chapter  4
33 Pages

Analysing social innovation through planning instruments: a strategic-relational approach

ByPIETER VAN DEN BROECK

Over the last decade, the social sustainability of strategic urban flagship projects has been questioned. Indeed, strategic urban projects, particularly in the form of large-scale urban development projects, have been criticized for promoting gentrification and social polarization, focusing one-sidedly on profit-oriented development and bypassing democratic control (Bornstein 2007; Moulaert et al. 2003; Swyngedouw et al. 2004). The question is, however, whether strategic projects are inherently neoliberal and autocratic or whether they can also be inclusive, emancipatory and innovative in socio-territorial terms. In this chapter, I want to argue for the latter. I will do so by taking planning instruments as the entry point into an analysis of how strategic urban projects generate socio-spatial transformation. The dynamic relation between planning instruments and their societal context will be crucial to this analysis.