Town Planning Review

Cross-national learning in the formation of British planning policies 1940–99: A comparison of the Barlow, Buchanan and Rogers Reports

Town Planning Review (2007), 78, (3), 369–400.

Abstract

The paper investigates the processes of cross-national learning in three British planning studies that had an important role in shaping subsequent policies, namely the Barlow Report (1940), the Buchanan Report (1963) and the Rogers Report (1999). It locates the detailed investigation within the wider political science literature of cross-national learning, lesson-drawing and policy transfer. Analysis of the reports shows a shift from European, mainly German, to American referents within British planning, beginning in the 1930s. By the 1960s, there was much greater use of American examples. The paper then notes a shift in the 1990s, with European examples assuming much more significance. However a distinction is made between the expert advice given in the reports and the way this was actually applied at the political and official levels. The paper ends by suggesting other opportunities to consider aspects of cross-national learning, lesson-drawing and policy transfer

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Ward, Stephen