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Kristof Van Assche, PhD

Professor Planning, Governance & Development

Extension | Science | Agricultural Life and Environmental Sciences

About Me

Kristof is interested in evolution and innovation in governance, with focus areas in spatial planning and design, development and environmental policy. He worked in various countries, and often combines fieldwork with theoretical reflection: systems theories, interpretive policy analysis, institutional economics, post- structuralism. He held visiting positions at McGill University, Krakov Agricultural University, Wageningen University, Bonn University. Geographically, his work spans Europe, the America’s, Central Asia and the Caucasus. At the faculty of extension, he wants to contribute to and initiate research on rural development, innovation, natural resource governance, and ‘light’ varieties of planning and design, adapted to less planning- oriented institutional and cultural environments. Part of his teaching is in the faculty of Science: international planning & development, planning theory, rural development. Recurring keywords in these various activities are participation, innovation, coordination, interpretation and evolution. He published widely on these topics.

Kristof is also associated with Wageningen University, where he is Visiting Associate Professor in Strategic Communication, and with Bonn University, where he is Research Fellow at ZEF/ Institute for Development Research. At UAlberta, he has affiliations as Adjunct Professor with the Faculty of Science (EAS) and the Faculty of Agricultural and Life Sciences (Human Ecology).


    Innovation and evolution in governance
    Environmental policy & natural resource governance
    Rural development
    Spatial planning & design
    Institutional design in/and transitional societies
    Theory of development & planning


At UAlberta I am teaching mostly within the planning program

Classes taught:

Planning Theory

Community planning & policy

Rural development & planning

International planning & development

Planning theory & practice