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Evolutionary Governance Theory and the Adaptive Capacity of the Dutch Planning System

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Abstract

In this contribution we explore the pathways of the Dutch planning system and its potential to adapt to a continuously changing society. It presents a possible answer to the question that frames this book: ‘How can researchers and practitioners incorporate new insights about complexity and non-linearity into their work and develop new strategies and tools that can be used to engage planning in the processes of coevolution’. We will argue that answering these questions demand a thorough understanding of the governance structures and the social processes of adaptation and coevolution in which planning is embedded. It requires insight in how planners and planning systems can perform roles within a world that is unpredictable, and in which interventions do not necessarily have the anticipated effects.
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Evolutionary Governance Theory
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INTRODUCTION: RAPID CHANGES, SLOW TRANSITIONS
>> In this contribution we explore the pathways of the Dutch planning system
and its potential to adapt to a continuously changing society. It presents a
possible answer to the question that frames this book: ‘How can researchers
and practitioners incorporate new insights about complexity and non-linearity
into their work and develop new strategies and tools that can be used to engage
planning in the processes of coevolution. We will argue that answering these
questions demand a thorough understanding of the governance structures
and the social processes of adaptation and coevolution in which planning
is embedded. It requires insight in how planners and planning systems can
perform roles within a world that is unpredictable, and in which interventions
do not necessarily have the anticipated eects.
De Roo and Boelens have argued that planning is in need of a framework that
goes beyond a rational-scientic model of centralist planning, or versions of
communicative and collaborative planning that relied on communication
absent of power, in which the most rational or best argument would lead to
consensus (De Roo and Boelens 2014). Evolutionary Governance Theory (EGT)
oers such a perspective (Van Assche et al. 2014). The theory presents a middle
ground between social engineering and neo- classical economics, and its free
market ideals. It links up with complexity theory, as well as other theories that
include notions of complexity, uncertainty and non-linearity. We use EGT to
analyse the evolution of planning perspectives in the Netherlands and the way
in which these delineate a certain space for planning in society and shape the
potential impact of planning to guide spatial transformations.
Within EGT planning is broadly dened as the coordination of policies and
practices aecting spatial organization (Van Assche and Verschraegen 2008).
This denition enables us to look at a wide variety of planning practices
and aspirations in a society. Planning is part of governance. Each society or
community has its own planning system, characterised by a specic pattern of
organizations, formal and informal institutions and discourses. The position
of planning in society is shaped in a dialectal relationship with that society.
In other words, a planning system should be seen as a temporary outcome of
the evolution of that society and its governance structures and elements. In
accordance with the huge diversity in ways in which states, administrations and
communities are organised and governed, planning exists in many variations,
in many shapes and forms (Mandelbaum et al. 1996, Allmendinger 2002).
Planning can be more or less associated with the nation state, with scientic
expertise, with certain roles for planners, designers and plans at dierent levels
of government. It can be more procedural at one place or content driven in
another, and be more or less dominated by political, economic or legal actors.
This explains why in some communities planning is embraced as a system
that can bring public goods and facilitate the implementation and integration
of spatial polices, while elsewhere it is conceptualised as the undesired
Raoul Beunen,
Martijn Duineveld &
Kristof Van Assche
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intervention of governments in peoples life and a limitation to free markets
(Assche and Leinfelder 2008).
An evolutionary perspective on planning implies that a planning system is
always changing. Since communities evolve, governance evolves and so does
planning. The Netherlands presents an interesting example to illustrate and
understand this evolution. Planning traditionally had a strong position within
the Dutch state, but in recent years this position has become subject of debate
(Van Assche et al. 2012). Under inuence of wider changes in society, like the
reduction of nancial means to plan and implement spatial interventions, the
bastion is slowly eroding and the planning organisations see their inuence
decreasing. In various policy domains the previously dominant planning
perspectives and practices become challenged and contested. Well-known
examples are land policy, urban and regional development, climate change
adaptation, and nature conservation (Roodbol-Mekkes et al. 2012, Savani 2012,
Roth and Warner 2007; Van Dijk and Van der Wulp 2011, Beunen et al. 2013b;
Wolsink 2010, Duineveld and Van Assche 2011). Planning is often considered to
face a crisis and the diculties of the planning system in adapting to ‘the new
reality’ are object of many discussions.
