The ARL is at the AESOP Congress Łódź!

ARL International ARL International
published on 10/07/2023

Moritz Maikämper (ARL) is organising a roundtable discussion on socially resoponsible research at the AESOP Congress in  Łódź! 

Socially Responsible Research – Reflecting the Way We Are Doing Research

Nowadays, the major research topics and questions are situated between different fields of research. However, what is considered excellent research is still based on disciplinary criteria. At the same time, as the state of knowledge increases and research becomes differentiated, research processes gain in complexity. The resulting challenges require an integral approach to research as well as the feedback of its activities and results in societal discourse. Several German research institutions have jointly developed a so-called framework for reflection "Socially responsible research". This is embedded in a project called LeNa (that means Leitfaden Nachhaltigkeit/sustainability guideline for research institutions). It aims at taking an integral approach by encouraging critical and systematic reflection of the entire research process. Briefly, the concept focuses on two questions: "How is research being done?" and "Who is doing the research and for whom?" A total of eight criteria help researchers answer these questions: Ethics, Integrative approach, Interdisciplinarity, User orientation, Impact assessment, Transdisciplinarity, Transparency and Dealing with complexity and uncertainty. Planning practice and research already have a long tradition of integrated approaches and to deal with complexity and uncertainties. Other disciplines may be able to learn from that. However, global turbulence requires a co-operation of different actors including society which is also challenging for planners and planning researchers. Based on a brief presentation of the framework for reflection on socially responsible research and the above mentioned criteria, we plan an open discussion (fishbowl or circle, depending on the number of participants) to debate the following questions:

  • How do planning researchers in different countries reflect on their research processes? Is this step obligatory, and/or do researchers receive any support for doing so, e.g. additional funding for interand transdisciplinary research projects, as these tend to be more time consuming?
  • How do planning researchers in different countries reflect on intended and unintended, positive and negative societal impacts of their work?
  • How can integrated research approaches help researchers deal with complexity and uncertainty?
  • Which of the eight criteria introduced above do researchers from different backgrounds consider the most relevant for urban/spatial planning research?


On the following day (Friday 14th, 09:00-10:30 a.m.) Moritz Maikämper will give a presentation on "Obstacles and Levers for Impact Analyses of Participatory Processes in Urban Development. Findings from a Survey and a Systemic Analysis". 

--> Congress website