A key part of the work of planning academia is about generating and disseminating scientific knowledge. However, much knowledge developed by planning academics does not seem able to impact planning practice. On the other hand, the practical knowledge of planning professionals and planning stakeholders often does not seem able to match the complexity of the issues at hand. When the integration of transport and urban planning is at stake, there is the additional challenge of integrating knowledge from two disciplines and professions with very different, if not contrasting, paradigms. Finding effective ways of integrating all these different sorts of knowledge – both explicit, as in scientific models, and tacit, as in practical experience – in the development of new, effective planning knowledge, seems, nevertheless, crucial. In this chapter approaches for coping with these challenges will be proposed. First, an ‘experiential’ approach to scientific research in planning will be introduced as a general framework to bridge the gap between planning research and planning practice. Second, ways of integrating different types of insights from research in the process of improving practice will be discussed, with a successive focus on learning from theories, from formal models and from experiences in other contexts.
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