Name of event: Annual congress of Association of European School of Planning (AESOP)
The RSA Travel Grant financially supported me to present my work on Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor as an emerging megaregion at the Association of European School of Planning Annual Congress in Lisbon, Portugal for 11-14 July in 2017. It would not have been possible for me otherwise to fly from India. The conference was attended by delegates and speakers from all over Europe and other countries, including US, India, China, and Australia. It was a great platform to present my initial work on megaregions in the global south that I am developing further in my career. It was also a great opportunity for me to meet my colleagues from AESOP, and specially, Young Academic network, whom I have been working with since 2011.
I presented a paper on ‘Evaluating Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor as an emerging megaregion in India’ at the annual congress of Association of European School of Planning (AESOP). The paper was presented at a track on regional economics and scarce resources planning. There were other presenters in the same session from UCL, University of Middlesex, Istanbul Technical University and University of Thessaly. I presented another paper on the institutionalisation of drinking water supply in Bengaluru in a track on territories under pressure: disrupted events, shattered cities and collective memories.
This years’ theme for the conference was ‘Spaces of dialogue for places of dignity: Fostering the European dimension of Planning’. The keynote speakers for the conference included Simin Davoudi from Newcastle University, Jose Viegas from International Transport Forum at OECD, Joan Clos from UN Habitat and Viriato Soromenho-Marques from University of Lisbon. Besides Simin Davoudi’s keynote speech on spatial imaginaries, Jose Viegas’ talk was very interesting as this was focused on transport sector and accessibility. Joan Clos’ concluding session speech brought insights from contemporary urban challenges in the emerging economies, highlighting the importance of planned intervention.
There were questions and discussions from the audience during both opening and closing session on the specific theme of ‘spaces of dialogue: places of dignity’. Attendees came from various Planning schools in Europe, North America (Illinois, UCLA, Portland, Ohio), Middle East (Dubai), China, South Africa and India. The conference drew over 800 attendees. The detail of tracks and papers presented are attached. The full papers will be available with open access upto two weeks after the conference to download.
Some other interesting events during the conference included announcement of Prof Gerhard Schimak as the honorary member, Prof Klaus Kunzmann’s 75th birthday celebration, and an event celebrating the legacy of late John Friedmann. Amongst other sessions, I attended the Young Academic General Assembly to speak about the Conversations in Planning Theory and Practice booklet series, which I am editor of since November 2012. I also attended a meeting on AESOP’s publication platform. The best paper prize of the conference was awarded to a final year PhD student Emma from U of Sheffield whose work is on international urbanisation in Mexico. The teaching excellence award went to a course on ‘Rethink the city: New approaches to global and local urban challenges’ run at TU Delft.
I was participant of a pre-conference one-day seminar on transformative knowledge for an era of planetary urbanisation, organised and jointly funded by COST (European cooperation in Science and Technology), Intrepid knowledge, Instituto De Ciencias Socials, and AESOP-YA network. There was a follow up roundtable on ‘Towards knowledge that changes thing: The challenges of engaged planning theory and practice’ during the conference, which was chaired by Heather Campbell from University of Sheffield and supported by RTPI.