Urban Planning in Europe: International Competition, National Systems, and Planning Projects

Urban Planning in Europe: International Competition, National Systems, and Planning Projects

Urban Planning in Europe: International Competition, National Systems, and Planning Projects

Urban Planning in Europe: International Competition, National Systems, and Planning Projects

Synopsis

Urban planning is undergoing a period of transformation across Europe, with a major trend towards increased urban competition, national deregulation and increased private sector influence. This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the situation.

Excerpt

During the 1990s European issues have entered the forefront of debate. the international competitive climate has made it difficult for individual countries to operate in isolation, resulting in ever increasing collaboration through the European Union. Reappraisal of the traditional roles of the nation-state has been required and this has led to tensions and conflicts. This is evident at the political level, for example in the splits within the British Conservative Party, and within the European population at large, as witnessed by the differences of opinion expressed in recent national referendums. However, a more European perspective is inevitable. Many collaborative activities are already in place, discussions on further eu responsibilities are well under way and there is a queue of countries wanting to join. the likely future scenario is for further expansion in both activities and geographical area. Urban planning will clearly be affected by this.

The Single European Act of 1992 removed restrictions and trade barriers in many areas of European activity. Although primarily aimed at increasing economic interaction the more open and communicative climate has also generated greater co-operation between city governments with the establishment of many new networks (Goldsmith, 1993). This process of ‘Europeanisation’ has also had its effect on urban planning. For example at the professional and educational levels we have witnessed the formation of the European Council of Town Planners and the Association of European Planning Schools. There has been a greater interest in the exchange of ideas about urban planning theory and practice. the literature has begun to respond to this. There are now a number of books which outline the planning and property systems in particular European countries (e.g. Needham et al., 1993; Dieterich et al., 1993; Berry and McGreal, 1995) and the eu itself has commissioned a Compendium of European Planning Systems. This body of information is extremely valuable as the awareness and understanding of planning in Europe requires the basic facts about different approaches. However this literature is fundamentally descriptive. Other research is oriented towards the processes of change in European regions and cities (e.g. Dunford and Kafkalas, 1992; Parkinson et al., 1992; Harding et al., 1994)

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