ABSTRACT

Space is provisional. Stabilisations of space, as performed by strategic spatial plans, exemplified by several chapters in Part 1, are inevitably temporary. As Massey (2005, p. 37) writes: ‘there are always loose ends’. If we are to consider space, not as a container of activities, ‘out-there’, but as an ‘always-in-process, contingent, unstable, entangled, co-existence of multiple, relational trajectories’ (Hillier and Healey, 2008, p. 405), then there is a need for new ways of thinking and doing strategic spatial planning practice which go beyond ‘traditional’ instrumental rationality (see Sandercock, 2003). If we are really looking for changes in the ways in which strategic spatial planning is conceptualised and practised, then, as Thomas (2007, p. 334) suggests, we need to lose a concern with ‘planning systems and institutions for their own sakes’ in order to free up possibilities for thinking about transformation.