The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


KNOW Working Paper - No. 2

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


31 May 2019

By: Alexandre Apsan Frediani, Camila Cociña, Michele Acuto

ISSN 2632-7562

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.

Downloadable here


KNOW Working Paper Series 

KNOW Working Papers provide an outlet for Investigators, City Partners and Associates engaged with the Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality (KNOW) programme, located at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL. They reflect work in progress on the KNOW programme in the fields of urban equality, resilience, prosperity, extreme poverty, and urban development policy, planning, research and capacity building in cities of the global South. KNOW Working Papers are produced with the aim to disseminate ideas, initiate discussions and elicit feedback. 
The KNOW Working Papers are a special edition of the DPU Working Paper Series.  KNOW Working Papers may be downloaded and used, subject to the usual rules governing academic acknowledgement. Comments and correspondence are welcomed by authors and should be sent to them, c/o KNOW Communications Officer, KNOW Working Papers at info@urban-know.com

KNOW Working Papers are published and produced by  by Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality (KNOW), downloadable at: www.urban-know.com/resources