It is with deep regret that we bid farewell to Patsy Healey, an outstanding figure in the field of planning and a founding member and former President of AESOP. Patsy passed away on 7 March 2024, leaving a significant gap in the world of planning education and research.

Patsy Healey, an Emeritus Professor in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at Newcastle University, UK, made significant contributions to the development and advancement of planning theory, ideas and practices throughout her career. Her impact has extended far beyond the academy, helping to shape the direction of planning practices and policies.

Together with Klaus Kunzmann and others, Patsy Healey co-founded AESOP in 1987 and continued to support it to become the key institution for the promotion of planning in Europe and beyond. Patsy also took on the role of President of AESOP and led the organization with commitment and conviction during her term. 

Patsy's research focused on how planning policies and strategies work in practice. Using a sociological-institutionalist approach, she explored the development of spatial planning ideas, urban governance processes and civil society initiatives.

Her seminal books, including "Collaborative Planning: Shaping Places in Fragmented Societies" (1997), "Urban Complexity and Spatial Strategies" (2007) and "Making Better Places" (2010), have inspired and influenced generations of planning researchers and practitioners. 

Patsy received numerous awards for her services and achievements, including the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1999, honorary membership of the Association of European Planners in 2004 and the RTPI Gold Medal in 2006. Her outstanding contributions were also recognized by being awarded a Fellow of the University College London, as well as honorary degrees from Oxford Brookes University, UK, Newcastle University and Chalmers University in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Her legacy will live on in the hearts of those who had the privilege of knowing her as a mentor, colleague and friend. She will be remembered not only as a pioneer in planning, but also as a warm personality who shared her passion for creating better places.

It is with deep sadness that we bid farewell to Patsy Healey knowing that will always cherish her inspiration and contributions to planning.


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