Planning matters. Law matters. Property matters. These three simple messages inspire the growing PLPR community to examine the difficult relationship between public and private interests in the use of land.
In the field of planning, many traditional tools (such as zoning or expropriation) have been replaced by more flexible instruments: planning agreements, public-private-partnerships, tradable development rights. How can these new instruments, under the rule of law, be employed for more efficient and fair planning? How might the more traditional tools be adapted to better respond to current trends and challenges? Also, the social construction of land makes it difficult to appreciate the values of land: One person’s new residential subdivision is another person’s cultural heritage. One person’s backyard is another person’s flood retention area. Planning goals as well as individual rights have to be considered in resolving conflicting social constructions. Finally, PLPR is committed to re-examining the task of land reform. How can we make better use of land through social and environmental justice?
The Academic Association’s functions include
- To serve as an academic peer group for research in the field. Usually, faculty members in planning schools who do research in this area lack a large enough peer group with whom to discuss their research and obtain useful comments. The Association brings together people across various countries who do research on the relationship between planning and law, thus creating a good-size peer group so necessary for any good academic exchange.
- To promote research with a cross-national comparative perspective so as to enable exchange of knowledge that is so lacking in the current state of research.
- To exchange approaches and methods in the teaching of planning law to planning students so as to improve this essential area.
- To support young academics researching in the fields of planning, law, and property rights.
In April 2008, ExCo drafted some statutes for the Association with more clarity on elections procedures, selection conference sites etc. These statutes have been accepted during the General Assembly in Aalborg.