Spatial planning across European planning systems and social models: A look through the lens of planning cultures of Switzerland, Greece and Serbia

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Europe today faces many challenges to the principle of integration. Migration crises fuel support for withdrawal from the European Union (EU), which motto ‘united in diversity’ has proven more deeply contested among a large portion of citizens across the member states. Yet the regional systems that each state relies upon require purposeful coordination and planning. However, these efforts portrayed comically as bureaucratic control build upon established networks that demonstrate how cohesion works to turn spatial interdependence into useful practical collaboration serving places. Further, these collaborations prove invisible because they result from complex spatial interactions that do not fit conventional territorial and jurisdictional sectors. Nevertheless, the multitude of agents making plans has never been greater. These networks focus on shared spatial projects and local purposes that search for deliberate practical compromises resolving differences that in principle remain unresolved. Identifying and fostering these networks for spatial planning may offer pathways to regional cohesion currently overlooked (Zielonka in Faludi, 2016: 76). Collaborative spatial planning in Europe did not follow the European Spatial Development Perspective (CEC, 1999) or the principles laid out in the Territorial Agendas (EU, 2007, 2011). The Europeanization of planning (Dühr et al., 2007, 2016; Faludi, 2014, 2016) embraced a variety of approaches each linked to distinct combinations of political, social, administrative and legal systems (Newman and Thornley, 1996; CEC, 1997; Farinós Dasi, 2006; Reimer et al., 2014). We believe that what binds these approaches together is not a singular authority or purpose, but an evolving culture for spatial planning (Knieling and Othengrafen, 2009; During and van Dam, 2007; COMMIN, 2009). Planning practice is ‘strongly rooted in and restricted to the specific cultural context of a society’ (Othengrafen, 2010: 83). Understanding the how people use institutions to plan for places provides hopeful insight about system interactions that might govern uncertainty with shared rather than singular responsibility (Reimer, 2013).
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
All rights reserved