This contribution adds to these discussions by conceptualising the adaptive
capacity of the planning system as the possibility for existing perspectives on
planning to evolve and for new perspectives to emerge and to gain inuence.
We focus in particular on the path, inter and goal dependency of planning
perspectives. We conclude that the acceptance of complexity and non-linearity
demand a planning system that embraces and enhances reexivity and
exibility as important prerequisites for adaptation and innovation.
TOWARDS AN EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE ON PLANNING
>> We will introduce evolutionary governance theory (EGT) as a theory
emphasising the contingent, evolutionary and self-referential character of
governance. We describe the power of planning and planning perspectives
and outline three concepts for understanding the co-evolutions of roles
and perspectives in planning: path dependency, inter dependency and goal
dependency.
Contingency, evolution and self-reference
EGT understands governance as radically evolutionary: all elements of
governance are subject to evolution, all these elements and their dependencies
coevolve, and many of them are the product of governance itself (Van Assche et
al. 2014). In line with social systems theory as developed by Niklas Luhmann, it
pays particular attention to social systems as observers that constitute society.
Luhmann identied neither people nor actions as the elements of a theory of
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society, but communications (Luhmann 1989). Social systems are on-going
processes of interpretation and reinterpretation of internal communications
and external environments. They are self-referential and govern the processes
of their transformation through communications (Teubner 1989). Every
communication and every observation or interpretation is a contingent
construct of the observer (Luhmann 2012, Fuchs 2001). Environments are always
interpreted in and by the social system. Each object, subject, action or narrative,
is observed and interpreted according to the systems schemes of interpretation.
These schemes are themselves a product of evolution. Each social system
produces an image of itself and the outside world in terms of its own unique
basic distinctions, concepts and procedures (Teubner 1989).
For Luhmann there are three kinds of socials systems: 1) interactions
(conversations), eeting systems with a limited capacity to process
environmental complexity, 2) organizations, social systems with clear
boundaries reproducing themselves by means of decisions, and 3) function
systems, systems that are not delineated by membership, but by the specicity
of their perspective. Law, economy, politics, religion, science and education
are examples of function systems that each play a role in the reproduction of
society as the encompassing social system.
Within EGT social systems theory is compatible with a version of discourse
theory, largely in line with the Foucaultian tradition (Foucault 1994, Foucault
1972). Both social systems theory and discourse theory oer a framework
to analyse the communicative processes that shape historically contingent
discourses that produce the criteria for their own transformation (Luhmann
1995; Luhmann 2004; Teubner 1988). The consequence of the constructivist
nature of EGT is that objects, facts, rules, subjects, ideas and so on, are
constructed within a social system or a discourse. People, as individuals, exist
in two ways: they are subjects, constituted in the observations of social systems,
but they are also present in the environment of social systems, as psychic
systems able to process meaning (Van Assche et al. 2014). People (as psychic
systems) and social systems co-evolved as each other’s necessary environments.
In evolutionary terms: the actions, decisions and communications of people and
the strategies of actors create variations and selections that contribute to the
evolution of structures and patterns in governance.
Structures appear in a process of emergence, of recursive repetition. Structures,
such as congurations of actors and institutions, appear and disappear and
are part of an emergent order that is immanent, but at the same time perfectly
capable of constraining the internal and external linkages that make up actors
in a governance network (Hillier 2008, Da Landa 2006). Actor/ institution
congurations can shape the functioning of actors and institutions, without
the need to assume a pre-existing design or structure imposed from somewhere
else. The congurations emerge out of the operations of the system do not need
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an explanation invoking an outside of or prior to the system. Yet their coming
into existence changes the logic of governance, its complexity and its potential
impact on society. Actors on their turn will transform in governance, as a
result of the manner in which they are coordinated and the manner in which
they coordinate (cf. Hacking 1999, Van Assche et al. 2011b). The continuous
confrontation with others, their strategies and ideas, in the production of
policies, plans and laws will inevitably change an actor. Redened actors will
handle institutions dierently and participate dierently in the production of
new institutions, introducing shifts in the institutional conguration, which
then likely pressures actors into a new phase of reinvention.
