Obscure ritual or administrative luxury? Integrating strategic planning and regional development

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Abstract

Regional land-use planning and regionally based economic development have evolved to a large extent as parallel but separate entities, each occupying distinct policy domains. This absence of holism in regional policymaking has been mirrored by the limited level of academic interest in examining the linkages between regional economic development policies, on the one hand, and physical land-use planning, on the other. The authors consider the extent to which proposals from the Blair-led Labour government for Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) and Regional Planning Guidance (RPG) in England represent a continuation of the historic disjunction between economic development and strategic planning. They begin by assessing earlier attempts at the integration of strategic planning and economic development concerns and, in light of the experience of earlier initiatives, assess the prospects for the latest set of 'regional' proposals. First, they explore the means by which conflict between the development-led priorities of RDAs and those expressed through RPG might be resolved. Second, they consider the extent to which the relative autonomy accorded to individual regions to determine their approaches marks the emergence of genuinely 'region-specific' planning as opposed to the continuation of 'centralist regional' planning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-782
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironment and Planning B: Planning and Design
Volume26
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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