Anthony Sutcliffe Dissertation Award

The best dissertation in the field of planning history written in English and completed during the two years preceding the conference (2020-21). There is no restriction on topic, but submissions that most directly and innovatively address the internationalism of the modern planning movement, in line with much of Sutcliffe’s work, are especially welcome.

Doctoral dissertations completed during 2020 and 2021 are eligible. Self-nominations or nominations from dissertation advisors/supervisors (on behalf of their students) are welcome.

The award recipient will receive free conference registration for the 2022 conference, a $300US prize and a certificate.

All submissions must include:

  1. the dissertation in single file PDF format

  2. a brief biography of the student with full contact details

  3. the name of the main academic advisor/supervisor(s) also with contact details

  4. a letter of affirmation by the dissertation advisor (or other official university documentation) that the dissertation was completed and successfully passed/defended in the eligibility period.

Anthony Sutcliffe Dissertation Award Committee

  • Chair: Professor Karl Friedhelm Fischer, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia and University of Kassel, Germany
  • Associate Prof Naoto Nakajima, University of Tokyo
  • Giorgio Piccinato, Roma Tre University

Nominations for the Anthony Sutcliffe Dissertation Award should be sent to the committee chair Professor Karl Friedhelm Fischer (e:

The deadline for receipt of nominations is 15 December 2021.

Awarded dissertations


Chen, Yongming. From the Cold War Front Line to the Global City: Everyday Politics in Urbanization of Boat People’s Settlement, Xiamen, Chinese University of Hong Kong.

The research work that Yongming Chen has developed in his thesis is of great interest for several reasons. He summarizes the purpose of the thesis as looking “Through the lens of urbanization to understand Socialist China’s transformation: how institutions think”. The thesis incorporates a research methodology that connects the reality of urban development with the complexities of Chinese society, and reveals how spaces have been gradually produced and transformed over time. Starting from a specific example, the Xiamen Harbor, as a case study he develops a vision that begins with the fishing port and which, without losing sight of the political transformations in the region, evolves through the social transformations of China. The thesis describes how the population of a small fishing village is transformed into an urban population, showing how the urbanization process of a fishing settlement in Xiamen Harbor in different periods is articulated in parallel with changes that take place in the political organization. The Xiamen Harbor study reveals the multiple relationships between culture, economy and society. At the same time, the analysis and vision of contemporary China is enriching for the reader and helps them to better understand today’s China.


Muñoz, Victor Muñoz. (2016) Networked Utopia. Architecture and Urbanism in the Bata Shoe Company Sattellite Cities. Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain. (1stprize).

There are many reasons to highlight the great value of this work: first because of the way in which the thesis provides a fascinating transect of the history of universal, early modern and modern approaches to urbanism and their manifestation in the urbanistic conceptions of the Bata Shoe Company Satellite Cities, including their transformation right through to their ‘post-industrial existence; secondly, the way in which it traces the transformation of the classic models from Howard, Garnier, and Le Corbusier linking them to the emerging concepts associated with Fordism; and thirdly, the way in which it provides an original account of the different shape the developments took in different climates. Furthermore, and more importantly, because of the highly original way in which it traces Harvey’s and Scott’s notions of ‘universal’ or ‘high modernism’, as well as of ‘ideals, types, myths and models’, through the development history of almost a century of this bundle of case studies in different parts of the world and right through to the cutting-edge developments of the technologies of the 21st century. Among the additional reasons that make this work, the favourite is its design and graphic presentation. (From the committee’s report)

Crawford, Christina E. (2016) The Socialist Settlement Experiment: Soviet Urban Praxis. 1917-1932. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. (Runner-up prize).

This dissertation is a very detailed and deeply researched submission, opening up fields seldom explored by the academy so far. The focus on non-official Soviet planning and design experimentation is surprising and provocative, and the work on Ernst May and other actors of the time is magnificent. There is also an incredible work of compiling documents from archives in Azerbaijan, Canada, Russia, and the US, and a deep reflection on the role of architecture and city planning in the USSR. The number of new windows opened up is absolutely impressive. (From the committee’s report)


Gonick, Sophie (2015) At the Margins Of Europe: Homeownership, Inclusion, and Protest in Contemporary Madrid. University of California, Berkeley.


Ammon, Francesca Russello (2012) Culture of Clearance: Waging War on the Landscape in Post-war America. Yale University.