New Book: International Planning Studies - An IntroductionOlivier Sykes, Dave Shaw (University of Liverpool) and Brian Webb (Cardiff University/Prifysgol Caerdydd), Palgrave Macmillan, 2023.

This new book provides a comprehensive introduction to the evolving field of international planning studies. It situates planning as an international discipline and practice with an important role to play in delivering sustainable development across different scales in diverse global contexts.

It explores past episodes of international influence and exchange in planning, key concepts in contemporary international planning studies, research strategies and methods in contemporary international planning studies, and ways of characterising and comparing planning systems. It considers the emergence of a global agenda for planning through the activities and goal setting of international organisations such as the UN and professional and civil society networks. Transnational and cross-border contexts and initiatives in different global regions and their relevance to planning are also investigated. The final chapters offer a reflection on the internationalisation of planning practice, education, and scholarship, and the future prospects for planning and planning studies from an international perspective.

The book provides an invaluable resource for scholars and teachers of international planning studies.


This book offers an essential introduction to global practice that makes it possible to orient all of our students to the world-wide sources of planning ideas, the variety of contexts in which planners work, and the best responses to rapid urbanization, climate change, growing inequality, and natural resource depletion. This book will motivate students to devote their careers to solving our most vexing global challenges and will point them in valuable directions for doing so. Bruce Stiftel, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA.

Long have we needed a book that offers both comparative and thematically-integrated perspectives on urban planning as a key societal activity found internationally. This book fills this need in an accessible and richly-illustrated way and will be a key reference point for future scholarly work on international planning. Nicholas A. Phelps, The University of Melbourne, Australia.

This vividly crafted book makes a powerful case for the urgent and globally shared need for planning, recognising the filters that national, regional and local specificities bring to, and demand of planning-forward research, theory-building and practice. It deftly demonstrates the value of ‘international planning studies’ at the universal and transversal, and the local and temporal scales, for planning researchers, educators and practitioners from wherever on the globe they are coming, going or planning to go. Mark Oranje,  University of Pretoria, South Africa.

This book is a welcome addition to the academic literature on comparative planning studies, and will provide a useful resource to anyone studying or teaching international planning. It offers an up-to-date discussion of a field of planning practice and research that - in response to global challenges with spatial impacts and increasingly interconnected territories - is becoming ever more important. Stefanie Dühr, University of South Australia, Australia.