Rehabilitating Utopias: the Importance of Imagination to Confronting our Spatial Challenges

Joey Koning, Terry van Dijk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Many contend that end-state planning is no longer either acceptable or feasible. However, outside the formal planning system, communities do conceive radical proposals for the places they live in. Our paper makes a plea for a renewed appreciation of Utopias by revealing the diversity of such imagined futures of a place. By means of a review of the nature of 12 locally emerging Utopias in the Netherlands, combined with a literature review, we propose to use spectra to characterise imagined futures, bringing nuance to the debate and a re-appreciation of the transformative power of Utopian stories about futures of places.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalPlanning Practice and Research
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2021


  • Utopia
  • persuasive storytelling
  • visions
  • spatial planning
  • postmodernism
  • radical planning
  • transformative planning


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