By way of paper contributions, the track brings together STS inspired research on planning issues that looks beyond the ready-made plan or the planned territory, and instead enquires into the socio-material and situated practices of planning as a technical and political project of city-making.
The field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) has opened up the world-making practices in science to sociological inquiry. This track proposes to inquire the city-making practices in urban planning and their effects across territories. The track considers cities as the object ,and not simply the loci of science and technology, through investigations of the knowledge, tools and politics of planning. This view is opportune as scholars of planning observe how planning shifts away from a rational and technocratic exercise to a complex and communicative arena in the last decades.
Adopting the hybrid lens of STS in the study of planning practices brings insight into how planning is transformed into a technical project or deliberative process. In turn, this perspective enables to address some of the tensions between governance and democracy. Specifically, the attention to both the social and the material is productive in order to account for the role of artifacts in framing and performing the planning dialogue. Moreover, the STS perspective seems particularly adept to investigate a discipline that is, after all, concerned with the nexus of the built and social environment.
In this sense, the track not only seeks to open the black boxes of planning, but also aims to engage a discussion on its re-assembling to include more diverse and reflexive ways of implementing planning. The proposed track therefore invites theoretically and empirically based contributions that address the specific hybrid practices through which planning understands, governs and shapes cities, built environments and territories.