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Dr M.T. Taşan-Kok (1970) has been appointed professor of Urban Governance and Planning at the University of Amsterdam's (UvA) Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.
Prof Tuna Tasan-Kok
Credits: Dirk Gillissen

Tuna Taşan-Kok’s research primarily focuses on bringing critical geographical scholarship into confrontation with planning theory and linking it to ‘neoliberal planning’. In this line of research, she explores the impact of property-led and market-driven urban development in the neoliberal era from a political economy perspective. Moreover, using different methodological approaches, she explores new lines of work and scholarship on ‘flexibility in planning’, ‘entrepreneurial governance’ and ‘fragment/opportunity-driven urban development’. Within this framework, she is currently Principle Investigator of a NWO-ESRC-FAPESP-funded project named Public Accountability to Residents in Contractual Urban Redevelopment (PARCOUR). Taşan-Kok has also investigated the spatiality of complexifying urban diversity in cities of recent years, as well as the recognition and everyday practice of diversity in areas of urban planning and governance. Her ideas on ‘governing urban diversity’ from a constructive point of view initiated the contours of a new field that was important to explore, especially given the pervasive fear of diversity. She has delivered several academically and politically high-impact keynote addresses and organised policy exercises to make these ideas more concrete.

At UvA, Taşan-Kok coordinates several Bachelor’s and Master’s courses in the area of property-led urban planning, and acts as supervisor and co-supervisor for several PhD students. She also sits on the Advisory Board of the Centre for Urban Studies.

As professor at the UvA, Taşan-Kok will further explore interdisciplinary fields and bring together international scholars and local policymakers in order to analyse the behaviours of specific actors such as planners, residents and property developers. She will also continue studying the increasing complexity and diversity of social, spatial and political dynamics of urban governance from a multi-actor perspective. In addition, she will focus on establishing direct and strong links between urban governance, planning theories and planning practices by providing an intellectual and empirical home for the theory, methodology, and praxis of critical urban governance. Her central aim will be to critically engage with contemporary challenges confronting urban planning, diversity, property development and governance.

About Taşan-Kok

Taşan-Kok has worked as associate professor at the UvA’s department of Human Geography, Urban Planning and International Development Studies since 2015. Between 2007 and 2015, she held a post as assistant professor at Delft University of Technology, and associate professor positions at Middle East Technical University (Turkey) and Utrecht University (University College Roosevelt). Prior to this, she was, among other things, postdoc research coordinator at KU Leuven (Belgium) and visiting research fellow at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Taşan-Kok is the recipient of various research grants and awards, including an EU FP7 grant, Urban Europe, Urban-Net and NWO grants, the Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship and FURS (Foundation for Urban and Regional Research) Award.

Taşan-Kok has published extensively in various international peer-reviewed journals including high-impact journals like International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Regional Studies, and Urban Studies. She is the author and editor of several books, the latest of which is titled From Planning Student to Urban Planner: Young Practitioners’ Reflections on Contemporary Ethical Challenges (co-edited by Mark Oranje, Springer, 2017).  Between 2000-2017 Taşan-Kok served on the editorial board of Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, and is currently is an editor at European Urban and Regional Studies.