The roles of planning in waterfront redevelopment: From plan-led and market-driven styles to hybrid planning?

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This paper delves into the different styles and roles that planning adopts in contemporary waterfront redevelopment. Traditionally, waterfront redevelopment practices have consisted of an array of plan-led and market-driven planning styles upon which the derelict areas of post-industrial cities have been transformed. Typical examples from North America and Europe generally tend to focus on the successes that these processes have generated in connection with large-scale and emblematic projects. However, less attention has been devoted to the efforts of a more recent generation of cities undergoing waterfront redevelopment, which often features different planning rationalities, forms of governance and competing interests. While the precise character of this newer generation does not yet seem defined, the rise of planning practices that combine previous planning styles has been key in allowing these cities achieve their redevelopment aims. In adding to this emerging generation, the paper examines the nature of waterfront redevelopment processes in Aalborg, Denmark, wherein hybrid planning styles characterised by situation-dependent and relational planning processes have increasingly substituted former practices. The paper concludes that planning adopts different roles depending on the determinants that qualify each redevelopment case, and that hybrid planning may be subjected to public interest dilemmas given its capacity to adapt to certain political and socio-economic patterns
Original languageEnglish
JournalPlanning Practice and Research
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)203-225
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012
EventAAG conference 2011 - Seattle, United States
Duration: 12 Apr 201116 Apr 2011


ConferenceAAG conference 2011
CountryUnited States


  • waterfront redevelopment; planning styles; planning roles; plan-led development; market-driven development; hybrid planning; public interest; Denmark

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