Strategic spatial planning as persuasive storytelling: the case of Loop City

Olesen, K. (Lecturer)

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


It is widely recognised that strategic spatial planning steers as much by persuasion and seduction as land use control. This paper seeks to understand the persuasive power of strategic spatial planning through a case study of the spatial vision of a Loop City for the cross border Danish-Swedish Øresund Region. The paper demonstrates how the naming and framing of the Øresund Region as a Loop City provides a policy window for bringing claims about the need for investments in transport infrastructures onto the national agenda. In the case of the Loop City, a suburban light rail project is being reframed as a missing link in the spatial vision of constructing a ‘loop’ around the Øresund. Furthermore, the spatial vision contributes to the coupling of policy streams by linking claims for transport infrastructure investments to urban redevelopment potentials and expectations of increasing regional competitiveness. The case of the Loop City illustrates how a spatial vision, and the spatial metaphor of a ‘loop’, can play an important persuasive role in legitimising and rationalising the need for investments in transport infrastructures. Furthermore, the case raises more fundamental questions about the values and rationalities embedded in the persuasive storytelling of strategic spatial plans.
Period9 Jul 2014
Event titleAESOP Congress 2014
Event typeConference
LocationUtrecht, Netherlands