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The real estate industry is fast paced and dynamic – producing complex landscapes of investors and developers within cities globally. Tomorrow’s generation of planners and planning scholars must grapple with this complexity.

Event details of Early Career Seminar: Research at the Intersection of Planning and Real Estate Studies | 22 June, 2021 14:00-17:00 CEST | Online seminar
Date 22 June 2021
Time 14:00 -17:00

Nevertheless, planning literature addressing real estate dynamics has been criticized for its limited empirical base (Crosby and Henneberry 2016), its poor differentiation between types of developers (Ballard and Butcher 2019) and investors (Özogul and Tasan-Kok 2020), and its oversimplification of investment decisions by private sector actors (Raco et al. 2019).

Real estate literature sheds light on the differentiated and nuanced interests of real estate actors and their behaviour (Nichiforeanu 2021). However, due to the technical nature of much real estate literature, these insights are often not adequately incorporated in planning studies, and vice versa, as real estate analysis often lacks concrete links to critical planning analyses or local planning practices. This gap in research negatively affects both disciplines, and there lies enormous potential for interdisciplinary knowledge transfers between planning and real estate studies.

This seminar session is targeted at early career scholars (PhD students and postdoctoral researchers) who conduct research at the intersection of planning and real estate studies. The seminar aims to provide tailored support and networking opportunities to early career scholars, creating an opportunity for feedback, knowledge sharing and capacity building. Early career scholars will be given the opportunity to meet with experienced scholars to discuss concrete challenges of individual research projects. Furthermore, these ‘academic mentors’ will share their insights and strategies of addressing common challenges in bridging interdisciplinary divides. Selected early career scholars will also have the chance to network amongst themselves, establish meaningful connections, develop ideas for joint conference session proposals, and a possible upcoming special issue proposal.

Session outline

The session will be divided into three parts. In the first part, selected participants will pitch their research (projects). Participants will then be thematically grouped and assigned to a mentor with relevant expertise for in-depth feedback and discussion on content, research and publication challenges of their interdisciplinary research. Academic mentors of the session are:

  • Tuna Tasan-Kok, Professor of Urban Governance and Planning at University of Amsterdam
  • Michael Ball, Professor of Urban and Property Economics at University of Reading
  • Martijn Dröes, Assistant Professor of Real Estate Finance at University of Amsterdam

In the second part, the academic mentors will enter a panel discussion during which they reflect on some of the recurring challenges that early career scholars face when combining critical planning and real estate insights. In the third and final part, representatives of the AESOP YA Network (Association of European Schools of Planning Young Academics Network), the ERES PhD Network (PhD network of the European Real Estate Society), and FLAfRES (Future Leaders of the African Real Estate Society) will introduce their networks, followed by a joint online networking event.

Application process

Participation in the seminar is application-based. We welcome applications from early career scholars who are working in urban planning, wider urban studies, and real estate disciplines, from European and non-European contexts, and from all stages in their PhD or postdoc trajectory. Participation for selected participants is free of charge.

Applications must include:

  • Name, contact information, current position, and institutional affiliation
  • 1,500-character motivation statement on participating in the seminar
  • 1,500-character research summary statement
  • 1,500-character description of specific challenges of, and questions about, research at the intersection of planning and real estate studies to discuss during the seminar

The deadline for applications is May 16, 2021. All applications have to be submitted electronically:  

All applications will be reviewed by a scientific committee. As the number of participants to receive in-depth feedback from the academic mentors is limited, applications will be very selective. Nonetheless, unsuccessful applicants will be invited to participate in part two (live panel discussion) and three (networking) of the event. Successful applicants will receive a notification of acceptance by May 24, 2021.


The seminar session is part of the project Connect21, which addresses multiple knowledge gaps on global urban real estate research by establishing an interdisciplinary and interprofessional network of planning and real estate scholars and network organizations to collaboratively develop four public webinars and two early career seminars. A second early career seminar will take place in November 2021.

The early career seminars are developed in close collaboration with the Association of European Schools of Planning Young Academics Network (AESOP YA), the PhD network of the European Real Estate Society (ERES PhD Network), and the Future Leaders of the African Real Estate Society (FLAfRES).

Connect21 is embedded in the ongoing activities of the Planning+Property Chapter of the Urban Governance Research Network, and has been funded by the Centre for Urban Studies as part of the Seed Grant XL for "Levelling the Playing-Field of Urban Planning: Co-producing and Commoning Property Market Knowledge." To find out more about the project and upcoming events, please visit the following link.