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Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4653-4673;

Planning Cultures in Transition: Sustainability Management and Institutional Change in Spatial Planning

ILS–Research Institute for Urban and Regional Development, Brüderweg 22-24, 44135 Dortmund, Germany
Received: 28 August 2013 / Revised: 12 October 2013 / Accepted: 29 October 2013 / Published: 5 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Institutional Change)
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This paper aims to critically review current discussions on the “reinvention” of spatial planning, postulating an all-encompassing and unproblematic shift towards new rationales, scopes, actors and instruments in planning practice. Buzzwords are, among others, “governance”, “collaborative planning” and the “communicative turn”. To overcome the somehow normative bias of these terms, the term “planning culture” is introduced to define a complex, multi-dimensional and dynamic institutional matrix combining formal and informal institutional patterns. Used in an analytical sense, it can help to better understand institutional change in spatial planning. Referring to recent conceptual debates about institutional transformation, the paper presents a six-stage model for institutional change in spatial planning, supporting it with an example from the Cologne/Bonn metropolitan region in Germany. The latter serves as an example for illustrating the institutional dynamics, but also the rigidities of planning cultural change. The paper concludes that a more thorough, “fine-grained” and empirically-grounded investigation of institutional transformation in spatial planning is necessary. View Full-Text
Keywords: spatial planning; planning culture; institutional change spatial planning; planning culture; institutional change

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Reimer, M. Planning Cultures in Transition: Sustainability Management and Institutional Change in Spatial Planning. Sustainability 2013, 5, 4653-4673.

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