Innovative Approaches to Interdisciplinarity in Planning Education - Building Capacity to Respond to Interconnected Contemporary Planning Challenges


This year, the competition attracted a large number of entries with 14 applications.
The final short list comprises the following courses/programmes:

Practical Plans: global migrants and local development in Lampedusa in Urban School, Sciences Po Paris

Teaching Planning Cultures and Sustainability in Department of International Planning Systems,  University of Kaiserslautern

Social Planning Academy within an Urban Mentoring Model in Gdansk University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture

Tempus-DEVETER master programme in Institut d’Urbanisme de Grenoble

We are pleased to annouce that this year's AESOP Excellence in Teaching Award went to:

Marco Cremaschi

for the course

Practical Plans: global migrants and local development in Lampedusa

run at the
Urban School, SciencesPo, Paris

According to the Award Committee "This course brought together planners, architects and sociologists to deliver a learning experience which aimed to explore the potential for collective action in the face of complex contemporary planning challenges. A theoretical component delivered by a group of teachers from different disciplinary backgrounds constituted the first part of the course. This was then followed-up with a workshop on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa - a place that has lived with the local impacts of major geopolitical change for decades notably the international migration of those fleeing conflict, or the harsh living conditions cause by uneven global development. The Jury felt that the module engaged its learners well with a clear contemporary example of a ‘wicked problem’ – the present refugee crisis in Europe, which is complex, multi-scalar, the result of interrelated dynamics, and defies the ‘traditional’ models of ‘expert-led’ definition and resolution. Guided by principles of “‘investigation”, “immersion”, “interaction” and “imagination” the module sought to introduce students to a reality where planners are often called upon to work at the interface of many different kinds of knowledge and disciplinary spheres drawing from an eclectic range of theoretical perspectives, methods, and professional traditions. This was well- captured by the notion of “Practical Plans” which look beyond the technical and political models of planning to see how collective action can address exceptional problems such as the refugee crisis in a context where both the state and market are weak. The subject addressed by the course was described as “alarmingly relevant” by one Committee Member and overall this application was the most highly scored overall."

On behalf of the AESOP Community, we would like to congratulate the winner and to thank Olivier Sykes (Chair) and the whole Award Committee for all their dedicated and generous work in selecting the courses/programmes.