2004 Winner

In 2004, the jury received four eligible submissions representing an interesting mix of topics and formats in three languages (English, Spanish, Japanese). Due to differences in quality, the jury excluded two publications and focused on only two publications. Considering the differences in format and objectives (scientific journal article for an audience of planners and environmentalists, and a book for an audience of urban geographers, planners, and community managers), the jury decided to give due recognition to both of these short-listed publications.

After careful evaluation of the merits of the two publications, the jury decided (endorsed by the Executive Committee) that

  1. The Gerd Albers Award (with the prize of Euros 500) for the year 2004 be given to the scientific article by James Reilly, with co-authors Patricia Maggio and Steven Karp, “Forecasting Impervious Surface for Regional and Municipal Land Use Planning Purposes: a New Methodology” (In: Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Vol. 24/3, 2004, pp. 363-382).
  2. The two book contributions by Oscar Bragos (et al.) be recognised with the distinction of “Honourable Mention” (without prize money). Oscar Bragos with co-authors Alicia Mateos,Silvana Pontoni and Omar Vassallo, “Politicas Urbanas y Nuevos Roles de Ciudad Frente a las Transformaciones Metropolitanas” and “Procesos de Segregacion Social y Espacial en el Oeste Rosarino” (In: Territorios en Tansicion, UNR Editoria, 2003, pp. 71-106, 107-133) .

The jury congratulated the winners at the 40th Isocarp congress in Geneva. It also wishes to encourage more members of the Society to submit their works for consideration in 2005. The official announcement is included on this website.

Winner James Reilly, co-author with Patricia Maggio and Steven Karp (USA) “Forecasting Impervious Surface for Regional and Municipal Land Use Planning Purposes: a New Methodology”

This is a scholarly, well argued article which fulfils the GAA criteria in terms of focus on a subject matter relevant to planners, clarity of argument and originality. It builds on the work of other scholars, appropriate evidence and references, and explicitly acknowledges the limitations of its findings.

The authors argue that the management of impervious surfaces can and should contribute to the protection and improvement of water resources. The aim of the practical and affordable tool developed by the authors is to enable planners and decision makers to evaluate the impact of proposed developments on water by means of iterative scenarios.

They go on to explain their site specific model of water quality and the related look-up tables of water quality predictions for specific land uses.  Even planners who lack special scientific skills are able to follow their water quality prediction process without being alienated by their arguments.  Published in a journal of interest also to scientists this article reaches a wide audience and manages to build a bridge between scientists, planning practitioners and politicians.

The article also shows the balance which needs to be struck between detailed factual knowledge, imputed assumptions drawn from models, accuracy and inherent margins of error, together with time and cost of data collection and analysis.  The increasing pace of the planning process, driven by shorter implementation periods and tighter financial management, leaner public sector budgets, as well as more environmentally conscious citizens who demand a greater say in sustainability matters will force planners to resort to such tools.

Honourable mention
Oscar Bragos with Co-authors Alicia Mateos, Slivana Pontoni and Omar Vassallo (Argentina), “Politicas Urbanas y Nuevos Roles de Ciudad Frente a las Transformaciones Metropolitanas” and “Procesos de Segregacion Social y Espacial en el Oeste Rosarino”

As in the case of the article by Reilly and co-authors, Oscar Bragos seems to have led the research on which the two chapters in the book (co-edited by BragosLuiz Cesar de Queiroz Robeiro) are based.  Planning as much as planning research has to rely on teamwork, and that is well recognised by the GAA criteria, as long as the role of the main author is clearly visible.

The two chapters are informative but mainly descriptive, perhaps more in the tradition of urban geography than urban planning. They appear to be addressed to a ‘local audience‘ as they do not situate Rosario in its national and international context. Although driven by global phenomena such as deindustrialisation and urban sprawl due to demand for more living space, a greener environment and security, the case of Rosario seems to have its own characteristics, such as turning weekend homes into permanent residences.  What is not mentioned is whether such behaviour does occur only in Rosario or whether this is an Argentinean or Latin American phenomenon.

The interest of the two chapters is that they deal with different social strata and their response to the local housing and job situation.  The detailed and useful demographic data could have benefited from visual illustrations.  Although the chapters deal extensively with property developers the most important omission is aspects of land ownership and the relation between land owners and the state.  This would have shed some interesting light on the discussion about the relation between the property developers and the planners and explained further their difficulties in imposing planning regulations. Rosario was also presented as a case study at the ISoCaRP Utrecht congress in 2001 and thus figures on the case study CD.

H. Detlef Kammeier, together with Judith Ryser, members of the jury.

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