The Danish national spatial planning framework

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This paper attempts to provide an analysis associated with the performance of the current Danish national spatial planning framework based on a descriptive overview of its changing institutional arrangements and policy instruments. The Danish planning system has been historically qualified as holding a comprehensive-integrated character, which depicts a harmonized and coherent institutional and policy framework across different levels of planning administration. However, spatial planning in Denmark has been increasingly exposed to profound reorientations over the past two decades, a situation which could be generally understood as the outcome of a series of interrelated political and economic factors shaping and re-shaping spatial planning in different European contexts. In Denmark, the effects of a recent structural reform that changed the geographies of inter-governmental arrangements within the national territory have significantly transformed the scope, structure and understanding of spatial planning. Amongst the many implications of this reform, most spatial planning responsibilities have been decentralized to the local level while the planning domain seemingly portrays less spatial coordination and coherence across its diverse policy institutions and instruments. In this light, the paper provides a brief assessment regarding the planning outcomes of this reform and offers some key points concerning the current status of Danish spatial planning.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherLincoln Institute of Land Policy
EditionWorking Paper Series
Number of pages43
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • planning system; national planning; regional planning; land-use planning; institutional arrangements; Denmark


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