Key dimensions of contemporary planning debates: historical origins; justifications behind planning; the socio-economic and political limits to planning; planning styles and cultures; planning processes and products; new challenges in the XXI century; Regional development planning and policies – key theories and narratives; evolution of debates and effective practice; Urban planning, governance and reform (including the dilemma of metropolitan governance); Governance – evolution of a concept and its assimilation in the Brazilian context: potentials and limits; State restructuring, rescaling and transformations towards multilevel governance; The State, public institutions and Public Policy-Making; Local/regional democracy: Brazilian experiences in public participation.