Planning Palimpsests: Neo-liberal Planning in a Welfare State Tradition

Olesen, K. (Speaker)

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalks and presentations in private or public companies


In this paper, we trace the trajectories and assemblages constituting Danish spatial planning through time. The aim is to analyse how Danish spatial planning discourses and practices have been influenced and shaped by welfare state planning approaches in conjunction with neo-liberal planning principles. We argue that each period of spatial planning constitutes an assemblage of competing planning rationalities, and that it is the ongoing struggle between these that make up the hybridity of planning discourses and practices through time. By focusing on assemblages of spatial planning, we wish to draw attention to the hybridity and complexity of planning practices and discourses, which are seldom underpinned by a single ideology. Our analysis is informed by an historical document analysis of primary and secondary sources, which make up the cornerstones of the Danish spatial planning tradition. By drawing on a strong historical dimension, we seek to illustrate that Danish spatial planning has not only been characterised by abrupt transformations undermining welfare state planning, but also by key trajectories and recurrent themes, which continuously seem to characterise the Danish spatial planning debate. We suggest that in spite of a clear neo-liberalisation of Danish planning, current planning practices form a palimpsest of neo-liberal ideology and welfare state traditions. The paper critically addresses the implications of this planning hybrid.
Period11 Jun 2013 - 14 Jun 2013
Event typeConference
LocationReykjavik, Iceland