Town Planning Review

Commentary: The complexity of planning reform: a search for the spirit and purpose of planning

Town Planning Review (2008), 79, (6), 673–688.

Abstract

Planning in the UK has changed beyond all recognition over the last 20 years and has broadened out from its regulatory core. It is now charged with coordinating the spatial aspects of a range of policy agendas at the local and regional levels and providing a mediation forum for various interests that is responsive to changing conditions. The reformed planning system reflects both continuities with and radical departures from the past. Planning can no longer be understood as a single entity, but as turbulent, fluid and adaptable processes. This paper charts the evolution of planning reform, and suggests that what we have today are diverse activities of intervention, coordination and delivery that vary geographically and politically. Planning has been strengthened, but within an increasingly complex and demanding environment that only serve to question its purpose and activity.

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Author details

Tewdwr-Jones, Mark