Town Planning Review

Strategic planning as exploration

Town Planning Review (2011), 82, (5), 529–546.

Abstract

How can we influence the development process of a metropolis, which is becoming a mega-city region and faces dispersed urbanisation, traffic congestion, air pollution, housing shortages and excessive land consumption, when traditional planning tools have failed? The strategic project Città di Città organised by the province of Milan in the period 2004 to 2009 was an attempt to address these issues, through a series of actions at different levels. It was a proposal for a new description of urban change and of the emerging problems, a proposal for a new vision with 'habitability' as the main strategic objective. It included the use of a competition for projects, designed to involve a wide range of actors in the planning effort, the implementation of some pilot projects and a series of exhibitions. A variety of tools was used in the conviction that a change in the behaviour of local actors is only possible through their direct involvement in the planning process and this involved promoting co-operation instead of enforcement. As a result, strategic spatial planning becomes much more experimental, non-linear and interactive, a 'voyage of discovery' promising new perspectives. This paper discusses the foundations in theory and practice for an exploratory-based concept of strategic planning and identifies its limits and potentialities.

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LINDBLOM, C. E. (1965), The Intelligence of Democracy, New York, The Free Press. The Intelligence of Democracy Google Scholar

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LINDBLOM, C. E. and COHEN D. K. (1979), Usable Knowledge: Social Science and Social Problem Solving, New Haven, Yale University Press. Google Scholar

MARTINOTTI, G. (1993), Metropoli. La nuova morfologia sociale della città, Bologna, Il Mulino. Metropoli. La nuova morfologia sociale della città Google Scholar

PARK, R. E., BURGESS, E. W, and MCKENZIE, R. D (1925), The City, Chicago, University of Chicago Press. The City Google Scholar

PASQUI, G. (2008), Città, Popolazioni, Politiche, Milan, Jaca Book. Città, Popolazioni, Politiche Google Scholar

SAGER, T. (1994), Communicative Planning Theory, Aldershot, Avebury. Communicative Planning Theory Google Scholar

SCHÖN, D. A. (1971), Beyond the Stable State, New York and London, Norton & Co. Beyond the Stable State Google Scholar

STEINHART, P. (1986), 'Names on a Map', in W. L. Heat-Moon, PrairyEarth (A Deep Map): An Epic History of the Tallgrass Prairie Country, New York, Houghton Mifflin. Google Scholar

TIEBOUT, C. (1956), 'A pure theory of local government expenditure', Journal of Political Economy, 44. A pure theory of local government expenditure Journal of Political Economy 4 4 Google Scholar

WOOD, R. C. (1961), 1400 Governments: The Political Economy of the New York Metropolitan Region, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press. 1400 Governments: The Political Economy of the New York Metropolitan Region Google Scholar

ALBRECHTS, L. (2004), 'Strategic (spatial) planning re-examined', Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 31, 743–54. Strategic (spatial) planning re-examined Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 31 743 54 Google Scholar

ALBRECHTS, L. and VAN DEN BROECK, J. (2004), 'From discourses to acts: the case of the ROM project in Ghent, Belgium', Town Planning Review, 75, 127–50. From discourses to acts: the case of the ROM project in Ghent, Belgium Town Planning Review 75 127 50 Google Scholar

AMIN, A. and THRIFT, N. (2001), Cities. Reimaging the Urban, Cambridge, Urbana, Polity Press. Cities. Reimaging the Urban Google Scholar

AVE, G. (2005), 'Play it again Turin. Analisi del Piano strategico di Torino come strumento di pianificazione della rigenerazione urbana', in F. Martinelli (ed.), La pianificazione strategica in Italia e in Europa. Metodologie ed esiti a confronto, Milan, Franco Angeli. Google Scholar

BALDUCCI, A. (2003), 'Policies, plans and projects. Governing the city-region of Milan', DISP, 152, 59–70. Policies, plans and projects. Governing the city-region of Milan DISP 152 59 70 Google Scholar

BELLAVITI, P and FARERI, P. (1984), 'La formazione del governo metropolitano', in B. Secchi (ed.), Partiti, amministratori e tecnici nella costruzione della politica urbanistica in Italia, Milano, Angeli. La formazione del governo metropolitano Partiti, amministratori e tecnici nella costruzione della politica urbanistica in Italia Google Scholar

CHRISTENSEN, K. (1985), 'Coping with uncertainty in planning', Journal of the American Planning Association, 51, 63–73. Coping with uncertainty in planning Journal of the American Planning Association 51 63 73 Google Scholar

DENTE, B. (1985), Governare la Frammentazione, Bologna, Il Mulino. Governare la Frammentazione Google Scholar

DROR, Y. (1964), 'Muddling through – science or inertia?', Public Administration Review, 24, 153–7. Muddling through – science or inertia? Public Administration Review 24 153 7 Google Scholar

FEDELI V. and GASTALDI, F. (eds) (2004), Pratiche strategiche di pianificazione: riflessione a partire da nuovi spazi urbani in costruzione, Milan, Franco Angeli. Pratiche strategiche di pianificazione: riflessione a partire da nuovi spazi urbani in costruzione Google Scholar

FORESTER, J. (1981), 'Questioning and organizing attention as planning strategy: towards a critical theory of planning', Administration and Society, 2, 161–205. Questioning and organizing attention as planning strategy: towards a critical theory of planning Administration and Society 2 161 205 Google Scholar

