Opportunity – Imagining different spaces for the journal “Planning Theory and Practice”

16 Mar
Street-art by Banksy

Street-art by Banksy

Below you can find an invitation from Dr Libby Porter, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at Monash University. Libby is looking  for people who can contribute examples and ideas of concrete, radically progressive alternatives on matters related to how, as a society, we use, occupy, and manage space – also urban space! The best contribution will be published in the journal “Planning Theory and Practice”. Deadline is 19 April for expressions of interest.

Here is the call:
There are always moments – cracks in an edifice – when concrete, practical alternatives to mainstream, hegemonic approaches might find some air and light. One such moment is crisis – when long-standing trajectories are halted, assumptions challenged, oppressive practices exposed, and present dangers more fully revealed. That we are, as a global community, in crisis of a variety of ecological, economic, social and political dimensions is frighteningly clear. And that these crises both feed into, but are equally produced by, the processes that underpin urbanisation, land development, and the nature of socio-ecological relations (space, in short) is also patently obvious. While there is little consensus about how or what, it is clear that all sorts of changes, of a radically progressive nature, are urgent.

This call is for Expressions of Interest for a collection of examples and ideas for concrete, radically progressive change on matters related to how, as a society, we use, occupy and manage space. That includes, but is not limited to: cities, urbanisation, land development, housing and socio-ecological relations. The purpose of this collection is to share ideas and resources: prod imaginations, spark hope, show there is a different and better way. Initially, the collection would be published in the ‘Interface’ section of the journal Planning Theory and Practice. While this is an academic journal, the Interface section is different: it is not refereed, not limited to formal research papers and freely available (open access at no cost). However, a much wider dissemination beyond that is anticipated, including online and through both traditional and social media.

Anyone can participate in this project. I am especially seeking contributions from activists, organisers, practitioners, local groups trying new initiatives, students, artists, researchers, …

I would like to hear from people who can talk clearly and passionately about potentially viable, radically progressive solutions to the deepening crises unfolding today. That might include (but not be limited to) dimensions such as:

  •        Economics: for example alternatives to profit/property/market-driven approaches to land development, housing and infrastructure provision.
  •        Ecology: for example ideas to shift patterns of land use and development that are destructive, resource-depleting etc
  •        Politics: for example more radically progressive approaches to democracy and decision-making, political struggles etc
  •        Education: for example different approaches to teaching, learning, curricula and program design

This is by no means an exhaustive list – just ideas and examples of the kinds of ideas and alternatives that could make a contribution.
Please note – I am not interested in receiving theoretical or abstract contributions, nor in critiques of the here and now, nor analyses of different dimensions of crisis. While all are fundamentally important, the purpose of this collection is different. It is to ‘prefigure’ possible futures in the current order by sharing ideas, experiments, hope and possibilities for what could be different tomorrow.

Expressions of Interest should be no longer than about 1 page and provide the following information:

An overview of the idea/project/alternative you would like to contribute – what is it about? what dimension of space and place is it related to? What does it involve or entail? Has it ‘been done’ somewhere? What is exciting, insightful, useful or instructive about it? Why should it be in this collection – what does it contribute?
Contributor name and affiliation where relevant (please note – I am very keen to hear from people outside formal organisations or academic institutions) and a little bit of background about yourself
Send Expressions of Interest to me via email at: libby.porter@monash.edu by 19 April 2013.  Those contributors selected to participate will be asked for their contribution (short paper or equivalent, no longer than 2000 words) by 31 July 2013.

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