What is ‘planning’? What is its object of inquiry and where are its edges? What is planning for and what does it have to offer? The FOReTHOUGHT blog – based at the University of Sheffield’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning – is driven by questions like these. The idea for the blog emerged as the department approached its 50th year, stimulating discussions about the intellectual cohesiveness and identity of an inherently multi-disciplinary field. Parallel to this there was a collective feeling that we should try to escape the constraints of an often insular academic life, and to open up an intellectual dialogue within the department.

In that spirit of collective learning and intellectual curiosity, the FOReTHOUGHT blog aims to critically engage with a broad community of academics, students, practitioners and the wider public. It aims to create a place for intervention and debate, over the purpose and application of the theory and practice of ‘planning’, as well as an avenue for the public dissemination of research. We firmly believe that planning and its academic study does matter, and has much to offer in the making and remaking of the built environment and society. We hope that the blog will prove to be challenging and thought-provoking.

Alongside written pieces we will look to include video and audio content, such as recordings of public lectures and interviews. We welcome, and encourage, contributions from staff, students and visiting scholars, as well as guest bloggers from related disciplines inside and outside the University of Sheffield. If you would like to suggest a blog, please see our writer guidelines before sending an email to editor@sheffield-planning.org.


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