Collaboration with Caveats: Research–Practice Exchange in Planning

Joe Hurley, Elizabeth Jean Taylor, Kath Phelan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Researcher and practitioner collaboration in urban planning is both
critical to good outcomes and problematic to achieve in reality.
Collaboration has the potential for new partnerships, better research
problem definition, improved research design and greater impact
on practice and policy. However, politics, stakeholder agendas and
funding bodies bring pressures and constraints, for which research
professionals require a broader set of skills to manage. We examine researcher–practitioner collaboration as part of an action research project on urban greening in Australia. Focusing on a stakeholder engagement workshop, we examine the mechanisms used to overcome barriers to research-practice exchange. We find overt consideration of common barriers to access and use of research when planning collaboration exercises can help facilitate more
productive engagement, creating spaces for mutual understanding and generating shared objectives. However, we also find that efforts at collaboration challenge traditional research practices, involve tensions and caveats, and require a different mode of researcher engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-523
Number of pages16
JournalPlanning, Practice & Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • action research
  • practice
  • urban planning
  • collaboration
  • workshop
  • policy
  • urban greening

Cite this