FORESTER, J. (1989), Planning in the Face of Power, Berkeley, University of California Press. Planning in the Face of Power Google Scholar

FORESTER, J. (1993), Critical Theory, Public Policy, and Planning Practice, Albany, State University of New York Press. Critical Theory, Public Policy, and Planning Practice Google Scholar

FORESTER, J. (2009), Dealing with Differences: Dramas in Mediating Public Disputes, Oxford and New York, Oxford University Press. Dealing with Differences: Dramas in Mediating Public Disputes Google Scholar

FRIEDMANN, J. (1987), Planning in the Public Domain: From Knowledge to Action, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press. Planning in the Public Domain: From Knowledge to Action Google Scholar

FRIEDMANN, J. (2002), The Prospect of Cities, Minneapolis, MN, University of Minnesota Press. The Prospect of Cities Google Scholar

GALISON, P. (1997), 'Material culture, theoretical culture and delocalization', in J. Krige and D. Pestre (eds), Science in the Twentieth Century, Paris, Harwood, 669–82. Google Scholar

GALISON, P. (1999), 'Trading zone: co-ordinating action and belief ', in M. Biagioli (ed.), The Science Studies Reader, New York and London, Routledge, 137–60. Google Scholar

HEALEY, P. (2007), Urban Complexity and Spatial Strategies: Towards a Relational Planning for Our Times, London, Routledge. Urban Complexity and Spatial Strategies: Towards a Relational Planning for Our Times Google Scholar

HEALEY, P. (2009a), 'The pragmatic tradition in planning thought', Journal of Planning Education and Research, 28, 277–92. The pragmatic tradition in planning thought Journal of Planning Education and Research 28 277 92 Google Scholar

HEALEY, P. (2009b), 'In search of the 'strategic' in spatial strategy making', Planning Theory and Practice, 10, 439–57. In search of the 'strategic' in spatial strategy making Planning Theory and Practice 10 439 57 Google Scholar

HILLIER J. (2008), 'Interplanary practice: towards a Deleuzan-inspired methodology for creative experimentation in strategic spatial planning' in J. van den Broeck, F. Moulaert, and S. Oosterlink (eds) (2008), Empowering the Planning Fields: Ethics, Creativity and Action, Leuven, Acco. Google Scholar

KUNZMANN, K. (1995), 'Developing the regional potential for creative response to structural change', in J. Brotchie et al. (eds), Cities in Competition: Productive and Sustainable Cities for the 21st Century, Melbourne, Australia, Longman. Developing the regional potential for creative response to structural change Cities in Competition: Productive and Sustainable Cities for the 21st Century Google Scholar

LEFÈVRE C. (2002), 'Metropolitan government and governance in Western countries: a critical review', International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 22, 9–25. Metropolitan government and governance in Western countries: a critical review International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 22 9 25 Google Scholar

LINDBLOM, C. E. (1959), 'The science of muddling through', Public Administration Review, 19, 79–88. The science of muddling through Public Administration Review 19 79 88 Google Scholar

LINDBLOM, C. E. (1965), The Intelligence of Democracy, New York, The Free Press. The Intelligence of Democracy Google Scholar

LINDBLOM, C. E. (1975), 'The sociology of planning: thought and social interaction', in M. Bornstein (ed.), Economic Planning East and West, Cambridge, MA, Ballinger. The sociology of planning: thought and social interaction Economic Planning East and West Google Scholar

LINDBLOM, C. E. (1979), 'Still muddling. Not yet through', Public Administration Review, 39, 517–25. Still muddling. Not yet through Public Administration Review 39 517 25 Google Scholar

LINDBLOM, C. E. (1990), Inquiry and Change, New Haven and London, Yale University Press. Inquiry and Change Google Scholar

LINDBLOM, C. E. and COHEN D. K. (1979), Usable Knowledge: Social Science and Social Problem Solving, New Haven, Yale University Press. Google Scholar

MARTINOTTI, G. (1993), Metropoli. La nuova morfologia sociale della città, Bologna, Il Mulino. Metropoli. La nuova morfologia sociale della città Google Scholar

PARK, R. E., BURGESS, E. W, and MCKENZIE, R. D (1925), The City, Chicago, University of Chicago Press. The City Google Scholar

PASQUI, G. (2008), Città, Popolazioni, Politiche, Milan, Jaca Book. Città, Popolazioni, Politiche Google Scholar

SAGER, T. (1994), Communicative Planning Theory, Aldershot, Avebury. Communicative Planning Theory Google Scholar

SCHÖN, D. A. (1971), Beyond the Stable State, New York and London, Norton & Co. Beyond the Stable State Google Scholar

STEINHART, P. (1986), 'Names on a Map', in W. L. Heat-Moon, PrairyEarth (A Deep Map): An Epic History of the Tallgrass Prairie Country, New York, Houghton Mifflin. Google Scholar

TIEBOUT, C. (1956), 'A pure theory of local government expenditure', Journal of Political Economy, 44. A pure theory of local government expenditure Journal of Political Economy 4 4 Google Scholar

WOOD, R. C. (1961), 1400 Governments: The Political Economy of the New York Metropolitan Region, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press. 1400 Governments: The Political Economy of the New York Metropolitan Region Google Scholar

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Balducci, Alessandro