Territorial Politics and formal structures of governance in spatial planning: insights from the Dublin city-region (NIRSA) Working Paper Series 64
Walsh, Cormac (2010) Territorial Politics and formal structures of governance in spatial planning: insights from the Dublin city-region (NIRSA) Working Paper Series 64. NIRSA - National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis, Maynooth.
This paper presents the argument that the contents of spatial plans and the discursive framing of processes of spatial strategy-making are structured by the political geography of the formal institutions of governance through which spatial plans derive their legitimacy. At the same time spatial planning processes and strategies themselves may be active in the social construction of particular spatial (territorial and scalar) configurations. Spatial planning strategies for cities and regions increasingly seek to transcend political and administrative boundaries and embrace functional spaces and fuzzy boundaries. It is argued here however, that the spatial reach of such strategies in practice may be constrained by the formal structures of governance through which they are produced. Recent studies of the contents of spatial planning strategies have found that spatial plans in practice continue to employ territorial rather than relational concepts of space and place. This paper moves towards explaining the territorial character of planning content through an engagement with recent literature in critical regional studies and critiques of state-centric thinking in political geography and related disciplines. The arguments presented are supported by a case study of the Dublin-city-region, drawing on official planning policy documents and qualitative interviews with political decision-makers and planning officials.
Repository Staff Only: item control page