 2003 to 2022, he has been the Director of the Laboratory of Tourism Planning, Research and Policy. Also, from 2014 to 2020, he has been the Director of the Postgraduate Program ‘Tourism and Culture Planning and Development’. Between 2016 and 2018, he was the Head of the DPRD. From 1988 till 1998 he has been working at the National Centre for Social Research (NCSR), Athens, Greece, as Special Scientific Staff of the Institute of Urban and Rural Sociology (IURS). Since 2020 he has been, as the Conference Officer, a member of the Executive Committee of AESOP (Association of European Schools of Planning). Since 2023 he is a Member of the 3part Steering Committee of the WPSC (World Planning Schools Congress) VI 2026, in the context of GPEAN (Global Planning Education Association Network). His research and publications in English (journals, books, and conference proceedings) relate to urban planning and regeneration, planning theories, city and place marketing and branding, time planning in cities, leisure (culture, tourism, sports, entertainment) planning, urban and cultural tourism, special (and mega) events planning, and cultural heritage. He is a member of the Academic Board of ‘Transactions of the Association of European Schools of Planning’ (since 2017), and he has been a member of the Editorial Board of the Greek journal ‘Aeihoros: Papers in Urban and Regional Planning and Development’ (2002-2020), as well as a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the international journal ‘Tourismos’ (2006-2016). From 2000 till 2019, he has been a Chair of the Organising Committee of several International and Greek conferences.
City of Paris
Emmanuel Grégoire, presently occupying the position of First Deputy Mayor of Paris, is responsible for overseeing a multifaceted portfolio that includes urban planning, architecture, Grand Paris, district relations, and the transformation of public policies. A prominent member of the Socialist Party (PS), Grégoire assumed the role of First Deputy Mayor under the leadership of Mayor Anne Hidalgo on September 24, 2018. His political trajectory features pivotal roles as Hidalgo's deputy overseeing human resources, public services, and administration modernization from 2014 to 2017. Subsequently, he played a crucial role in managing the budget and spearheading the transformation of public policies from 2017 to 2018. Born in Les Lilas, Grégoire's formative years unfolded in Charente-Maritime following his parents' divorce. His educational journey includes attending Jonzac College and further studies at the Institute of Political Studies in Bordeaux, culminating in a degree in philosophy. As a dedicated family man with three children, Grégoire contributed significantly to the field of medical consulting, serving at B2Ge Conseil from 2008 to 2016.
UCLA, London School of Economics
Michael Storper, holding a Ph.D. in Economic Geography from the University of California, Berkeley, is a Regional and International Development Professor at UCLA and a Professor of Economic Geography at the London School of Economics. From 2000 to 2019, he served as a Professor of Economic Sociology at Sciences Po. Authoring over 100 academic articles and 13 books, including "The Regional World: Territory, Technology and Economic Development" and "Keys to the City," Storper's latest work, "The Rise and Fall of Urban Economies: Lessons from Los Angeles and San Francisco," was published in 2015. Recognized with an honorary doctorate from the University of Utrecht in 2008 and prestigious awards like the Sir Peter Hall Prize in 2012 and the Royal Geographical Society's Founder's Gold Medal in 2016, Storper is a Fellow of the British Academy and the Academy of Social Sciences. Renowned as one of the world's most influential scientific minds by Thompson-Reuters in 2013, he actively shapes regional and urban policies for the European Union and other international agencies. Holding dual Franco-American citizenship, Storper remains a prolific force in the academic and policy realms.