In our research, we seek to propose a transnational comparative research that is focused on second‐order cities in Germany, Russia and Ukraine and the local actors of planning, namely professionals and civil activists, who contest and negotiate the shift or persistence of local planning paradigms in situations of recently solved and on‐going public urban conflicts. We examine the principles of participation and effectiveness in local urban planning processes through the case of urban conflicts in Bonn (Germany), Vinnytsia (Ukraine) and Perm (Russia).
The aim of research is twofold: 1. to develop a theory‐driven, yet empirically informed model, which detects and explains the persistence or recent shifts in local planning concepts and processes; and 2. to stimulate reflexivity among civil activists and planning professionals in order to strengthen and advance participative and effective urban planning at the local level.
To reach this aim, we propose three bundles of questions to guide the research:
- Scope and quality of paradigm shifts: What are the planning concepts of local activists and planning professionals, in particular with regard to the centrally debated principles of participation and effectiveness, and to what extent are they translated in planning processes, thus shaping already existing or new planning paradigms?
- Explaining shift and persistence: Why and how do local planning paradigms shift or persist? Which factors, in particular local, “internal” ones structure the direction and extent of change and persistence?
- Discovering challenges and chances for local and inter‐regional reflexivity: What are the conflicts as well as common grounds in terms of planning concepts and practices among local actors, which hinder or facilitate the implementation of participatory and effective urban planning? What are similar or different experiences in German, Russian and Ukrainian cities?