EGT on the power of planning and planning perspectives
In order to explore the possibilities for a proactive co-evolutionary planning, we
analyse the embedding of particular planning perspectives in the organisations
and institutions of Dutch planning. We dene a planning perspective as a
coherent narrative on how socio-spatial realities are perceived and evaluated
and how these should be governed. It includes ideas about which issues are
relevant, about the approaches, strategies and institutions that are important
and about the roles for particular actors, often including a certain view on the
relation between state, market and civil society. Such perspectives can also be
referred to as paradigms or doctrines. They vary between places and in time
(Allmendinger 2002). Planning perspectives can be conceptualised as self-
referential discourses, in the sense that they construct the world by means
of references to their own elements, and in the sense that new structures are
always grounded in prior ones (Teubner 1989). Planning perspectives are not
just description of an existing or desired reality, but discursive structures that
contribute to the construction of that reality. These perspectives can become
productive if they are translated into organisations and institutions that make
the planning system function according to the perspective (Beunen et al.
2013b; Van Dijk 2011). Planning perspectives are in a dialectical relation with
disciplines and professions. Certain actors identify with certain perspectives
and use these identications to maintain or improve their position versus other
actors in the system (See e.g. Hoch 1992, but also Friedmann 2008).
Every planning system needs certain perspectives, particular images of the
outside world (the environment) to operate on, as well as tools to implement
decisions, plans, and policies in that outside world. Complexity theory (e.g.
Innes and Booher 2010, De Roo and Silva 2010) and social systems theory
(e.g.Van Assche and Verschraegen 2008) argue that the reduction of complexity
within the planning system enables it to reproduce itself and to interact
with society at large, at the same time obscures many features of that reality.
Within that context, power relations dene not only the strategic interactions
between actors, but also between the planning perspectives (Hillier 2002). If a
planning system, as a network of particular perspectives, faces diculties to
adapt, it becomes more isolated from the rest of society. The dierence between
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realities, problems and solutions dened within planning, will over time tend
to diverge from the perspectives elsewhere in society. This is likely to reduce the
eectiveness of planning intervention (Wildavsky 1979) or they are more likely
to be experienced as oppressive (Van Assche and Verschraegen 2008).
Within the planning system the relative position of actors and perspectives
versus each other is always shifting. Dierent players will crystallize, which
in turn shape the future interactions in and of the planning system (Van
Assche 2010). Once in place, a conguration of actors and perspectives tends
to reproduce itself (Seidl 2005, cf. Luhmann 1995). The planning system is
therefore marked by strong path dependencies (Chettiparamb 2006, Van
Assche et al. 2011a). It is a contingent conguration of dierent disciplines and
professions, such as strategic planning, landscape architecture, architecture and
urban design. The existing conguration and its dynamics are reected in, and
sometimes inuenced by, the academic debates about planning, where certain
forms of planning are criticized and alternatives are promoted (De Roo and Silva
2010, Gunder 2011, Childs 2010, Madanipour 2006). These debates for example
focus on desired and undesired social and environmental eects of planning
interventions, on the relation between science and practice, and on the specic
form and position of planning in a society.
EGT: three dependencies and the evolution of the planning system
To understand the evolution of planning systems, we need to understand the
dependencies that enable and constrain this evolution. We distinguish path
dependence, interdependence and goal dependence (Van Assche et al. 2014, cf.
North 2005, Callon 1991). Path dependence widely refers to numerous legacies
from the past inuencing governance evolution. The presence of certain
actors and their perspectives, the presence of formal and informal institutions,
such as plans and policies, and the particular dialectics between actors and
institutions and between formal and informal institutions can all be seen as
path dependencies that shape the course of governance.
