© 2018

Relational Planning

Tracing Artefacts, Agency and Practices

  • Monika Kurath
  • Marko Marskamp
  • Julio Paulos
  • Jean Ruegg
  • Offers a new model for research and teaching in urban studies, planning theory, and geography

  • Provides interdisciplinary theoretical and empirical contributions exploring the making of hybrid associations in planning practice

  • Examines the real world problems encountered in planning procedure


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Marko Marskamp, Julio Paulos, Monika Kurath, Jean Ruegg
      Pages 3-26
  3. Identifying Planning Artefacts

  4. Distributing Planning Agency

  5. Assembling Planning Practices

  6. Afterword

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 315-315
    2. Andrew Karvonen
      Pages 317-325
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 327-337

About this book


This volume introduces the notion of ‘relational planning’ through a collection of theoretical and empirical contributions that explore the making of heterogeneous associations in the planning practice. The analytical concept builds on recent approaches to complexity and materiality in planning theory by drawing on Science and Technology Studies (STS) of urban issues. It frames planning as a socio-material practice taking place within the multifaceted relations between artefacts, agency and practices. By way of this triad, spatial planning is not studied as a given, linear or technical process but rather problematized as a hybrid, distributed and situational practice. The inquiries in this collection thus describe how planning practices are negotiated and enacted in and beyond formal arenas and procedures of planning, and so make visible the many sites, actors and means of spatial planning.

Addressing planning topics such as ecology, preservation, participation, rebuilding and zoning, this volume takes into account the uncertain world planning is embedded in. The implications of such a perspective are considered in light of how planning is performed and how it contributes to the emergence of specific socio-material forms and interactions. This is an invaluable read for all scholars of STS, Ecology, Architecture and Urban Planning.


STS Urban Planning Planning Theory Built Environment Architecture and Society Zoning Policy adaptive reuse actor-network theory (ANT) Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs)

Editors and affiliations

  • Monika Kurath
    • 1
  • Marko Marskamp
    • 2
  • Julio Paulos
    • 3
  • Jean Ruegg
    • 4
  1. 1.ETH ZürichZürichSwitzerland
  2. 2.ETH ZürichZürichSwitzerland
  3. 3.ETH ZürichZürichSwitzerland
  4. 4.University of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

About the editors

Monika Kurath is a senior researcher and group leader at the Center for Research on Architecture, Society and the Built Environment (CASE) at ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

Marko Marskamp is a PhD researcher and research assistant at the University of Lausanne and the ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

Julio Paulos is a PhD Candidate at the ETH CASE Centre on Society, Architecture and the Built Environment in Zurich, Switzerland. He is an assistant researcher on the project 'Rethinking Zones: A comparative study of planning cultures'.

Jean Ruegg is a professor of Human Geography at the University of Lausanne, Faculty of Geosciences and the Environment, Institute of Geography and Sustainability, Switzerland.

Bibliographic information