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Waves of planning: a framework for studying the evolution of planning systems and empirical insights from Serbia and Montenegro

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With increasing internationalization of urban planning throughout the twentieth century and in the past several decades in particular, planning ideas and practices have been exported from a few, and imported in many countries. However, this ‘trade' happens without clear expectations about the ensuing dynamics between the internal context and external influences. This paper attempts to enhance understanding of how planning systems evolve and which factors affect them. The conceptual frameworks and typologies used to characterize planning systems and their determinants are reviewed. Building on previous work, an integrated framework is proposed that captures the process, factors and outcomes of urban planning systems. The history of planning in Serbia and Montenegro is used to illustrate how a planning system evolves under changing circumstances and influences and to demonstrate the complexity of such process. The case study is not intended to provide a detailed historical account of the country's planning trajectory, but to highlight the applicability of elements of the framework in a real setting. In particular, the focus is on conditions of imposition versus voluntary adoption of planning ideas as a way of examining the interaction between the local context and imported models, as well as the implications of such interaction. The article concludes with several pointers about the necessary research on the nature of planning exports and imports and their effects on the resultant urban systems, processes, environments and quality of life.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign, Department of Urban & Regional Planning, 611 Taft Drive, Temple Buell Hall, Champaign, IL 61820, USA 2: University of Botswana, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Department of Architecture and Planning, PO Box 70424, UB Plaza, Gaborone, Botswana

Publication date: October 1, 2006

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