Interdependence refers to the relation between actors in a planning system and
the conguration of actors and institutions that evolves over time. It is relevant
for actors in strategizing towards their own goals, and in furthering common
goals. At a larger scale, the coupling between function systems adds a layer
of interdependence in governance. The role of planning is co-determined by
the pattern of structural couplings between function systems. If, for example,
politics and law are not fully dierentiated, then resorting to the courts in
case certain political actors break the law in their political strategizing, is not a
useful step. If markets are very free and citizens are seen rst of all as bearers of
property rights, local governance will be less likely to come up with spatial plans
(as new formal institution) to further certain common goods. If local laws are
easily shot down by regional courts, then local governance can develop in the
direction of formal passivity and increasing reliance on informal coordination.
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Goal dependence is dependence on the inuence of shared visions or plans on
changes in the actor/ institution conguration (cf. Van Dijk 2011). It does not
mean that the future determines the present, but rather that certain visions and
expectations of the future, and their presence in the discursive worlds of actors
and the community at large, crystallised in formal and informal institutions,
have real eects. The evolution of actor/ institution congurations in many
communities can hardly be explained without mentioning the inuence of
visions, from concrete plans to the vaguest of hopes. Especially within planning,
where certain vision of the future are formed and translated into policies, these
visions tend to have signicant inuence on the evolution of that planning
system.
The combined eects of these dierent dependencies create rigidities for
the evolution of the planning system. Yet the interplay between the dierent
dependencies also creates exibility. The interdependence between actors in
many cases implies interdependence between organizations, with individuals
representing organizations. Since these organisations are not fully transparent
to each other, there will be a dierence between actual and perceived
interdependence, and between the perceptions of interdependence on dierent
sides. Path dependence is generally even more elusive for the actors themselves,
as it involves images of the past, images that are necessarily constructed in the
present. Many actors will not be aware of structural path dependencies, and if
so, they will, in asserting their autonomy towards them, operate on the basis of
imperfect images of self and past. Actions inspired by interpretations of path
dependency are therefore likely to have unanticipated eects which, in turn,
modify the pattern of path dependence. Regarding goal dependence, one can
say that the unanticipated eects here are most signicant, since one deals
with images of futures that are utterly unknowable. Steering attempts to bring
a particular future closer are, in a systems perspective, bound to hit the wall
of other self-referential systems, opaque and unwilling to be steered. Visions,
plans, policies are likely to have eects insofar as existing actors incorporate
them in their future interactions, yet no event is foreseeable in the present (cf.
Da Landa 2006, Deleuze 1988).
The evolving planning system
Within an EGT perspective a planning system can be conceptualised as an
evolving conguration of actors, institutions and perspectives that coordinates
the practices and policies aecting spatial organisation. A planning system is
embedded in and co-evolves with the conguration found in the wider society.
Within many countries, and in particular those in western-Europe, there is a
widely shared consensus that a certain form of planning, that is a certain form
of spatial coordination, is required in order to deal with socio-environmental
challenges, such as urban and regional development, the conservation of
natural and cultural heritage and the improvement of quality of live (Fischler
1998). The form of coordination can be diverse and includes a wide range of
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concepts, strategies and instruments for analysing and designing intervention.
The toolbox of planning includes scenarios, visions, plans, laws and other legal
institutions, and the people and organisations that can put these into practice.
A society can consider a certain form of planning eective and legitimate
and criticise and delimit other forms. Disappointments with planning, failed
projects, or contested plans might trigger the planning perspectives in a society
to divergence from these in the planning system and require the planning
system to adapt itself to new societal wishes (Hajer and Zonneveld 2000). A
planning system should therefore continuously reect on its positionality in
society, assess its potential and perceived impact and legitimacy, and it should
have the capacity to adapt itself to changing circumstances.
