Defence of dissertation in the field of spatial planning and transportation engineering, Susa Eräranta, M.Sc. (Arch.), M.Sc. (Econ.)

Better understanding of networked process structures supports planning organisations.

The public examination of the doctoral dissertation of Susa Eräranta, M.Sc. (Arch.), M.Sc. (Econ.),  will be held on 1st March 2019 at 12.00 at the Aalto University School of Engineering. The title of the dissertation is Memorize the Dance in the Shadows? Unriddling the Networked Dynamics of Planning Processes through Social Network Analysis. Field of the dissertation is spatial planning and transportation engineering.

Sustainable urban development requires the synergy of multiple knowledges, as well as organisational capability of learning. Strategic spatial planning is constructed in long-lasting social processes, increasing the importance of understanding their relational structures. As complex systems, the multi-actor processes are typically dynamic and often unsystematically documented, challenging organisational learning over time.

To generate understanding of the procedural dynamics and their potential effects over time, this dissertation focuses on the concept of process memory development. The networked complexities are approached with social network analysis of longitudinal time-series data from organised interactions during one strategic spatial planning process in Finland. The impacts and causes of various structures are explored through interviews with practicing planners. The relevance of the results has been discussed with practicing strategic spatial planners.

Based on the findings, the diverse and continuously changing group of experts, and the unsystematically documented process information, challenge holistic understanding in planning organisations. For reaching integrated planning solutions, which consider the systemic interrelations between various sectors and scales, the actor-relational factors and networked structures carry an essential role. In order to support planning organisations in developing more resilient process structures, planning research has to be willing to understand the everyday complexities of planning practice.

Opponents: Associate Professor PhD Nancy Holman, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK, and Professor PhD Zorica Nedović-Budić, University of Illinois at Chicago, U.S.A.

Supervisor: Assistant Professor Miloš N. Mladenović, Aalto University School of Engineering, Department of Built Environment

Electronic dissertation: 

Doctoral candidate’s contact information: Susa Eräranta, [email protected]

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