TRACK 17: Ethics and Justice in Planning


Track schedule

July 14, 2015
Session 1: Spatial justice and housing room: 450
Chairpersons: Davoudi Simin, Buunk Willem  
New development areas in rural Hong Kong: Whose spatial justice and whose right to the city? Ng Mee Kam (Hong Kong)
Losing or gaining effectiveness? Outcomes of government interventions in the Amsterdam social housing sector Jonkman Arend (The Netherlands)
What kind of social justice is materialized in space? An institutional analysis of multi-actors in public housing in Taipei Yang Ching-Wen (The Netherlands)
Does neo-liberalism really exist? Urban planning, economic crisis and the housing market Moroni Stefano (Italy)
‘Spatial justice’: semiosis, rule of pertinence, and social reality Kousidonis Christos (Greece)


Session 2: Spatial justice and just city room: 450
Chairpersons: Davoudi Simin, Buunk Willem  
Human dignity and spatial justice: Can equitable plans result in humiliating plans? Davy Benjamin (Germany)
The post-disaster as an opportunity to reconstruct a more just city Bortolotto Giulia (Italy)
The sectoral plan for health promotion: an innovative instrument for a more just city?! Köckler Heike (Germany)
High-speed rail impacts on Shanghai’s urban fringe communities: an integrated appraisal from social sustainability and environmental justice perspectives Qian Zhu (Canada)
Planners - a silenced profession? The politicisation of planning and the need for fearless speech Grange Kristina (Norway)


Session 3: Ethics and planning room: 450
Chairpersons: Davoudi Simin, Buunk Willem  
Planning and ethics: towards a new a-categorical and a-moral paradigm Tedeschi Miriam (Italy)
Ethical dilemmas in Tanzania planning system Layson Joseph Paulo (China)
Is planning gain the new brown envelope? An investigation into the strategic use of planning gain agreements Fox-Rogers Linda (Ireland)
Latent conflicts and planning ethical challenges in the South-Eastern Sicily “landscape of exception” Lo Piccolo Francesco (Italy)
How to put environmental injustice on planner’s radical agenda; learning from the Land of Fires-Italy Palestino Maria Federica (Italy)
July 15, 2015
Session 4: Public interests and planning room: 450
Chairpersons: Davoudi Simin, Buunk Willem  
The just cause for planning. Six perspectives on the public interest in the physical domain Buunk Willem (The Netherlands)
Justifying planning decisions: institutional response to planning objections in Israel  Margalit Talia (Israel)
Who is entitled for the recognition of public right in the urban domain? A perspective from the southern Italian context. Bonafede Giulia (Italy)
From ideological subordination to market driven forces; a challenge for urban planners Pascariu Gabriel (Romania)
From borgate to metro-boroughs; the changing claims for just planning in Rome Fioretti Carlotta (Italy)


Session 5: Environmental and social justice room: 450
Chairpersons: Davoudi Simin, Buunk Willem  
Planning as human development: resources, capabilities and responsibilities Basta Claudia (The Netherlands)
Urban greenspace and environmental justice claims Davoudi Simin (UK)
Assessing land take implications for environmental justice: a case study using the ecosystem services approach Assennato Francesca (Italy)
A way to environmental justice - taking advantage of the settings approach for health promotion in urban planning Sieber Raphael (Germany)
Orthodoxy or opportunity: the difficult match between the environmental and social justice dimensions of sustainable mobility Boussauw Kobe (Belgium)



Track description

Co-chairs: Simin Davoudi, Willem Buunk

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in research into normative and moral aspects of planning in both planning practice and theory. This includes concerns over justice and fairness as well as a number of other values such as aesthetics, safety, health and wellbeing. This track is open to papers that provide a deeper understanding of the wide range of ethical and moral dilemmas with which planning practice and theory are confronted.

The pursuit of justice is seen as central to the justification of political authority and political obligation. In this sense justice often has a legal connotation and is about how people are treated. Another meaning of justice is how society’s benefits and burdens are distributed and how this distribution is decided upon. In the past few decades planning theory has been largely preoccupied with just processes and appears to have paid less attention to just outcomes. We suggest that such dichotomous position is not helpful and instead planning theory and practice should embrace the concept of ‘just planning’ defined broadly in terms of distribution, participation, recognition, capability and responsibility, without subsuming any one of these into another. Despite the acknowledged significance of such inclusive understanding of justice, the bulk of justice studies continue to focus on distribution. We welcome papers that aim to fill the gap.

In addition to issues of justice and fairness, planning involves a number of other social, economic, cultural and environmental values.  The process through which these are defined, debated and prioritised is a contested one and riddled with complex power-knowledge relations. Planners in their daily practices and thoughts are immersed in a wide variety of moral concerns and values, some of which become overt while others remain implicit. Clearly articulating these normative issues is in itself a major challenge, but one that planners ought to aspire to.

In this track we welcome papers that critically engage with a) theoretical debate on ethics, justice and other moral concepts and normative value, b) provide practical examples of ‘(un)just’ or ‘good/bad’ approaches to spatial development and ‘(un)ethical’ practices in planning, or c) highlight methodological challenges of assessing claims of justice, ethics or other moral concerns. We welcome papers that address any of the above questions theoretically or empirically and challenge the taken for granted assumptions about ‘just planning’, ‘good’ planners, or ‘desirable’ outcomes of planning.    We look forward to receiving your papers and having stimulating discussions in Prague.