PLANNING PERSPECTIVES IN THE SAFE HAVEN OF DUTCH SOCIAL
DEMOCRACY
>> Planning in the Netherlands has often been framed as a success story. This
framing is rmly rooted in the mythical reputation that has been formed
over the years (e.g. Hajer and Zonneveld 2000, Geurs et al. 2003, Wolsink
2003, Needham 2000, Priemus 1996, Alexander 1988). This success story was
strengthened by narratives about the beautiful and rational order of the Dutch
landscape, the result of large scale lands consolidation projects and the Delta
works, well-coordinated by dierent administrations operating on dier levels
and scales, in close cooperation with research institutes, universities and
advisory bodies. For a long time the dominant discourse of success reduced
the space for alternative stories or dierent description of planning but more
recently there seems to be more fertile ground for these alternatives. Within
Dutch society, facing a nancial crisis and related social problems, planning is
regularly criticised and no longer taken for granted. In this section we present a
few snapshots of dierent domains of the Dutch planning system to analyse the
dominant planning perspective behind the stories of success and its relation to
alternative descriptions. They uncover some of the underlying assumptions of
this perspective and the ways in which these have been reproduced over time.
Urban development
Urban development is one on the domains of Dutch planning that is currently
facing dicult times (Janssen-Jansen 2010). House prices are under pressure,
many housing projects are cancelled or proclaimed a failure, and numerous
municipalities face huge depths because the risky projects in which they got
involved and the unequal distribution of risks and benets in the agreements
that they signed with private parties. The traditional model for local area
development projects was based upon the assumption that public goods could
be funded by the prots made by building and selling houses and oces. Often
the development took place in close cooperation between public organisations
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and project developers. The authorities played a double role in the development
practices. On the one hand they decided on the places where new developments
were allowed, while at the same time they were one of the developing
parties, aiming at a nancial gain from the changes in zoning plans and the
developments that followed. Due to the high prizes for real estate, changing
agricultural land into urban areas was highly protable. So protable that many
actors lost sight on the risks. Over the years it had become common practice
for municipalities to buy (agricultural) lands for urban development. Currently
many municipalities are the owners of empty land of which the value is much
lower that the prize they once paid and do they face high rents on the loans that
they took to pay that prize.
Once renowned for its progressive and innovative approach, it has now
become clear for more players, that the growth-based paradigm, on which
urban development draws, is anything but sustainable. Although the model
has brought prosperity for speculators, developers, consultant, architects,
and building companies, and governments certainly took their part, it also
came with high costs. Many investments are unlikely to produce the expected
prots and someone has to pay for the depths. Not surprisingly various projects
are criticised because of their high costs and because the lack of stakeholder
involvement. Also the landscape paid its share through gradual sprawl and
the rise of oces and business parks in the once so celebrated open areas.
Governments lost their control over this protable money making machine.
The success created many blind spots for which the bill has to be paid by the
generations to come.
The Dutch urban development model has created strong interdependencies
between the actors, and institutional congurations. These are geared towards
particular kinds of public-private cooperation in urban development, with
specic roles for authorities and a limited number of market parties. An
interesting example is the land development department (‘grondbedrijf, in
Dutch) that many municipalities have put in place to facilitate planning and
to enhance value capturing. Furthermore there is a whole sets of laws that are
put in place to strengthen municipalities in their negotiations with developers,
such as the pre-emption right act which should facilitate municipalities in their
role of acquiring land on future building sites and implement their housing
policy (Van Dijk and Beunen 2009). Market parties have co-evolved with this
system and are specied to work in this context. The particular interdependence
between the main actors and the relevant institutions has created a path
dependency that inuences many current debates about the reorganisation
of urban development and reduces the possibilities to develop alternative
approaches. New initiatives, for example, regularly clash with legal rules. Small
entrepreneurs or citizens who like to build their own house face diculties in
obtaining all the required permits. This in return creates frustrations, which
in current times attracts more attention than before, exactly because the old
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‘machine’ stopped running. It creates room for new narratives to be told and
spread, and these in return created tensions between these new perspectives
and the ones institutionalised in the planning system.
