Mar 112024

Doctoral seminar
14-15 April 2024
with Thomas Buhler (Université de Franche-Comté, Besancon) and Chiara Garau


Doctoral seminar


  • Thomas Buhler, associate professor, TheMa, Université de Franche-Comté, Besancon, France
  • Chiara Garau, associate professor, DICAAR, Università degli Studi di Cagliari

Hours: 4 hours

Dates: Monday April 15th 2024 (2PM-4PM) and Tuesday April 16th (10AM/12AM)




(This course will be only in English)

Textometry is a systematic computer-assisted analysis of textual data. When applied to large corpora, the method can reveal contrasts that cannot readily be detected by non-instrumented human reading. It seems promising therefore to use textometry to analyse urban planning documents which are known for being at first sight pretty indistinguishable from each other. By analysing dozens of documents at a time, this method increases the scale of analysis, enabling us to identify massive transitions in discourse over time or major contrasts among discourses emanating from specific groups of actors. When combined with classical methods (i.e. interviews, qualitative archival research), textometry seems to be effective at identifying new ways of understanding urban policy discourses.


Extended description

This is a 4-hour seminar on systematic discourse analysis of urban plans using textometry. We will be using TXM software. To save time, please bring your own computer with TXM installed.

We will then follow the program below:

# First lecture: brief introduction to the French urban planning system and textual data analysis (TDA); then learning how to use TXM software (on a corpus of English plans); creating simple queries, lemmatizing a corpus, creating sub-corpus partitions, introduction to multivariate analysis (MCA).

# Second lecture: becoming independent on TXM / building and importing a simple corpus (with local Italian plans)


List of lectures, with topics, dates and times


April 15th 2024 – (2 hours from 14:00 to 16:00)

Chiara Garau Introduction

Thomas Buhler Understanding the systematic analysis of urban planning discourse

Chiara Garau Conclusions


April 16th 2024 – (2 hours from 10:00 to 12:00)

Chiara Garau Introduction

Thomas Buhler Becoming autonomous in systematic analysis of urban planning discourse

Chiara Garau Conclusions



Chiara Garau,



Fill out the following form before starting the course:


Bibliography and Web references


Buhler Thomas, 2021, ‘When vagueness is a strategical resource for planning actors’, Planning Theory, 20(4), pp. 325–349

Cet article a reçu le prix européen AESOP Best Published Paper Award en 2022

□ Buhler Thomas, Stephenson Richard, 2021, ‘Is local planning really ‘local’? National planning context as a determining factor for local discourse’, Planning Theory and Practice, 22(2), pp. 227-243

□ Buhler Thomas, Lethier Virginie, 2020, ‘Analysing urban policy discourses using textometry. An application to French urban transport plans (2000–2015)’, Urban Studies, 57(10), pp. 2181-2197



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