Publication: Introducing business regions in Denmark : Towards a new planning culture?
Significant attention has recently been paid to the new forms of territorial governance emerging at the scale of urban regions in Western Europe (Allmendinger et al., 2015; Janssen-Jansen and Hutton, 2011). In the planning literature, these new spaces of governance have been conceptualised as ‘soft spaces’ with ‘fuzzy boundaries’, as they are often located in between formal levels of governance, and are not necessarily univocally bounded (Haughton et al., 2010). It is claimed, that the new spaces of territorial governance do not as much replace formal levels of governance, as they seek to supplement existing governance structures in strategic ways, e.g. around specific policy agendas, thus adding extra layers to an increasingly complex and fragmented governance landscape (Allmendinger and Haughton, 2009a). As in many other European countries, Denmark has experienced an explosion in the number of informal governance networks working across formal boundaries in recent years. As part of this general trend, a number of city region networks have emerged around the biggest Danish cities. Drawing on experiences mainly from other Nordic countries, several of the networks identify themselves as ‘business regions’, and have formulated goals and visions revolving primarily around attracting businesses and a highly educated workforce to the region. In the Danish debate the concepts of ‘business regions’ and ‘city regions’ are often used interchangeably, as the networks, regardless of the self-proclaimed label, seek to address similar challenges. For convenience, we adopt the terminology of ‘business regions’ in this paper to describe the new governance networks at the scale of city regions. In this paper, we explore the rationalities behind the emergence of business regions in and around the four biggest cities in Denmark. In order to get a sense of the nature of the strategic spatial planning that is practised in such spaces, we examine the spatial strategy-making initiatives that takes place in the auspices of those regions. We built our analysis on document analysis of strategies, visions, policy documents, official webpages etc., together with semi-structured interviews carried out with the key actors involved in the business regions
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
All rights reserved