The UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference

2-4 September 2019, University of Liverpool, UK

Call for submissions

Conference Theme : Make Planning Great Again: Legitimacy and Justice in a Post-Truth World

The conference will bring together international researchers and practitioners to discuss the latest developments in planning. It will feature keynote talks from leaders in the field, roundtables, study tours and the opportunity to present work to colleagues. The conference will also provide visitors with an opportunity to visit Liverpool, a city which has changed hugely in the last 20 years yet retains a unique maritime history.

The University of Liverpool hosts the world’s first planning school, set up as the Department of Civic Design in 1909. So the Conference will coincide with the 110th anniversary of Planning in Liverpool, but we have continued to innovate and it will also mark ten years since the Department combined with a range of others to form the School of Environmental Sciences. The School includes colleagues in Geography, Geology, Geophysics, Oceanography, Ecology and Marine Biology which brings us exciting opportunities for collaboration. We have tried to reflect that diversity in the set of tracks we have chosen for the conference.

We have chosen for the theme of the conference Make Planning Great Again: Legitimacy and Justice in a Post-Truth World. We live in an age when “experts” are coming under attack from politicians and others, and the concept of “alternative facts” is in common use. At a time like this, it is more important than ever for us to reflect upon how Planners and Planning make claims for legitimacy, at the same time as pursuing social and environmental justice.

Planning is an activity which can, and does, play a vital role in developing solutions to the most pressing problems facing the world. But it often does so in contexts, such as in England, where Planning as an activity, and Planners themselves, are denigrated and undermined. We must also of course recognise that some criticism is justified, and that constant reflection is needed upon Planning methods and theories. At the 2019 Planning Research Conference we want to bring together perspectives on Planning that are critical and reflective, but also hopeful and forward-looking. We encourage submissions that challenge establish ways of doing things, but suggest how our discipline and profession could embrace change and work more effectively to address the challenges faced by people everywhere.

Call for Papers

Abstract submissions are invited in the following tracks:

1. Planning for inclusive mobility and connectivity

2. Green Infrastructure and Environmental governance

3. Economic and regional development

4. Communities, Planning and Education (including a public session which will be free to attend)

5. What is Planning?

6. Marine and coastal planning

7. Urban Design

8. Housing

9. Planning and Health

10. Impact Assessment for better planning

11. Rural Planning

12. Practical Research, and Researching Practice (sponsored by the Royal Town Planning Institute to encourage submissions from planning practitioners)

Call for Roundtables 

A limited number of slots for roundtable discussions are available.  Roundtable discussions may draw together key researchers in a field to discuss a particularly pertinent theme or topic. Priority will be given to roundtables that address the broad theme of the conference.  Please supply abstracts for a roundtable that include:

Participation in PhD Workshops

The PhD workshop before the start of the main conference will offer doctoral students an opportunity to develop their writing skills, and is open to participants from first year of PhD onwards. The Workshop will take place on Monday 2nd September, with a social activity on Sunday 1st. September, enabling PhD students to meet and work with researchers from a range of universities. Places are limited and participation is included in the Conference Registration Fee for successful applicants.

Submission Deadline

The deadline for submission of abstracts and roundtable proposals : 5pm, Friday 29th March 2019.

Please visit the conference website here: