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Planning and Urban development: 1970s-2010s Patsy Healey SAPL, Newcastle University UK SURF/SPRU Workshop April 25 th 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Planning and Urban development: 1970s-2010s Patsy Healey SAPL, Newcastle University UK SURF/SPRU Workshop April 25 th 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Planning and Urban development: 1970s-2010s Patsy Healey SAPL, Newcastle University UK SURF/SPRU Workshop April 25 th 2012

2 Three Questions! How ‘cities’ and the ‘urban’ were imagined How the ‘environmental challenge’ was imagined Prevailing theories of transformative change

3 1970s ‘Crises’ The crisis of confidence in Britain’s future place in the world – as above A crisis in the British economy, as our industrial base lost competitiveness in relation to the rest of then world A crisis of confidence in the paternalist practices of the British state – with demands for more people-centred and participative policy practices. The crisis of welfare state provision –rising expectations, reduced public finance and all kinds of delivery weaknesses The oil crisis – and its impact on economic and social life The environmental crisis – promoted by a growing movement inspired by Rachel Carson, Edward Goldsmith et al. A crisis in the development industry, following the late 1960s/early 1970s boom and collapse. See O’Connor’s trenchant analysis in The Fiscal Crisis of the State (O’Connor 1973)

4 How ‘cities’ and the ‘urban’ were imagined: three messages: Environmental dimensions of urban contexts were noticed but treated in very limited ways It takes time for new ideas to get ‘leverage’ in the various arenas which need to change for a material change to happen. Old practices live on from earlier eras and need explicit attention before they shift.

5 How the ‘environmental challenge’ was imagined As a surface upon which human life played out, with what we would now call particular ‘affordances’ of climate, geology and biology which varied from place to place. As a set of resources available for exploitation, with only slowly dawning realisation of the dangers of over- exploitation, or unbalanced exploitation. Such realisation was strongly countered by the belief in ‘technofix’. As an inheritance to be conserved, particularly as an expression of ‘our heritage’. A strong ‘health and safety’ concern, reflected in regulatory practices, for reductions in the pollution of air and water systems.

6 Prevailing theories of transformative change The ‘crisis’ theory of change – does it need challenging? The significance of structure/agency interactions – the importance of micro- practices Interactions between episodes, governance processes and governance cultures – non- linear (see diagram)

7 (from Healey 2006:310).


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