Planning with uncertainty place development of undefined becoming in south-west Sweden

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There is increasing awareness in the planning community of the need for planning methods that can work with the complex and uncertain issues that characterise contemporary planning contexts. Through a case study of platsutveckling [place development] in south-west Sweden, this paper explores the potential of a post-structuralist planning perspective as one way forward in approaching uncertainty and complexity in planning. Platsutveckling is an approach to place development planning in the context of regional development, implemented by the Swedish regional government Västra Götalandsregionen (VGR). Place development initiatives in VGR incorporate a participatory approach, actively involving local stakeholders to develop target place visions. The platsutveckling process also has characteristics of structuralist planning methods, with a strong emphasis on goal setting. The case is used to argue that a mindset shift is required in order to move forward with planning with uncertainty. Conceptualising uncertainty-as-opportunity, the paper applies a post-structuralist planning perspective to the case study to consider how planning could respond in contexts with high levels of self-organisation. The paper concludes with a discussion of the potential of a post-structuralist approach in complex and uncertain planning contexts.
plaNext-Next Generation Planning Vol. 12 (2022) Governing the Unknown: Adaptive Spatial Planning in the Age of Uncertainty 52-69
place development, uncertainty, post-structuralism, Sweden
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