Innovation in planning practice through processes of co-creation has become a priority, not only for urban agencies in practice but also for scientific research. Planning practice is puzzled by upcoming concepts of adaptability, resilience, and self-organization which present idealized visions of governance. Urban development often still takes place through traditional forms of teleocratic approaches of research and practice, characterized by its instrumental focus on goal-specific tasks, means, and outcomes rather than searching for context based adaptability under the guidance of generic principles. APRILab entails research into fundamental political dilemmas that constrain effective innovation. It focuses on three major dilemmas to conceptualize the different trade-offs for governance innovation between the extremes of self-organization and control: a) planning, between control of spatial processes and accommodation of emergent urban change; b) regulation, between instrumentalism and generic normative guidance of self-regulation; c) investment, between supply and demand driven investments. The major objectives are theoretical, practical and methodological. First, the development of a paradigmatic shift for planning practice and research (achieved through specific sensitizing concepts); second, the development of a participative methodology for dilemma exploration and innovation through the urban living lab. Third, the achievement of trans-national learning communities to systematize best practices.
You can download reports, read about updates, the research team, etc., on the following web-site: http://aissr.uva.nl/research/externally-funded-projects/sites/content13/aprilab/about.html
The project is financed by The Danish Council for Strategic Research, via the european Joint Programming Initiative: Urban Europe. I cooperate with partners in Finland, The Netherlands and Turkey.
In the study I continue the research agenda pursued in my thesis as I focus on urban planning as well as how to lead collaborative innovation projects in these conditions of uncertainty. The Danish cases chosen is Aalborg East, Aalborg and South Harbour, Copenhagen.