Complex cities graduation 2017/18 – program

For an overview of the pre-P1 program, see here.

Introduction before the summer break

Thursday, 15 June 2017, 12.45 – 13.45
During this event all research groups that engage with MSc3/4 Urbanism graduations will briefly present their core research interests. Students will have the opportunity to meet research group leaders and mentors and ask initial questions. The event is meant to inspire the thinking of students about their graduation project over the summer period. For presentations given during this event, see here.

Introduction to Complex cities graduation topics

Graduation orientation, week 1.1-1.2
The first five weeks of Master of Urbanism graduations are dedicated to orientation. During week 1 and 2 of this orientation period students select a research group and a main mentor. The Complex cities group assists in this during two events. During a first event researchers will elaborate upon the topics of Complex cities graduations. The second event  helps to students to reflect upon the implications of these topics for their graduations projects. Students will meet Complex cities mentors. Lab tutorial/coaching sessions will be attended by Complex cities researchers as well. They are another opportunity to gain advice on evolving graduation projects.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017
8.45-11.45: Complex cities/planning change: An introduction to Complex cities graduation topics. For presentations given during this event, see here.
13.45-15.30: Lab tutorial/coaching.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017
8.45-11.45: Complex cities – a workshop: Finding and discussing common interests.

13.45-15.30: Lab tutorial/coaching

Understanding key concepts of Complex cities graduations

Graduation orientation, week 1.3-1.5
Lecture series on planning, governance and design
Weeks 3-5 of the graduation orientation period are dedicated to the first drafting of a thesis plan and the selection of a second mentor. During a lecture/discussion series key concepts of Complex cities graduations will be critically discussed. The series creates a common ground of Complex cities graduations and helps students to establish a stable theoretical research framework. The series is dedicated to Complex cities students. Students that have chosen another research group are invited to participate!

Wednesdays, 20 September 2017, 8.45-10.45, Room F
Good planning? Discussing planning from a critical perspective.
Vincent Nadin, Dominic Stead
This lecture will introduce and discuss key concepts from the field of planning that Complex cities graduation students engage with, notably (1) the main elements of the formal planning system in the place of their study – both land use planning and broader ‘territorial governance’; (2) the ‘type’ or ‘style’ of planning that operates in their location and its objectives; (3) the extent of influence that planning has on outcomes; and (4) the reasons for the strengths and weaknesses of planning – conditions, cultures, and prerequisites. Complex cities graduation students formulate recommendations how the formal planning system might better contribute to more sustainable outcomes. How to position a project in the realm of planning will be discussed. For presentations given during this event, see 

Wednesdays, 27 September 2017, 8.45-10.45, Room F
Good governance? Discussing governance from a critical perspective.
Marcin Dabrowski
In this brief introduction to governance, we will first introduce its normative and practical dimensions. We will discuss how the shift from government to governance transforms the role of the state and changes the ways in which spatial planning works. Adopting a critical perspective on governance from the standpoint of political economy and (spatial) justice, we will explore how it empowers or side lines certain actors and how it transforms the ways in which citizens and other stakeholders engage in planning. We will then explore the idea that governance practice is shaped both by formal institutions (of which planning systems, planning laws or territorial governments are examples) and informal institutions (cultural practices and behaviours and informal power relations), which are context-specific and highly differentiated across national settings. We will propose a critique of the style of planning that does not take informal institutions into consideration and thus is not able to react to the challenges stemming from informal practices and tacit ‘ways of doing things’. We will strive to explain why governance matters in planning practice, involving a large number of stakeholders with (often) conflicting interests. For the presentation given during this event, see here.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017, 8.45-10.45, Room F
Good design? Discussing design from a critical perspective.
Verena Balz, Wil Zonneveld, Gregory Bracken
In this lecture and discussion we will elaborate key concepts from the field of design and how these relate to notions on spatial planning and governance. We will distinguish design as (1) a creative practice and technical expertise; (2) a discursive and argumentative practice; (2) a collaborative decision-making practice; and (3) a discretionary practice that aims at the improvement of prevailing planning guidance and institutions. Against this background we will discuss characteristics of design proposals and processes, how they unfold their agency in the realms of planning and governance and the conditions that impede their performance. The event aims at a precise definition of what ‘design’ is in Complex cities graduations. We seek to encourage students to critically reflect on the intended political, organisational and analytical scope of their work, at an early moment of the graduation process. For the presentations given during this event, see here.

Understanding key methodology of Complex cities graduations

Graduation until P1, week 1.6-1.9
Arie Romein, Luiz de Carvalho Filho, Verena Balz, PhD researchers
The weeks after week 1.5 until P1 are dedicated to the finalizing of a thesis plan. A methodology workshop series will help Complex cities graduation students to prepare for empirical analysis that applies their theoretical knowledge to the cases and locations they are engaged with. The series complements the Methodology course (AR3U012) and the expertise in spatial analysis and design that students gained during their MSc Urbanism curriculum. It will focus on methodologies to investigate institutional and organisational matters as well as social action (behaviour) that shape spatial planning strategies. Below methodologies that will gain attention during the series are listed. Please note: The list may be amended in response to emerging common needs of Complex cities graduation students.

