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The Politics of Scale and Network Building in Spatial Planning
Professor Nick Gallent is building upon his previous work on spatial planning as a means of delivering decent homes through locally-responsive democratic process, with a new ESRC-funded project “The Politics of Scale and Network Building in Spatial Planning”. The project explores the relationship between community-led planning and formal strategic frameworks and the tensions that often result in housing implementation gaps in growth areas. Planning and local government reform expresses an ambition to move from public-realm planning and ‘government’ to private-realm action and ‘governance’, whilst ‘spatial planning – a process facilitated by public bodies, but built on community initiatives and collaboration with non-public partners – has been viewed as a means of delivering against this agenda. Community-led planning is government’s inroad into a world of local ambition and also a point of renewal for local democracy; but does it play an effective role in the spatial planning process, empowering communities and ensuring that local ambition finds a place in policy-making? How connections are made between planning’s different levels and whether communities wield effective influence within the reformed planning system are the key questions of this project. Of equal concern is how this influence is built and channelled through networks, and whether these provide a means of effective bridging between very-local actions and strategic decisions.
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