In Pursuit of New Approaches to Strategic Spatial Planning. A European Perspective
This paper argues that working with the proper client, selecting the appropriate content and designing the vital arenas/forums is crucial for any kind of public strategic planning. The paper combines views reflected in planning literature with the accumulated experience of the author's planning practice and the more general practice of three recent plans at different scale levels: the European Spatial Development Perspective, the Second Structural Outline Benelux and the Structure Plan for Flanders. After reflecting on public strategic (spatial) planning as such, criteria are formulated regarding its content, taking into account the core of public strategic planning and the complex problems and developments taking place in real life. To increase the likelihood that a plan will be realized it needs a close dialogue with those whose cooperation is necessary for its implementation. Such a dialogue requires settings, arenas (formal and informal) and rules of behaviour with respect to the different stakeholders. Therefore a set of criteria arenas and forums should comply with are listed. Against this background the paper provides a first look at the issues of client, content and arenas/forums as dealt with in three recent strategic plans. Finally, the paper provides some first tentative conclusions.
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