Claire Bénit-Gbaffou. « Producing Planning Knowledge: How Professional PhD Candidates Bridge Research–Practice Divides. »


Claire Bénit-Gbaffou & Glyn WilliamsUrban Forum (2022)

This paper addresses an important, but under-studied, pathway for knowledge production in the field of urban planning: the practitioner engaging with academia through the writing of a PhD. Drawing on our own experiences of doctoral mentoring, in dialogue with PhD candidates, we reflect on the questions and challenges this form of knowledge production raises. The paper aims to extend planning theory’s recognition of ‘multiple epistemologies’ (Sandercock, 2003) through a deeper understanding of how planning professionals as authors lead the translation of experiential knowledge into academic knowledge. Understanding why this is so difficult to actually (co)produce should lead us not only to better mentoring, but also to critical reflection on how rigorous and relevant knowledge is defined within planning academia.

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