The methodology workshop series will involve PhD students who apply specific methodologies for the purpose of their research. PhD students will elaborate on the selection and use of methodologies and reflect on the conditions that likewise enhanced or hindered their application. Sessions will take the form of open discussions/workshops that allows to address the particular needs of graduation students in a dedicated way.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017, 8.45-11.45, Room BG west 290
Methodologies in Complex cities graduation
Verena Balz, Arie Romein, Luiz de Carvalho Filho
Introduction to the methodology workshop series;

Basic methodologies in the social sciences;
Workshop/discussion: Formulating research questions, anticipating on methodologies against the background of questions.
For the presentations given during this event, see here

Wednesday, 18 October 2017, 13.45-15.30, Room BG west 290
Elements of the thesis plan
Roberto Rocco, Arie Romein
Introduction: Elements of the thesis plan

Workshop/discussion: Drafting a good thesis plan.
For the presentation given during this event, see here.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017, 8.45-11.45, Room BG west 290
Analysing perspectives and participation of actors
Verena Balz, Katarzyna Piskorek, Rachel Keeton, Ana Chagas Cavalcanti
Introduction: Perspectives and participation of actors in planning research;

In her PhD research, Rachel Keeton seeks to provide a transdisciplinary roadmap for inclusive, sustainable, future African new towns in the form of a series of planning principles. She will elaborate on fieldwork and interviews with stakeholders, conducted under challenging circumstances;
In her PhD research, Katarzyna Piskorek investigates communication for urban transformations in perspective of the relation between citizens and local authorities. She will elaborate on how to analyse communication acts;
In her PhD research, Ana Chagas Cavalcanti proposes a method for the design of social housing that emerges from the social practices in informal settlements. Her particular interest is in the building of labour relations in contemporary systems of economic circulation. During the workshop she will elaborate on how to identify these practices and how to relate these to design principle.
Workshop/discussion: Discussing appropriate approaches in analyzing perspectives and participation of actors.
The presentations of Ana Rosa Cavalcanti and Kasia Piskorek can be accessed here. The presentation of Rachel Keeton was sent via email.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017, 8.45-11.45, Room BG west 290
Comparative planning and policy analysis
Dominic Stead
Complex cities graduations often involve comparative research approaches. Approaches may be light-weight (drawing inspiration for design from looking at planning elsewhere) or be a structural component of methodology (drawing important lessons from an in-depth understanding of how planning is applied and performs under different circumstances). This sessions will discuss the benefits of a comparative research perspective in both cases and elaborate the prerequisites, barriers and challenges that it requires and poses.

For the presentation given during this event, see here.

Discussing Complex cities graduations

Graduation, week 1.3 until P1
During week 1.1 and 1.2 students decide upon a research group and topic. From week 1.3 onward Complex cities students, mentors, experts and PhD students will gather to discuss the progress of Complex cities graduations in dedicated groups. An initial guideline for the scope of discussions are the Complex cities graduation topics (Inclusive cities, Transforming Chinese cities, Imagining (European) regions). However, the scope of discussions will be amended in the light of emerging questions/needs for discussion!


@ P 1

Wednesday, 8 November 2017, 8.45-17.30, Building 3mE, Room I and G
P1 presentations

During the day all Complex cities graduation students will present their thesis plans and discuss them with mentors, experts and their peers.
For a program of the day, including brief descriptions of graduation projects, see here.

Thursday, 9 November 2017, 16.00-18.00, Room BG West 350
Complex cities photo session
During this time Roberto Rocco will have the equipment ready to take portrait photography. Next to this our Complex cities research dissemination strategy will be introduced and discussed.

For an overview of the pre-P1 program, see here.

Pre-P2 program

Wednesday, 6 December 2017, 8.45-9.45, Room BG West 290
Discussing the publication of Complex cities graduation work.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 8.45-10.45 (in the morning), Room BG West 290
Discussing progress towards P2.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 14.00-15.30 (in the afternoon), office of Vincent Nadin
Discussing planning tools and instruments
Vincent Nadin
During this session questions on spatial planning tools and instruments that arise from Complex cities graduations projects will be commonly discussed. 

Wednesday, 20 December 2017, 8.45-14.45, room BG West 290
Test-practicing P2 presentations


@ P 2

For P2 presentations, see here

@ P 3

For P3 presentations, see here.


6 thoughts on “Graduation program 2017/18.

  1. Pingback: Upcoming events. |

  2. Pingback: Upcoming events. |

  3. Pingback: Orient! First event. |

  4. Pingback: Inclusive Cities – Sao Paulo, Shenzhen. |

  5. Pingback: Global cities – Third event on Complex cities graduations. |

  6. Pingback: Internationalisation and Planning – Fourth event on Complex cities graduations. |

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