Research output: Two research projects, two special issues, two articles, and new prospects

Research output: Two research projects, two special issues, two articles, and new prospects

Two research projects (DIVERCITIES and PARCOUR) that I took a leading role are completed in the last few years. Time to harvest. Both projects went over the complexities of urban governance though studying two completely different issue areas and by deploying different research methods and approaches: the former on governance of urban diversity, and the latter on contractual urban governance. DIVERCITIES project is completed a while ago (2015) but we are still producing publications and leading discussions in the field of governing urban diversity. Within that framework Mike Raco and myself put together a collection of articles in a special issue which is recently published at European Urban and Regional Studies under the title “Governing urban diversity: Multi-scalar representations, local contexts, dissonant narratives”. In our editorial introduction Mike and I clarified our approach to urban diversity, and emphasized the lack of evidence-based research on how representations of diversity are mobilised and implemented by institutions of governance operating at multiple scales and how these narratives relate to each other. The special issue aims to fill the gap by providing research outcomes from the DIVERCITIES project in order provide a clear understanding of how diversity is understood, operationalised and dealt with at different scales of policy-making. The collection contains four articles namely:

Saeys, A., Van Puymbroeck, N., Albeda, Y., Oosterlynck, S., & Verschraegen, G. (2019). From multicultural to diversity policies: Tracing the demise of group          representation and recognition in a local urban context. European Urban and Regional Studies26(3), 239–253.

Angelucci, A., Marzorati, R., & Barberis, E. (2019). The (mis)recognition of diversity in Italy between policy and practice: The case of Milan. European Urban and Regional Studies, 26(3), 254–267.

Yenigun, O., & Eraydin, A. (2019). Governing urban diversity in Istanbul: Pragmatic and non-discriminatory solutions of governance initiatives in response to politicisation of diversity. European Urban and Regional Studies, 26(3), 268–282.

Escafré-Dublet, A., & Lelévrier, C. (2019). Governing diversity without naming it: An analysis of neighbourhood policies in Paris. European Urban and Regional Studies26(3), 283–296.

Moreover, Sara Ozogul and myself published a recent article based on our research findings in Toronto at diSP-The Planning Review journal. In this paper we linked wider structuring forces, particularly those connected to neoliberal shifts in spatial planning and governance to “place-making” from a governance point of view. Sara recently completed her PhD under my supervision and is working as a post-doc researcher within the framework of our new research project WHIG. Full reference to our paper is: Özogul, S., & Tasan-Kok, T. (2018). Exploring Transformative Place-Making within the Comprehensive Spatial Governance of Toronto. disP-The Planning Review, 54(4), 59-73. You can read the paper here.

DIVERCITIES project produced many more publications as it was a large-scale EU funded project with 14 partner countries in the consortium. You can see more publications made by other partners in this project here

PARCOUR project was completed just last year and we had some publications immediately after completing this project. I was the PI of this project, which was on contracts which are increasingly used as planning tools to regulate the actions of public, private, and civil actors involved in urban regeneration. Martijn van den Hurk worked as a post-doc researcher and project manager, and after a careful (detective-like) fieldwork to collect contractual information, co-authored some publications with me and others. In this project we argued that there are important implications of contractual planning for sustainable urban development, public accountability, and the public interest at large and we conducted a comparative research in the Netherlands, UK and Brazil. Among many dissemination activities our most recent one is a theme issue on Complex planning landscapes: regimes, actors, instruments and discourses of contractual urban development, which was published by European Planning Studies in March 2019. This special issue collects our main findings from the project and provides a collection of articles that contribute to a better understanding of the complex dynamics of property-led planning and urban governance. In this collection, we did not only provide empirical evidence to illustrate the sophisticated regimes, actors, instruments and discourses involved in it, but also offered new ways to understand private sector involvement in public planning. Rob Atkinson and Maria Lucia Refinetti Martins joined me for the editorial which you can read here. The EPS Team issue contained 6 articles which you can see below:

Tuna Tasan-Kok, Rob Atkinson & Maria Lucia Refinetti Martins (2019) Complex planning landscapes: regimes, actors, instruments and discourses of contractual urban development, European Planning Studies, 27:6, 1059-1063,

Mike Raco, Nicola Livingstone & Daniel Durrant (2019) Seeing like an investor: urban development planning, financialisation, and investors’ perceptions of London as an investment space, European Planning Studies, 27:6, 1064-1082,

Rob Atkinson, Andrew Tallon & David Williams (2019) Governing urban regeneration in the UK: a case of ‘variegated neoliberalism’ in action?, European Planning Studies, 27:6, 1083-1106, (

Tuna Tasan-Kok, Martijn van den Hurk, Sara Özogul & Sofia Bittencourt (2019) Changing public accountability mechanisms in the governance of Dutch urban regeneration, European Planning Studies, 27:6, 1107-1128, (

Maria Lucia Refinetti Martins & Alvaro Luis dos Santos Pereira (2019) Urban Regeneration in the Brazilian urban policy agenda, European Planning Studies, 27:6, 1129-1145, (

Willem K. Korthals Altes (2019) Multiple land use planning for living places and investments spaces, European Planning Studies, 27:6, 1146-1158, (

Among these, paper that I co-authored with the members of the Amsterdam team on Changing public accountability mechanisms in the governance of Dutch urban regeneration, presented part of our research results. Dutch urban regeneration has demonstrated changing governance principles and dynamics in the last three decades. Representing instrumental and institutional measures, we connect accountability mechanisms to these changes and argue that they ‘co-exist’ in multiple forms across different contexts. This article embeds this evolution in wider theoretical discussions on the changing relationships between public and private sector actors in urban governance relative to the changing role of the state, and it addresses questions on who can be held accountable, and to what extent, when public sector actors are increasingly retreating from regulatory practices while private sector actors play increasingly prominent roles. You can read more here:

Although I will keep working on the findings of these projects and publishing, I am super excited to start the fieldwork of the WHIG project, which examines the impact of contemporary investment flows in major European cities and the governance  arrangements and public policy instruments that are designed to govern them. We will mainly study the property markets, especially dealing with the residential property production in Amsterdam, London and Paris to investigate how the actors, processes and institutions change in the governance of cities due to financialization dynamics. More to follow…

Consensus hunters? Exploring the role of planners in the era of post-politics

Consensus hunters? Exploring the role of planners in the era of post-politics

I have recently co-authored an article with Dr. Esin Ozdemir, who have been visiting TUDelft as a TUBITAK post-doc fellow for a year while I was still working there. The article, which is published by Urban Studies, explores the meaning of “post-politics” in planning practice, especially taking the angle of the planning professionals/practitioners. Post-political literature, which aims to conceptualize the crisis of representative democracy, is very critical on the idea of ‘consensus-building’. Based on qualitative research data, our article argues that post-political scholars overlook the potential of consensus-seeking, and very statically defining ‘consensus’ as a tool for exclusionary practices and the agency of planners. We followed a more constructive approach to consensus-building as our research shows that it is a dynamic and sensitive process. We interviewed practicing planners in Amsterdam and learn from their experiences that in the highly institutionalised Dutch planning system consensus-building does not necessarily prevent effective voicing of disagreement. In fact, planners could facilitate consensus through accommodative roles that address disagreement by taking an adaptive, proactive and more human stance.

To know more please read our article, which is published as Open Access by Urban Studies.