The Governance of Planning

Flexibly Networked, Yet Institutionally Grounded

Authored by: Raine Mäntysalo , Pia Bäcklund

The Routledge Handbook of Planning Theory

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138905016
eBook ISBN: 9781315696072
Adobe ISBN:


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Since the rise of neoliberal political ideology in the late 1970s, the redistributive welfarism of public planning has been under attack as bureaucratic, inefficient and reactive. The oil crisis in the mid-1970s marked the end of the post-war growth era, during which planning institutions had been established to regulate this growth, in view of the public interest and avoidance of negative externalities. Since economic growth was no longer self-evident, but still the main target, public planning was expected to shift from ‘passive’ regulation to active facilitation of the economy and the functionality of the globalizing markets. In urban planning, local governments were expected to engage in private land development initiatives as a potential public partner and/or provider of different sorts of incentives (see a comprehensive account by Sager (2011)). This development has continued ever since. Hence, urban planning has been changing from sectored and regulative land-use planning into an integrative and proactive agent in spatial planning (Davoudi et al., 2009).

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