‘Krachtwijken’
If we zoom in on the urban areas we nd a related policy domain in which
planning played a prominent role: neighbourhood development. Within this
eld, planning, in the form of social and spatial interventions is considered
an important tool to deal with social problems such as unemployment, crime,
vandalism, littering, and safety. This policy domain has a long tradition (Van der
Woud 2010). We reect on the recent development within this policy domain,
with particular attention for the Action Plan for Empowered Neighbourhoods
(‘Krachtwijken, in Dutch) (VROM 2007). This action plan aimed to improve the
40 most deteriorated neighbourhoods in the Netherlands. These neighbour-
hoods were selected and nancial resources were provided to develop and
implement social and physical interventions. The involvement of various
stakeholders and in particular the local residents, was considered essential for
the success of the policy, as this would allow an area-based approach taking
into account the problems denitions in its specic context. A recent study
that evaluated the eects of the Action Plan by comparing the empowered
neighbourhoods with reference neighbourhoods concluded: ‘the policy did not
have a distinctive positive impact on liveability and social safety’ (Permentier et
al. 2013: 124).
Within the Neighbourhood policy, planning is considered a necessary and
ecient tool to tackle the societal problems that policy makers and their
advisors can dene. There is a strong believe in the fact that the neighbourhoods
and their residents can be known, that problems can be unambiguously
delineated, and that the whole system can be steered into a certain direction
via specic social and spatial interventions. Such knowing, however implicitly
means that the socio-spatial complexity of the neighbourhoods is reduced to
a number of indicators that can be measured. It also assumes a direct relation
between problem denition, the design of solutions and their implementation.
This is reected not only in the way the policy is formulated, but also in the
way it is evaluated. The evaluation is based upon statistical analysis assuming
a linear correlation between policy and social indicators. Such approach tends
to ignore that a statistical relationship is not the same as causality. Although it
might indicate that certain things have changed in the particular neighbours, it
lacks insight in the actual complexity of the interrelations between policy and
social indicators.
This example shows that and how the institutionalisation of a planning
perspective that systematically overestimates the possibilities to know social
environments and to steer these into a certain direction, hampers analysis and
implementation. New initiatives are framed and evaluated from this dominant
planning perspective. The case highlights an important aspect of the Dutch
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planning perspective: a strong focus on measurability, checks and balances, and
means to control, which in return create frustration amongst some of the actors
that observed many of the expectations and promises were not met. Here too
strong interdependencies between actors and between actors and institutions
maintain a system in which the perspective embedded in certain organisations
largely inuences what others can do and how their eorts will be perceived and
evaluated. In addition a strong goal dependence, the ideal of a safe and social
neighbourhood, obscures socio-spatial analysis and the understanding of the
actual situation and therewith the search for suitable approaches (Cf. Easterly).
Nature conservation
Nature conservation is another Dutch policy domain in which planning and its
dominant perspective is rmly embedded. Planning became relevant in the late
eighties of the previous century when the focus of nature conservation policies
shifted from a protective towards a more oensive approach. The national policy
document from 1990 consolidated this shift. The main objective of this policy
was the realisation of an ecological network (EHS) by enlarging existing areas,
creating new nature areas and linking them through ecological corridors. The
policy document presents large-scale spatial transformations that demanded a
certain form of planning in which dierent goals and their spatial impacts were
integrated.
The ambition for nature development was picked up by numerous actors
who started to design new nature areas and ecological corridors (Beunen and
Hagens 2009). It was embedded in various plans and policy documents at
dierent levels. Many of these plans had a comprehensive character and took
into account the relation with dierent policy objectives and other land us
activities (Beunen en Van Ark). Well-known examples are the integration of
ood protection measures, sand and clay extraction, nature conservation, and
tourism in comprehensive plans for the development of ood plains. Over the
years the policy domain attracted more and more criticism for its top-down
and technocratic approach, the lack of stakeholder involvement, and the high
costs of buying, developing and managing nature areas (Rientjes 2002, Aarts
1998). More recently the implementation of the EU Birds and Habitats directives
reinforced tensions between the dierent stakeholders and many of the critics
that were presented earlier on (Beunen et al. 2013b).
