Spatial planning and sustainable cities and communities

Trillo, C ORCID: 2019, 'Spatial planning and sustainable cities and communities' , in: Sustainable Cities and Communities. Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals , Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals , Springer, Cham.

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Spatial planning as technical activity of supporting spatial decision-making is deeply embedded in the history of mankind. However, this specific terminology came to fore in the planning disciplinary field in the late 1980s, replacing a plethora of terms and definitions indicating sectoral fields or different scales and allowing the use of one single expression referred to methods and approaches generally aimed at influencing the distribution of activities in the space. In fact, while in the United States, “spatial planning” is sometime used as synonymous with urban planning, in Europe it is used with reference to any scale. The term gained popularity particularly in the late 1980s–1990s in Continental Europe, and its meaning was defined both in the North European academic environment and in the European Commission institutional documents mainly throughout that decade. According to Faludi and Waterhout (2002: X), “Spatial planning is Euro-English: a non-British (and non-American) concept conveyed in English words. [...] the concept of spatial planning has already figured in the European Regional/Spatial Planning Charter (Council of Europe 1984). The Charter portrays“regional/spatial planning”as giving geographical expression to the various policies of society; giving direction to a balanced regional development and the physical organization of space, according to an overall strategy.” Building on and moving forward the European Regional/ Spatial Planning Charter, the CEC Compendium (1997: 24) offers the following official definition for spatial planning: “Spatial planning refers to the methods used largely by the public sector to influence the future distribution of activities in space. It is undertaken with the aims of creating a more rational territorial organization of land uses and the linkages between them, to balance demands for development with the need to protect the environment, and to achieve social and economic objectives. Spatial planning embraces measures to coordinate the spatial impacts of other sector/policies, to achieve a more even distribution of economic development between regions that would otherwise be created by market forces, and to regulate the conversion of land and property uses.” Recent scholarship (Albrechts 2015: 510) confirms that the definition of spatial planning is largely used in (Continental) Europe, often overlapping with strategic planning: “The term strategic planning is, probably apart from Healey (1997a; 1999: 2004), more used in continental Europe (see Albrechts 2004, Balducci et al. 2011; Motte 2006; Salet and Faludi 2000). It often matches with UK literature on spatial planning (see Allmendinger and Haughton 2009; Brand and Gaffikin 2007). Moreover, there is ample evidence that in many strategic plans the often more abstract discourse is turned into something more tangible and is redefined into a more familiar vocabulary of statutory planning (see also Olesen and Richardson 2012: 1703).”

Item Type: Book Section
Editors: Leal Filho, W, Azul, A, Brandli L., L, Özuyar, P and Wall, T
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures & Sustainable Environments
Journal or Publication Title: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Publisher: Springer, Cham
Series Name: Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals
ISBN: 9783319710617 (online)
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr Claudia Trillo
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2020 10:39
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2020 10:45

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