chapter  8
38 Pages

ASYMMETRIC DEVELOPMENT IN SPATIAL PLANNING: POSITIVIST CONTENT AND POST-MODERNIST PROCESSES?

BySIMIN DAVOUDI

One of the consequences of the remarkable social, environmental and institutional changes that have taken place in the latter part of the twentieth century has been an increasing recognition that territory matters! Indeed, we have witnessed a rediscovery of space and place in policy making. At the European level the significance of spatial policies and the need for territorial coordination of sector policies have been substantially elevated after publication of the ESDP and the subsequent dissection and examination of its spatial development principles through the ESPON research programme (Davoudi 2005b). An outcome of this upsurge has been a growing emphasis on the need for planning to become more spatial and to move away from a narrow regulatory system. Although the debate on the meaning and interpretation of this ‘spatial turn’ in planning is still ongoing and the gap between rhetoric and reality remains wide, the existence of energetic attempts by planners to implement it in their practice of strategy making is undisputed. It is this enthusiasm that inspired us to embark on this book project. The case studies examined in this volume confirm this view and clearly show that the final decade of the last millennium has witnessed a new generation of spatial strategies which exhibit many characteristics of a turn to spatiality. However, for the authors of this book the question was not whether planning has or has not become spatial but rather what type of spatiality is conveyed by it; what conceptions of space and place have underpinned planning in the last half-century; and

how these have changed in the spatial strategies which were emerging in the early 2000s.