Co-evolutions of planning and design: Risks and benefits of design perspectives in planning systems

Kristof Van Assche*, Raoul Beunen, Martijn Duineveld, Harro de Jong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

37 Citations (Web of Science)


We develop an evolutionary perspective on spatial planning to investigate the potential contributions of design approaches to the coordination of spatial organization. After a re-articulation of the concepts of planning and design in this perspective, we distinguish six essential features of the planning/design dialectics in a community. These aspects ought to be understood when evaluating the risks and benefits of design perspectives in a planning system, and the potential for re-positioning design in planning. It is argued that relying on the rhetoric of any single actor or any single tradition of reflection on planning and design is deceptive, whereas the collective experience of learning and adaptation with actors and disciplines expands the scope of understanding and the pallet of possible adaptations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-198
Number of pages22
JournalPlanning Theory
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptation
  • design
  • flexibility
  • governance evolutions
  • urban planning
  • FORM


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