Applications now open for the AESOP Excellence in Teaching Award 2021!


Teaching in the broad field of planning is one of the main activities of AESOP Member Schools. Thus, in 2002, AESOP introduced a prize which recognizes and encourages 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 or groups of courses in order to better prepare students for their forthcoming practice, to further educate practitioners, and to promote the development of a critical perspective. The specific purpose of the prize is to promote and encourage planning schools to innovate in ways that enhance the knowledge and skills necessary to respond to new global planning challenges. The Award provides an important opportunity to disseminate effective practice and importantly to celebrate teaching quality amongst European Schools of Planning.


Planning Education in Digital Space 

From February/March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures introduced in much of the world to control the spread and transmission via physical distancing has impacted on practically all aspects of life of human society including education and educational settings. It has forced a drastic change in how studying, teaching and learning in Higher Education is conducted.

Changes were rapid and unplanned and hence there was much experimenting and learning on how we can best learn, develop students’ skills and competences in these situations. Some teaching formats were clearly are easier to adapt than others to the new constraints. Across our community planning educators have found new ways of lecturering, engaging with students in digital space, facilitating site visits virtually and much more. Often these adaptations make us truely appreciate the tacit value of being in a classroom together and what we miss out on being isolated and separated from peers. And, while we all yearn to return to our tried and tested methods and approaches in the not all too distant future, the state of emergency has also brought novel and new takes that might be retained as teaching practices and integrated in future education programmes.

In light of this the theme selected for this 2021 AESOP Prize for Excellence in Teaching is ‘Planning Education in Digital Space’. The Prize Committee is keen to encourage entries from modules that employ alternative approaches to address the particular difficulties of distanced learning for certain learning objective (e.g., the development of urban design skills, group projects, community engagement, to name a few), but also innovative learning formats that are the result of the rapid digitalisation of our universities.



Only AESOP member schools can be nominated for this prize. The course 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 electronic application form that can be found via this link

All material must be submitted electronicallyApplications must be received by 02 July 2021.

Applications must include a full description of the course or module, as it is described and structured in the 2021 application form.



A panel of academics (AESOP Excellence in Teaching Award Committee) will judge the nominees. The panel will consist of AESOP members, including a representative from AESOP’s Young Academics Network. 



A prize of €1000 will be announced online and via the AESOP Website in Summer 2021 (mid July following the Summer Council of Representative meeting).

Moreover, the winner (or a representative of the winning team/programme) will be expected to make an audio-visual presentation about the prize-winning teaching practice at the 2022 AESOP Congress in Tartu (Estonia). He/she/they will also be expected to allow a description of the programme to be presented on AESOP’s website and are invited to produce a write-up for Transactions of AESOP