How can public-private partnership (PPP) approach contribute to a dynamic but controlled urban development: the case of PPP in Slovenia

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Slovenian planning legislation states that the main objective of spatial planning is to enable coherent spatial development by the consideration and coordination of different development needs and interests and assuring public benefits, especially in the areas of environmental protection, the conservation of nature and cultural heritage, etc. Coordinated planning approaches aim to contribute to a balanced and sustainable spatial development, which is also one of the biggest challenges of contemporary urbanism. The problem in facing this challenge is in the actual realization of urban projects which is often hindered due to the financial obstacles. Lack of financial resources in both public as well as private sector contributes to an increasing necessity for collaboration between public and private investors. Not rarely only the involvement of a private partner into a project which is in a public interest makes the investment possible. If the process goes smoothly, this way the city’s development needs as well as the desires of private investors are met - shared investment in the urban projects may contribute to the fulfillment of economic objectives of the private investor and spatial planning objectives of the planning authority at the same time. The PPP tool has been introduced into Slovenian spatial development practice rather recently. Most often the improvement of the quality of the living environment through brownfield redevelopment, built-structure renovation, energy efficiency improvements etc. are achieved by the implementation of PPP, which also contributes to a more controlled creation of urban space and increases the flexibility of the traditionally rather ossified planning process in Slovenia. The paper presents the most common forms of PPPs used in all eleven Slovenian urban municipalities. The ongoing research attempts to define different types of urban projects that are suitable for implementation in a form of PPP, and other different instruments that municipalities have at their disposal to facilitate the use of PPP within a specific current context of post-socialist neo-liberal system in Slovenia. Through the examination of concrete PPPs different approaches to activate land or buildings in public ownership with private capital are recognized, risks, benefits and potential problems revealed and possible solutions to overcome the obstacles identified. Different examples show the relationship between public and private partners in terms of investments, responsibilities and benefits during the realization of an urban PPP project which greatly reflect the fact that PPP as a tool has not got a long tradition yet.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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