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Building institutional capacity through collaborative approaches to urban planning

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  • P Healey
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    Abstract

    Improving the qualities of places is attracting increasing policy and academic interest in contemporary Europe. This raises questions about the appropriate governance capacity to deliver such improvements. I argue that a key element of such capacity lies in the quality of local policy cultures. Some are well integrated, well connected, and well informed, and can mobilise readily to act to capture opportunities and enhance local conditions. Others are fragmented, lack the connections to sources of power and knowledge, and the mobilisation capacity, to organise to make a difference. In recent years, the emphasis in attempts to change urban governance capacity, particularly in Britain, has been on encouraging catalytic projects and partnerships. Recent experience across Europe suggests that wider transformative effects are difficult to achieve without careful consideration of the partnership form and how it connects to the wider policy culture. They may also have the effect of increasing the fragmentation of local capacity. I examine the potential of collaborative approaches in place-making initiatives in achieving more effective and durable transformations. Collaborative approaches emphasise the importance of building new policy discourses about the qualities of places, developing collaboration among stakeholders in policy development as well as delivery, widening stakeholder involvement beyond traditional power elites, recognising different forms of local knowledge, and building rich social networks as a resource of institutional capital through which new initiatives can be taken rapidly and legitimately. They shift the task of urban planning from 'building places' to fostering the institutional capacity in territorial political communities for ongoing 'place-making' activities.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Pion Ltd, London in its journal Environment and Planning A.

    Volume (Year): 30 (1998)
    Issue (Month): 9 (September)
    Pages: 1531-1546

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    Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:30:y:1998:i:9:p:1531-1546

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    Web page: http://www.pion.co.uk

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    Cited by:
    1. Christopher T. Boyko & Rachel Cooper, 2013. "Density and Decision-Making: Findings from an Online Survey," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(10), pages 4502-4522, October.
    2. Angelique Chettiparamb, 2007. "Steering across scales: applying a strategic-relational approach to a study of land mobilisation for road widening in Kochi," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(3), pages 413-427.
    3. Lisa Van Well, 2011. "Dealing with Dichotomies: The case of Bornholm," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1330, European Regional Science Association.
    4. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Riccardo Crescenzi, 2008. "Mountains in a flat world: Why proximity still matters for the location of economic activity," Working Papers 2008-09, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.
    5. Breukers, Sylvia & Wolsink, Maarten, 2007. "Wind power implementation in changing institutional landscapes: An international comparison," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 2737-2750, May.
    6. Annamaria Fiore & Maria Jennifer Grisorio & Francesco Prota, 2009. "Do we really need regional innovation agencies? Some insights from the experience of an Italian region," series 0025, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Metodi Matematici - Università di Bari, revised Nov 2009.
    7. Ann Carpenter, 2013. "Social ties, space, and resilience: Literature review of community resilience to disasters and constituent social and built environment factors," Community and Economic Development Discussion Paper 2013-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    8. Resmini, Laura, 2006. "Theoretical and Methodological Study on Comparative Advantages in Dynamic Growth Regions, Convergence and Inequalities Patterns," Papers DYNREG03, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    9. Alexander Walter & Roland Scholz, 2007. "Critical success conditions of collaborative methods: a comparative evaluation of transport planning projects," Transportation, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 195-212, March.
    10. Primmer, Eeva, 2011. "Policy, project and operational networks: Channels and conduits for learning in forest biodiversity conservation," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 132-142.

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