Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Editorial | Open Access

Spatial Knowledge and Urban Planning

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Abstract:  Urban planning is simultaneously shaped by and creates new (spatial) knowledge. The changes in planning culture that have taken place in the last decades—especially the so-called communicative turn in planning in the 1990s—have brought about an increased attention to a growing range of stakeholders of urban development, their interests, logics, and participation in planning as well as the negotiation processes between these stakeholders. However, while this has also been researched in breadth and depth, only scant attention has been paid to the knowledge (claims) of these stakeholders. In planning practice, knowledge, implicit and explicit, has been a highly relevant topic for quite some time: It is discussed how local knowledge can inform urban planning, how experimental knowledge on urban development can be generated in living labs, and what infrastructures can process “big data” and make it usable for planning, to name a few examples. With the thematic issue on “Spatial Knowledge and Urban Planning” we invited articles aiming at exploring the diverse understandings of (spatial) knowledge, and how knowledge influences planning and how planning itself constitutes processes of knowledge generation. The editorial gives a brief introduction to the general topic. Subsequently, abstracts of all articles illustrate what contents the issue has to offer and the specific contribution of each text is carved out. In the conclusion, common and recurring themes as well as remaining gaps and open questions at the interface of spatial knowledge and urban planning are discussed.

Keywords:  evidence-based planning; knowledge; knowledge orders; learning; negotiation; planning; stakeholders; urban living labs



© Anna Juliane Heinrich, Angela Million, Karsten Zimmermann. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.