What are the social reasons for urban planning activity? How can we discuss issues, principles, values and guidelines in urban planning action today? The title of these notes is drawn from a series of three seminars which we organised and held between 2011 and 2012, with support from the Diap. These notes accompany Susan Fainstein’s essay at the beginning of this edition of the journal. The expression ‘contemporary planning matters’ with its double meaning is both a reference to the reasons for contemporary planning activity and a pointer to the challenges of the subject and issues which urban planning action must meet today. It is on these big issues that we have invited Susan Fainstein, Tim Rieniets and Jacques Donzelot to dicuss the conditions to which urban and regional planning is subject today.
Keywords: Urban design; fairness; urban planning