Pt. Talks – Lasse Gerrits & Sofia Pagliarin, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Wednesday, November 30, 2022, 12:00am

Copyright: © Lasse Gerrits

Tracking Transformations over Time

Every planner knows that cities change. The planning and policy recipes that drive those changes, are multiple. What works in one place may or may not work in another place. While there are degrees of uniqueness in each city, there are also similarities between them. This defies simplistic causal accounts but also does away with the idea that each city is so unique that comparison is impossible. Here we touch upon a core issue in planning theory: to discern unique characteristics from those that recur across cases, especially in transformations that play out over time. Too often, we are left with descriptions of single cases or with ad hoc comparisons of a small set of cases. The first doesn’t identify what is unique and what is not, the second may run the risk of cherry-picking results. As a possible remedy, we developed Trajectory-Based Qualitative Comparative Analysis (TJ-QCA), which is a variation of QCA that incorporates different development stages of cases in the comparison. In this talk, we will present the main aspects of this research method and will demonstrate what kind of results it can generate. To this end, we will present our latest empirical research that compares eleven urban transformations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This research contributes to a better understanding of what makes urban transformations work because the method deployed acknowledges (1) the complex causality driving real-world changes, (2) structural differences and similarities between trajectories, and (3) can therefore identify policy mixes that contain conjunctions and disjunctions of conditions that contribute to said transformations.

Pt.Talk events take place online via Zoom. For more details please register for the events or contact