Planning Perspectives Prize

The Planning Perspectives Prize is awarded for the best paper published in Planning Perspectives during the two calendar years before the IPHS international conference on the judgement of the editorial team.

The recipient receives a monetary prize awarded by Taylor&Francis and a certificate.

Planning Perspectives Prize Committee

  • Chair: Professor John Gold (Editor)
  • Dr Margaret Gold (Editor)
  • Professor Carola Hein (IPHS Section Editor)
  • Professor Robert Freestone (Chair: Editorial Board)
  • Professor Stephen Ramos (Editorial Board)
  • Professor Florian Urban (Book Review Editor)
  • Adjunct Associate Research Professor Christine Garnaut (IPHS President and Editorial Board)

Awarded papers


Best paper on planning history in Planning Perspectives 2020-2021:

Mikkel Høghøj (2020), ‘Planning Aarhus as a welfare geography: urban modernism and the shaping of “welfare subjects” in post-war Denmark’, Planning Perspectives, 35(6): 1031-54.

Mikkel Høghøj’s ‘Planning Aarhus as a welfare geography: urban modernism and the shaping of ‘welfare subjects’ in post-war Denmark’ is a carefully considered, skilfully crafted and highly engaging article. It stands out for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach which introduces the concept of ‘welfare geography’ to readers who may be unfamiliar with that notion. As developed in this study, Høghøj uses ‘welfare geography’ as the lens to interrogate the relationship between ‘welfare’, broadly defined, and the active process of the socio-cultural production of urban space. Drawing on the work of geographers, historians and, particularly, the French critical theorists Michel Foucault and Henri Lefebvre, Høghøj assiduously introduces the purpose, theoretical basis and key tenets of ‘welfare geography’. He demonstrates the application of the concept in the context of urban planning in post-war Denmark and particularly of two regional plans for Greater Aarhus (1954, 1966) that will be unfamiliar to the wider audience.
Høghøj’s exposition of the background to, intentions behind, and details and outcomes of the Aarhus plans introduces the key actors, processes, and sources of knowledge that underpinned their production and implementation. His findings and interpretation draw not only on the writings of authors who have conceptualised ‘welfare geography’ but also on publications by scholars ranging from Danish urbanists to British and North American urban, architectural, and planning historians. The adept interweaving and use of ideas and findings from other scholars adds a richness and depth to Høghøj’s analysis. As he asserts and commandingly substantiates in his article, ‘welfare geography’ has the potential to be used more widely as the analytical approach for planning historians investigating ‘national and local contexts’ other than Denmark and Greater Aarhus. Therein lies a major contribution of Mikkel Høghøj’s article.


Best paper on planning history in Planning Perspectives 2018-2019:

Vacher, Hélène (2019), ‘From miseenvaleur to cooperation: Ponts-et-Chaussées engineers overseas and the rise of planning expertise in the twentieth century’, Planning Perspectives, 34 (1), 91-113.

The paper is a substantial contribution to the literature on planning history in the French colonies after the Second World War and into the later decades of the twentieth century. The author uses primary archival as well as published sources from a wide range of authors. The mix, variety and quality of the sources contribute to the richness of the paper. So does its focus and scope. Although the author draws on a number of familiar themes – including the history of planning and allied areas in colonial and postcolonial contexts, the transmission/diffusion of ideas and the role of government agencies and of individuals in those processes, and the mission of town and regional planning – she takes a novel approach to her study.
Focusing on a discrete group of engineers, the Corps des Ponts-et-Chaussées (CPC), the paper examines a previously unexplored aspect of the CPC, namely its work and contributions at the local level and in specific colonies, including through the career and involvements of selected individuals. In addition to the new knowledge and insights that the paper provides about France’s motivations and ambitions for and approach to postwar planning and development in its colonies, it is appealing for the way in which the author not only elucidates the role, contributions and impacts (successful and otherwise) of the CPC, but also underscores the role of engineers, and why and how that role diversified to develop ‘territorial planning’ and ‘planning expertise’ in the colonies studied. At the larger level, the paper reveals how a planning history study can be and can reveal a pot-pourri of drivers, actors, influences and outcomes.


Best paper on planning history in Planning Perspectives 2016-2017:

Barykina, Natallia (2017) ‘Transnational mobilities: Western European architects and planners in the Soviet industrial cities, 1928–1933’,  Planning Perspectives, 32 (3), 333-352.

The paper ‘Transnational mobilities: Western European architects and planners in the Soviet industrial cities, 1928–1933’ tackles a topic of considerable current interest to planning historians – the way in which urban planning ideas and design move between states and ideological contexts. In this case, the paper uncovers a complicated narrative of the interactions between German and Soviet architects in the 1930s as new ideas of design and standardisation were mobilised to create Soviet industrial cities. Using the notion of ‘translation’, it examines the way in which ideas were transformed during the process of transfer while showing the reality of the experience of Western ‘experts’ involved in urban planning and construction in a period of material shortages and forced labour.The panel considered that he paper ‘broke beyond a single place/personality case study approach to deal with a greater complexity of interdependencies’. It de-mystifies a period of Soviet planning that has not had previously attracted much detailed analysis and makes it accessible to a wider public. (John R. Gold, Margaret Gold – Planning Perspectives Editors)


Best paper on planning history in Planning Perspectives 2014-2015:

Brown, Sue and O’Hara, Glen (2015) ‘From Planning to Opportunism? Re-examining the Creation of the London Docklands Development Corporations’, Planning Perspectives, 30 (4), 537-570.


Best paper on planning history in Planning Perspectives 2012-2013:

Vitiello, Domenic (2013) ‘Monopolizing the metropolis: gilded age growth machines and power in American urbanization’, Planning Perspectives, 28 (1), 71-90.


Best paper on planning history in Planning Perspectives 2010-2011:

Baykan, Aysegul and Hatuka, Tali (2010) ‘Politics and culture in the making of public space: Taksim Square, 1 May 1977, Istanbul’, Planning Perspectives, 25 (1), 49-68.


Best paper on planning history in Planning Perspectives 2008-2009:

Njoh, Ambe J. (2009) Urban planning as a tool of power and social control in Colonial Africa, Planning Perspectives, 24 (3), 301-317.


Best paper on planning history published in Planning Perspectives 2006-2007:

Lu, Duanfang (2006) ‘Travelling Urban Form: The Neighbourhood Unit in China’, Planning Perspectives, 21 (4), 369-392.


Best paper on planning history published in Planning Perspectives 2004-2005:

Vacher, Hélène (2004) ‘Extension Planning and the Historic City: Civic Design Strategies in the 1908-9 Copenhagen International Competition’, Planning Perspectives, 19 (3), 255-281.


Best paper on planning history published in Planning Perspectives 2002-2003:

Hein, Carola (2002) ‘Maurice Rotival: French Planning on a World Scale’, part I, Planning Perspectives, 17 (3) 247-265, and part II, Planning Perspectives, 17 (4) 325-344.

2002 (awarded by SACRPH)

SACRPH – Best Journal Article published in 2001-2002:

Shulist, Tricia and Harris, Richard (2002) ‘Build Your Own Home: State‐assisted Self‐help Housing in Canada, 1942–75’, Planning Perspectives, 17 (4), 345-372.