AESOP 2021 Best Published Paper Awards

This year, 15 articles were nominated by journal editors for the AESOP Best Published Paper Award. From these, AESOP’s Best Published Paper Committee shortlisted the following five articles:

  1. Barry, J. & Thompson-Fawcett, M. (2020). Decolonizing the Boundaries between the ‘Planner’ and the ‘Planned’: Implications of Indigenous Property Development. Planning Theory and Practice 21(3) 410-425,
  2. Brill, F. (2020). Complexity and coordination in London’s Silvertown Quays: How real estate developers (re)centred themselves in the planning process. Environment and Planning A: Economy & Space 52(2) 362-382,
  3. Sager, T. (2020). Populists and planners: ‘We are the people. Who are you?’. Planning Theory 19(1) 80-103,
  4. Shepherd, E. (2020). Liberty, property and the state: The ideology of the institution of English town and country planning. Progress in Planning 135 (100425) 1-37,
  5. Stojanovski, T. (2020). Urban design and public transportation – public spaces, visual proximity and Transit-Oriented Development (TOD). Journal of Urban Design 25(1) 134-154,


The committee is delighted to announce that this year’s Best Published Paper Award goes to Frances Brill for her paper entitled ‘Complexity and coordination in London’s Silvertown Quays: How real estate developers (re)centred themselves in the planning process’ published in Environment and Planning A: Economy & Space.


Frances Brill’s article presents a topical, clearly-written and well-structured analysis of the planning application process to uncover how property developers shape urban governance. Firmly grounded in academic literature, her article rests on a clear and coherent research design involving interviews and ethnographic inquiry. The article employs an evidence-based approach to explore the complexity of planning processes and digs deep into real-world planning cases to explain what actually happens on the ground. A key contribution of the article is its detailed account of how property developers centre themselves in the planning process and occupy a central position in planning debates. In doing so, the article enriches the theorisation of the private sector’s involvement in urban governance and adds to understanding about the practices and strategies employed by property developers who, despite being key actors in urban planning processes, are sometimes overlooked in this area of research. The article is a recommended read for planners looking to understand the consequences of their interactions with the property development sector. The committee is very pleased that this year’s AESOP prize for the best published paper is again being awarded to an early-career scholar.


AESOP Best Published Paper Committee

Dominic Stead, Committee Chair (Aalto University, Finland); Lauren Andres (University College London, UK); Francesco Chiodelli (University of Turin, Italy); Anna Hersperger (Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, Switzerland); Mohamed Saleh, YAN Representative (University of Groningen, Netherlands); and Mark Scott (University College Dublin, Ireland).