Galland D, 2012, "Is regional planning dead or just coping? The transformation of a state sociospatial project into growth-oriented strategies" Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 30(3) 536 – 552
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Is regional planning dead or just coping? The transformation of a state sociospatial project into growth-oriented strategies
Abstract. How is regional planning transformed in increasingly changing socioeconomic and political contexts? How are regional planning policies and practices ultimately shaped and why? With this paper, the author proposes and applies an analytical model based on notions of state theory, state spatial selectivity, new planning spaces, and policy discourses to examine how regional planning has evolved in the course of the past four or so decades. On the basis of an analysis concerned with the history and evolution of Danish regional planning, he argues that regional planning has shifted away from being a sociospatial and welfarist state project towards being a domain characterised by growth-oriented strategies that stand for neoliberal political agendas. In examining this process the author suggests that hierarchical forms of governance and the statutory mechanisms embedded within them have been largely substituted by emerging soft spaces of governance and flexible policies intended to destabilise formal planning arenas. Finally, he discusses the fact that the ‘classical–modernist’ steering role of regional planning that once sought to tackle socioeconomic disparities has been replaced by a facilitating role that promotes competitiveness through growth-oriented policy instruments.
Keywords: regional planning, planning reorientations, structural reform, spatial planning, planning roles, governance structures, soft governance spaces
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