Controlling Development: Certainty and Discretion in Europe, the USA and Hong Kong

Controlling Development: Certainty and Discretion in Europe, the USA and Hong Kong

Controlling Development: Certainty and Discretion in Europe, the USA and Hong Kong

Controlling Development: Certainty and Discretion in Europe, the USA and Hong Kong

Synopsis

Controlling Development treats a major issue in planning in the context of the experience of 4 countries: UK, USA, Hong Kong & France. It deals with discretion & accountability, & crosses the frontier between planning, public policy and decision-making.

Excerpt

The origins of this book go back some 15 years when, faced with the organization of a field trip that included a few days in northern France, I attempted to grapple with the complexities of French planning, so that in turn I could brief my students. and a hard time I had of it. Such French sources as I could find, and the few English sources that then existed, all seemed to be based on assumptions that I did not seem to share. Intrigued, I dug deeper. As I began to absorb the preoccupations of French commentators, two questions in particular formed themselves in my mind. One was to do with the constant reference to certainty in planning that recurred again and again in French texts, and I began to wonder how far the system of planning control in France actually delivered that certainty. the other had to do with the location of real decision-making power, particularly in view of the decentralization of power to local authorities set in train by President Mitterrand from 1982 onwards. I began to see that planning control could not be considered as some kind of objective, independent phenomenon, and that it was in effect a creature of certain understandings about the role of government, the purpose of law and the pattern of administration.

At first I was convinced that to make comparisons between Britain and France would not be helpful and that the best approach was to investigate the French system of development control from within. Shedding as far as possible my Anglo-Saxon prejudices, but nurtured nevertheless in a tradition of case study research that is distinctly un-French, I began to look at development control cases, first in Dijon and then, a year later, in Lyon. This work led eventually to a doctoral thesis. Having completed the thesis I began to see that, although the development control systems of Britain and France could not easily be compared at a superficial level, each nevertheless confronted a similar set of problems. One of those problems had to do with certainty. Another was the question of the discretion offered by the systems to decision-makers to deal with the unforeseen circumstance. and arising from those two was the question of the means by which decision-makers were held to account for the decisions they took. Britain and France placed very different values on the need for certainty and the discretion to act flexibly, but understanding how the two systems confront those difficult issues brought me a little closer to understanding the fundamental problems of controlling urban development. More recently, acquaintance with some other

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.