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Translating knowledge for urban equality: alternative geographies for encounters between planning research and practice 

KNOW Working Paper No. 2 | May 2019 

This working paper presents a conceptual inquiry into the relationship between planning research and practice. It proposes to look at the geographies of knowledge production and their influence in policies and planning that advance urban equality.


The paper develops a theoretical approach to ‘knowledge translation’ – understood as the encounters between research and practice – to account for the logics that govern the production of knowledge at different scales, and their implications for planning practice. It proposes that in order to deal with the complexity of current urban challenges there are two aspects of the existing paradigms of knowledge translation that need to be revisited: the supposedly linear and unidirectional relationship between research and practice; and the limited understanding of the politics of translocal geographies of knowledge production and circulation. The paper presents a review of current debates on planning research and practice, and discusses how a Southern perspective can challenge current assumptions about geographies of knowledge. It then proposes a framework to study knowledge translation processes, drawing on the sociology of knowledge, development studies, and feminist theory. From this viewpoint, it discusses the potentials of an operative notion of ‘interfaces of knowledge translation’ that brings to light power dynamics behind interfaces and enhances the potentials of knowledge co-production.

Key words: Knowledge, urban equality, planning research, planning practice, Southern theory

For more information about this working paper please contact

ISSN 2632-7562

KNOW Working Papers are produced and produced online by KNOW and may be downloaded and used, subject to the usual rules governing academic acknowledgement at:


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