chapter  19
The Governance of Planning
Flexibly Networked, Yet Institutionally Grounded
ByRaine Mäntysalo, Pia Bäcklund
Pages 13

Since the rise of neoliberal political ideology in the late 1970s, the redistributive welfarism of public planning has been under attack as bureaucratic, inefficient and reactive. In urban planning, local governments were expected to engage in private land development initiatives as a potential public partner and/or provider of different sorts of incentives. Local planning cultures and structures play a paramount role: the more government processes define and steer planning practices, the less can governance networks redefine and guide the planning agendas in a legally legitimate way. In the realm of spatial planning, the change toward network governance has been met with the formation of 'soft spaces', in distinction to the existing 'hard spaces' of government. Many scholars see that the juxtaposing of government and governance models implicitly enables practices that have ambiguous relations to democracy and publicity ideals.