Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP), established in 1987, is an international association of universities teaching and researching in the field of spatial planning.

With over 150 institutional members, AESOP is the only representation of planning schools of Europe. AESOP mobilises its resources, taking a leading role and entering its expertise into ongoing debates and initiatives regarding planning, planning education and qualifications of future professionals.

AESOP offers a platform of exchange of planning knowledge for scholars, practitioners, and urban managers.

AESOP promotes planning as a tool of improving quality of life and builds-up its agenda with professional bodies, politicians and all other key stakeholders in spatial and urban development and management across Europe.

At present, AESOP members cover a significant majority of European scholars in territorial, regional, spatial and urban development and management research. The level of expertise in planning represented by the AESOP community is outstanding. The AESOP Annual Congress, held in July, with more than 1,000 abstracts regularly submitted, has become the biggest planning assembly of scholars, practising planners and urban managers in Europe.

AESOP runs also an annual meeting of the heads of planning schools. The meeting gives the opportunity to the departments, schools and faculties of planning to discuss and compare the challenges they have to face and the programmes they offer to the students. These meetings generated, as a result of discussions, a few interesting outcomes, such as the AESOP Experts Pool, which aims at helping schools to raise the quality of teaching.

For PhD students in planning, AESOP offers a workshop, which is associated with the annual congress. AESOP also supports the Young Academics Network, which is an independent structure of PhD students. Our association publishes also its own journal called Planning Education. All the issues of this publication are available free of charge on the AESOP website.

Our association publishes also its own journal called Planning Education. All the issues of this publication are available free of charge on the AESOP website.

AESOP collaborates with more than 50 planning journals. Special connections link AESOP with disP – The Planning Review, where AESOP holds its own section.

AESOP cooperates with European organisations, both with those with an academic background focusing on territories and planning (in the broad sense of the word) – like for example European Regional Science Association (ERSA), European Urban Research Association (EURA), Regional Studies Association (RSA), International Planning History Society (IPHS) and with those with more focus on practice – like European Council of Spatial Planners – Conseil Européen des Urbanistes (ECTP-CEU), International Federation for Housing and Planning (IFHP), International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP) and UN-Habitat, but above all with the European institutions, agencies and programmes, giving their growing interest in “things territorial”. This cooperation is coordinated by AESOPs representation in Brussels: AESOP Brussels European Liaison Office (BELO) responsible, among others, for representing AESOP in the EU and networking with other organisations.

One of the important activities within BELO activities is the Lecture Series established to attract not only the planning community but also a wider audience of politicians, community leaders and organisations, business and the media to promote it as a discipline that can help to find new tools of governance and function as an effective mediator between many stakeholders.

Among distinguished speakers were already: Klaus R. Kunzmann (in Cappenberg Schloss, Germany), Andreas Faludi (in Paris), Danuta Hübner (in Brussels), Sir Peter Hall (in London), Juval Portugali (in Amsterdam), Cliff Hague (in Riga), Peter Batey (in Warsaw). The 10th Lecture, which will take place on 26th November 2015 in Berlin will focus on the important topic of migrants and the cities.

The other activity is an annual European Urban Summer School (EUSS) for young professionals.

Members of AESOP hosting the event and acting in cooperation with the municipalities and other local actors always offer an interesting case to illustrate the topic discussed during the summer school. Tutors represent both academia and practice. On average some 20-30 young professionals attend the EUSS.

Six editions of the European Urban Summer School (Wrocław, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Tours, Bremen) have shown convincingly that a few days of intensive interaction can produce many useful new ideas documented in the selection of books, which are available free of charge on the AESOP website.

AESOP, via BELO, cooperates with the European Commission, European Parliament, URBACT and ESPON, being invited as an academic partner of the ESPON Scientific Conference.

Responding to the invitation of the European Commission and the Committee of the Regions taking into account its field of expertise, AESOP has become involved in the OPEN DAYS University, and the Master Class for PhD students/early career researchers in the field of regional and urban policy.

Planning schools and research institutions are warmly encouraged to join AESOP. The application form is available at We encourage practitioners and urban managers to link to our activities via AESOP Brussels European Liaison Office (contact our BELO representative by email: or ).


Izabela Mironowicz

Representative AESOP Brussels

European Liaison Office – AESOP


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