AESOP 2022 THEORY: Reflecting multi-species approaches to planning
Ben Davy (University of Johannesburg, South Africa)
Meike Levin-Keitel (TU Dortmund University, Germany)
Franziska Sielker (University of Cambridge, UK)
Kristi Grišakov (Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia)

The congress theme -- 'Space for Species: Redefining Spatial Justice' – challenges the orthodox view on spatial planning. Spatial planning often is considered for the benefit of human animals. Aldo Leopold’s land ethic or Christopher Stone’s appeal for tree rights are just two examples of why planning for humanity might be myopic and possibly unjust. The THEORY track invites contributions discussing the theoretical foundations of spatial justice for various species. Such contributions could try to find answers to the following questions:

  • Should planners accept the personhood of non-human animals, trees, rivers, or mountains?
  • Which theories would help planners come to terms with a multi-species approach to urban planning?
  • Does spatial justice for a variety of species increase or decrease the complexity of spatial planning?
  • Which theories would help planners to make cities comfortable for non-human species?
  • What does spatial justice for a variety of species imply for urban food production
  • What are the responsibilities of planners for controlling animal or plant populations in urban environments?

The THEORY track also invites contributions celebrating the new AESOP Thematic Group ‘Planning Theories’ (plural). The group offers space for academic conversations on plural theories about spatial planning. Contributions to the THEORY track might include:

  • Unfolding the different meanings of ‘planning’ as object and subject of planning theories;
  • Understanding the strategies and dynamics of theory-building in planning theories;
  • Deconstructing the relationship between truth, the political, and ideology in planning theories;
  • Discussion on the use of social, economic, political, legal, or other theories in planning theories;
  • Development of criteria for assessing the quality of planning theories.

KEYWORDS: animals and the city; complexity; ideology and planning; invasive species and climate change; justice theories; more-than-human planning; multi-species approach to urban planning; urban and rural vegetation; planning theories; polyrationality; rights of nature