In the eld of nature conservation various path, inter, and goal dependencies
can be observed. Path dependence is visible in the strong position of certain
players that refuse to give up their position, the on-going inuence of their
perspective and the way this inuences decision-making processes and the use
of certain approaches. It is for example visible in participatory processes, in
which the inuence of certain stakeholders is limited because their perspective
is too dierent from the perspective of the main organisations working on
nature conservation. This creates frustration with the process and the wider
policy and reduced the possibilities to nd solutions. In a more general sense,
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the strong focus on conservation objectives and targets can be seen as a goal
dependency that in many debates frustrate the introduction of other concepts
and uses of nature.
Co-evolving and conflicting perspectives
The presented snapshots indicate that much of the critics that planning is
facing, relates to conicting planning perspectives and approaches. Within
society the eectiveness and legitimacy of traditional planning approaches and
the perspectives upon which these are based, are regularly questioned. These
perspectives, however are strongly embedded in organisations and institutions,
and therewith form strong dependencies which limit the adaptation of the
planning system to the changing environment. Many of the critics have been
presented in policy documents, scientic articles and in popular media. They
illustrate the growing dissatisfaction with the way planning is currently
organised. A growing number of people consider the planning system to be
ineective, inexible, and very costly. These critics strongly relate to dominant
expectations and assumptions that are embedded in the planning perspective
that is strongly institutionalised in the Netherlands:
· Planning in the Netherlands is generally taken for granted. The need for
planning is rarely questioned. Over the years and in response to societal
changes more planning was needed, better planning, a dierent planning,
but rarely less planning or less involvement of planners.
· Planning is based on a strong belief in the steering capacities of the state.
Failed policies and plans and unwanted spatial developments have rarely
been related to the functioning of the planning system, but mostly attributed
to other factors. Despite the more recent disappointments in the planning
system, this believe is still present in many of the planning organisations.
· The role of the planner within this perspective was a clearly delineated one.
Planners were seen as persons able to understand the problem, integrate
perspectives and provide the best solution.
· The former expectations and assumption are strongly linked to a modernist
belief in a scientically prescribed ideal spatial organization that still
pervades both government and academia. This ideal inspires the thought
that deviation from the present system, which is supposed to bring us as
close as possible to that organization, can only bring chaos.
These assumptions are often still silently present in policies and practices.
Recently these have become more overt, due to a series of critiques and the
reduced availability of nancial resources, showing the limitation of a planning
model largely based on (economic) growth. Due to these developments the
success stories scientist no longer easily upholds the dominant planning
perspective (Van Assche et al. 2012). Dutch television programs like ‘Landroof,
‘Tegenlicht’ and ‘De slag om Nederland, and newspaper articles put forward
another perspective. They present stories of unwanted developments
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relentlessly lobbied by obstinate politicians, or on many cases of failed projects,
and nancial problems.
In addition to these critics, it has become clear that upholding an extensive
planning system costs a lot of money, including fees for consultants,
assessments reports, and processes costs that are made to lubricate decision-
making. In the Netherlands the price of land and homes has been increased by
the scarcity created by the planning system (Tijdelijke Commissie Huizenprijzen
2013), while signals that too much is being built are not felt quickly enough.
Moreover, the access to land by potential homeowners and by small
construction companies is extremely limited, reducing market competition,
product diversity and democratic controls.
In the international academic literature, planning perspectives, including
the dominant Dutch perspective, were already critiqued earlier on. The
legitimacy of planning and planners was questioned, their power and the role
of their expertise, escaping democratic control (Gunder 2010). Also the limits
of steering and control, and the lack of realism in policies and plans were
highlighted back in the sixties and seventies (Friedmann 1973, Wildavsky 1979,
Boyce 1963, Jacobs 1961). The grand narratives of planners were criticized for
their claims to a single truth, the possibilities of a rational planning and the
veiling of the political and normative character of politics and planning (Scott
1998). In line with these critics, the dominant Dutch planning perspective has
been criticized for its lack of democratic legitimacy. One could think of the
limited role citizens and civil society’s wishes played, the importance given
to scientic expertise and thereby depoliticising planning practice. Also the
‘rational’ geometry, the repetitive aesthetics of many post-war developments
that were imposed upon residents, and the relatively high costs of the planning
system, compared to neighbouring countries, were questioned (Van Assche
2004). In addition management studies showed that steering power have been
systematically overestimated, with a lack of reexive insight in power relations
as one of the main reasons (Seidl 2005, Czarniawska-Joerges 2008). The idea
that planners can know, either in advance or during the process, what is good for
a community or what is the best procedure to get there is a trace of a modernist
conguration of power. A conguration whereby planners silently take the role
of the king, the position that enables overview, a unied perspective that can
dene the place of everything (Pottage 2004, Luhmann 1990, Scott 1998).
