10th Anniversary
Local responses to global changes:
new approaches to planning education



Teaching in the broad field of planning is one of the main activities of our member schools. In 2002, AESOP introduced a prize which recognises and encourages Excellence in Teaching. Through this award, AESOP celebrates and disseminates innovative practices in teaching at its member schools. The broad aim of the prize is to stimulate the development of teaching prospective planners, in order to better prepare them for their future practice and to contribute to the continuing education of practitioners.

At the present moment, European higher education in general and planning education specifically face severe challenges from global changes, reflected in national and local economic, political and institutional changes.  These challenges can be considered as a threat or as an opportunity to rethink approaches to planning education.  The 10th Anniversary of the AESOP Prize for Excellence in Teaching will look for planning courses which are distinguished by their responses to global changes through their pedagogy and approach to planning.

Global changes affect cities, regions, individuals and policies as well as education. Planning courses are affected by the local consequences of these global changes as well as by the body of students and the position of universities. Migrations, plurality and differences, international cooperation or competition lie at the roots of contemporary city life as well as higher education. Due to the nature of the planning as a discipline, planning courses are affected by and consequently face these changes twice, once as substantive themes and secondly through their teaching processes.

The specific purpose of the prize is to promote and encourage planning schools to apply new pedagogy, theories and/or technologies/techniques in ways that enhance the knowledge and skills necessary for responding to these new global changes in planning and in planning education. The award provides an important opportunity to open the discussion of these changes through disseminating effective, responsive and high quality teaching practices among European planning schools.



The theme of “Local Responses to Global Changes: New Approaches to Planning Education” is conceived broadly. The notion of globalisation is seen within a wide perspective; responses to global changes within planning courses can be interpreted from different, plural perspectives, either considering it as a substantive theme or as a teaching process. We expect that nominations will represent innovative, high quality, critical and constructive contributions to teaching, which inspire students and foster curiosity, rigour, creativity, and critical thinking.

Planning courses, or modules, or an integrated series of courses/modules, of maximum length of two semesters can be nominated - BUT NOT A WHOLE PROGRAMME OF STUDY.

The nominated course(s) should:

  • Define the perspective which the course takes on the concept of “Local responses to global changes in planning education”;

  • Be taught in an innovative way and to high pedagogical standards;

  • Engage students in dealing innovatively with planning problems.

The criteria of innovation in assessing the courses has to be interpreted as the capacity of creating better or more effective products, processes, organisations, services, technologies or ideas in planning courses in order to face new global challenges.


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.

All planning courses which face the issue of global changes as a substantive theme as well as a teaching/learning process theme are eligible.

Young academics are warmly encouraged to apply.



Please, use the electronic application form available from the AESOP web site. All material must be submitted electronically to the chair of the jury, Francesco Lo Piccolo.

Applications must be received by 20th of May 2012. Please send the nomination electronically to

Applications must include a full description of the course or module.


A panel of seven academics will judge the nominations. The panel consists of AESOP members, including a representative from AESOP’s Young Academics Group. The panel of judges will select and evaluate the applications, according to the following criteria:

  • How does the course face the challenge of global changes?

  • In what ways is the pedagogy of high quality?

  • Why and how is the nominated course/module and/or pedagogy innovative in developing new approaches to planning education?

  • How are students prepared  to face global changes and challenges?

  • What difficulties were met in developing the course and/or pedagogy and how were they overcome?

  • How can the innovative elements of the course be reproduced and applied at other institutions?


A prize of 1000 EUROs will be presented to a representative of the winning programme during the annual AESOP congress.

The winner will be expected to make an audio-visual presentation of the programme at the subsequent year’s congress. He/she/they will also be expected to allow the programme to be presented on AESOP’s website.

CEBE Transaction (see http://www.cebe.heacademy.ac.uk/) will publish an article on the winning module(s)

2012 AESOP Excellence in Teaching Prize INFO (pdf) here.

2012 AESOP Excellence in Teaching Prize APPLICATION FORM (doc) here.