Metropolitan planning from an international comparative perspective: Institutional and instrumental assessment of metropolitan spatial plans in Copenhagen and Oslo

Daniel Galland, Marius Grønning

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingResearch

Abstract

Over the last few years new practices of spatial strategy making at different planning scales have emerged. At the metropolitan level, such spatial strategies are reminiscent of national and supranational competitive strategies (e.g. EU policies) as well as ratifications of international conventions and agreements. A particular feature that metropolitan spatial strategies seem to have in common is the increasingly discretionary planning practices, often, however, within different institutional contexts. It might be assumed, hence, that the regional authorities may adopt different roles in resolving public problems and, accordingly, that different tools are chosen in order to structure the process, and thus also affecting the results. In order to examine the implications of these emerging practices, it may be useful to compare metropolitan spatial strategies across historically convergent spatial planning traditions. The aim of this paper is thereby to advance and apply a qualitative framework to compare metropolitan spatial plans in Scandinavia, more precisely the cases of Copenhagen and Oslo. Both cases are rooted in contexts of polity and planning culture, which are often identified with the Scandinavian Welfare Model, and its social democratic tradition. This ideological frame is nuanced when political culture and geography are taken into consideration, exposing significant socio-territorial differences: administrative structure based on a somewhat densely populated territory in the case of Denmark, versus an administrative structure based on spread settlement in Norway, with a higher sensitivity for local scale governance, a prevalent anti-centralist culture and a strong anti European Union stand. Potentially, this contrast provides quite differentiated responses to administrative reform policies, and thus also to the instrumental orientation within planning. A challenge stemming from this comparison is to understand how similar policies are implemented at a strategic and metropolitan level. Within the institutional framework of Copenhagen, the problem with the Finger Plan directive might be to coordinate a number of themes; within the institutional framework of the Oslo region, on the other hand, where local governance still has significant political power, the problem of the metropolitan plan might be reduced to securing the coherence of overarching structure such as transport networks, leaving other themes to be treated at a lower scale, i.e. to the municipal planning authorities. Early observations of the two individual cases suggest that the focus as well as the orientation of these metropolitan plans merge characteristics associated with project-based and strategy-based spatial plans (Faludi & van der Valk, 1994), thus integrating the archetypal land-use character of municipal plans and the strategic and growth-oriented pursuit of regional plans. A number of questions may be deduced: How explicit is the metropolitan scale? How local and how regional is the knowledge basis? Within a variety of institutional contexts and instrumental contents, to what degree are the thematic scopes converging, and how much ad hoc variations are displayed? Is international integration leading to convergence or divergence of planning systems?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCities and Regions : Managing Growth and Change
EditorsLesa Reynolds
PublisherRegional Studies Association
Publication date2016
ISBN (Print)978-1-897721-59-9
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventCities and Regions: Managing Growth and Change - Historic Academy of Medicine, Atlanta, United States
Duration: 14 Jun 201617 Jun 2016

Conference

ConferenceCities and Regions
LocationHistoric Academy of Medicine
CountryUnited States
CityAtlanta
Period14/06/201617/06/2016

Fingerprint

planning
administrative structure
governance
regional authority
EU policy
ratification
Scandinavia
transport network
planning practice
spatial planning
reform policy
political culture
political power
Denmark
divergence
Norway
land use
welfare
geography

Cite this

Galland, D., & Grønning, M. (2016). Metropolitan planning from an international comparative perspective: Institutional and instrumental assessment of metropolitan spatial plans in Copenhagen and Oslo. In L. Reynolds (Ed.), Cities and Regions: Managing Growth and Change Regional Studies Association.
Galland, Daniel ; Grønning, Marius. / Metropolitan planning from an international comparative perspective : Institutional and instrumental assessment of metropolitan spatial plans in Copenhagen and Oslo. Cities and Regions: Managing Growth and Change. editor / Lesa Reynolds. Regional Studies Association, 2016.
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Galland, D & Grønning, M 2016, Metropolitan planning from an international comparative perspective: Institutional and instrumental assessment of metropolitan spatial plans in Copenhagen and Oslo. in L Reynolds (ed.), Cities and Regions: Managing Growth and Change. Regional Studies Association, Cities and Regions, Atlanta, United States, 14/06/2016.

Metropolitan planning from an international comparative perspective : Institutional and instrumental assessment of metropolitan spatial plans in Copenhagen and Oslo. / Galland, Daniel; Grønning, Marius.

Cities and Regions: Managing Growth and Change. ed. / Lesa Reynolds. Regional Studies Association, 2016.

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingResearch

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Galland D, Grønning M. Metropolitan planning from an international comparative perspective: Institutional and instrumental assessment of metropolitan spatial plans in Copenhagen and Oslo. In Reynolds L, editor, Cities and Regions: Managing Growth and Change. Regional Studies Association. 2016