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Knowledge in project and process orientated urban planning: IBA Basel a showcase for planning

Based on the example of the International Building Exhibition (IBA) in Basel / Switzerland, the research project investigates planning processes within a heterogeneous setting of actors to show how fresh knowledge is produced and legitimised in these contexts. Research is conducted against a background where, firstly, planning is increasingly regarded as process-oriented task, and therefore organised in projects. Secondly, it reflects changes in the professional self-conception of planning practitioners who increasingly see themselves as producers of knowledge. The IBA Basel is chosen as a case in point where process- and project-oriented planning is explicitly used to be able to react to challenges in planning in a tri-national cooperation context, which essentially includes negotiation processes to generate fresh planning knowledge. Investigating these developments from the perspective of the sociology of knowledge, we ask when and how new knowledge is negotiated and discussed and, if applicable, legitimized or called into question, using focused ethnography as a qualitative, multi-stage methodology to analyse three distinct phases prior to, during and soon after the end of the IBA Building Exhibition. Participating observation, expert interviews, group discussions and document analysis are the tools of our focused ethnography. In a final stage, the data obtained from the various study contexts will be amalgamated by sequential analysis analysis.

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