Metropolitan Governance and Spatial Planning: Comparative Case Studies of European City-Regions

Metropolitan Governance and Spatial Planning: Comparative Case Studies of European City-Regions

Metropolitan Governance and Spatial Planning: Comparative Case Studies of European City-Regions

Metropolitan Governance and Spatial Planning: Comparative Case Studies of European City-Regions

Synopsis

Metropolitan Governance and Spatial Planning explores the relationship between metropolitan decision-making and strategies to co-ordinate spatial policy. This relationship is examined across 20 cities of Europe and the similarities and differences analysed. Cities are having to formulate their urban policies in a very complex and turbulent environment. They are faced with numerous new pressures and problems and these often create contradictory conditions. The book provides a theoretical framework for exploring these issues and links this to a detailed investigation of each city. In the context of globalisation, cities in the last twenty years have experienced new patterns of activity and these usually transcend political boundaries. The management of these changes therefore requires an effort of co-ordination and different cities have found different approaches. However the institutional setting itself has not remained static. The nation states in Europe have handed over many responsibilities to the European Union while also increasing devolution to regions and cities. Government has therefore become a more complex multi-level activity. There has also been the move from government to governance. Many different public, quasi-public and private bodies are now involved in making decisions that affect urban development. Metropolitan governance is therefore also a complex multi-actor process. In these conditions of fragmented governance and the widening spatial networking of urban development, the issue of policy co-ordination become ever more important. The exploration of the 20 cities shows that many face similar difficulties while some also provide interesting examples of innovative practice. The book concludes that the way forward is to find strategies to link the different spheres of metropolitan action through 'organising connectivity'.

Excerpt

Willem Salet, Andy Thornley and Anton Kreukels

In this book a comparative analysis is made of spatial planning strategies and metropolitan coordination of public and private action in 19 major city-regions of Europe. the crucial challenge of metropolitan policy coordination is the spatial complexity of social and economic activities in the context of institutional fragmentation and the resultant diversity of power coalitions. in this opening chapter we first discuss some important institutional changes at the macro level that are conditioning current dilemmas in European city-regions. We explore the shift from European welfare states to a more varied and complex pattern. in the welfare state era, the national government in most European countries protected its national economies strongly and often also orchestrated the supply of public amenities in metropolitan areas. Strategies of spatial coordination in urban regions were backed by the proactive involvement of national governments. Since the early 1980s two crucial trends have produced dramatic institutional shifts: the globalisation of the new information-led economy and the liberalisation of economic markets on the one hand, and - almost simultaneously and to a considerable degree linked - the emergence of a new differentiation in intergovernmental relationships on the other. This latter trend had a major effect on the centrality of the former national 'welfare state' with shifts to both supranational and decentralised arenas. National governments still have a strong stake in metropolitan development, but the policy arena has turned into a 'multi-actor and multilevel game' (Hooghe and Marks, 2001). the challenge for metropolitan governance and spatial policy coordination is increasingly complicated under these dynamic and more open-ended circumstances.

Next, the internal dynamics of urban regions are analysed. the metropolitan arena is facing new, often paradoxical challenges in its institutional and spatial development. Devolution of governmental competencies has increased local

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