A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT AND SELF-REFERENTIAL RESPONSES
>> Despite the critical literatures, already emerging in the sixties and seventies
of the last century, the dominant planning perspective got widely institutionalised
in public and private planning organisations, policies, procedures and formal
and informal institutions. This institutionalisation certainly had its advantages
for the planning system. The repeated performances of success made the
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planning system more successful in terms of capital ows and numbers and
sizes of organisations and in possibilities to guide spatial transformations
(cf. Rap 2006). Faced with a rapidly changing socio-economic environment
this stabilisation does however possess several disadvantages. This section
elaborates on some underlying assumptions and power relations in the
dominant planning perspective that hamper adaptation of the planning system.
No urgency
Luhmanns famous assertion is that planning is only possible if people are used
to being planned (Luhmann 1997: 41). He might have had the Netherlands in
mind when he wrote this. The notion of social democratic planning, planning
and development by the government for the citizens, was widely accepted for
most of the post war period. It was generally accepted that there was a housing
shortage, that the wet conditions of much of the country were dicult for
development, and that substantial government coordination, steering and
control were necessary for rapid, yet safe and balanced development (Van
Assche et al. 2012). With this, came a deep belief in the power of experts, and
the necessity of the chosen system of organization (cf. Fischer 2000). Even
among those critical of the government and its planning procedures, the belief
that things could be organized dierently, that e.g. quota for public green
space, parking space and retail might deserve rethinking, was not widely held
(Van Assche 2004). This acceptance of the success story in academic circles
and beyond became codied, naturalised and a reinforced within the planning
system. It became therefore increasing dicult to observe that both spatial
organization and the governance system aecting spatial organization are
contingent, could have been organized dierently. The fact that planning
increasingly was taken for granted is, we believe, one of the major obstacles for
the planning system to adapt to the changing environment.
Reduced spaces for learning
The organisations that constitute the Dutch planning system consist of
governmental organisations, consultants and engineering companies, advisory
boards, universities and other often more applied research centres. In the post
war period the symbiosis between planning organizations, academia and private
actors increased. This symbiosis was, and still is, visible in funding streams
for research, in which relevant topics and questions are framed in terms of the
current system. Academics are praised for their close relations with government
and private rms, a relation that is framed as knowing the ‘real’ world of current
practice (Duineveld 2008). As a consequence the roles of various actors become
blurred and the dierences between their perspectives are reduced.
For EGT, dierences in perspective generate productive conict, checks and
balances, and the promise of rened adjustment to changing circumstances. In
other words the presence of dierent perspectives in the environment of a social
system can trigger the existing perspective in that social system and therewith
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foster new reections, learning and adaptation to the environment. Close ties
between organisations and a strong convergence of perspectives and interests
jeopardizes this adaptive capacity. It makes the planning system more rigid in
its observations and responses. In the evolution of the Dutch planning system,
the semantics gradually emerged as shared conceptual frames, enabling the
closeness of the actors, tting the shared social democratic and technocratic
ideology. Once the internally shared narrative on Dutch planning had emerged,
it had to be presented as a success, because of its interwoven assumptions.
The performance of success could be successful because of the tightly coupled
network of organizations that all shared the same perspective. At the same time
however, internal critiques, corrections, and competition were reduced, and
therewith the spaces for learning, for introducing new perspectives.
Fear of conflict
The famous tradition of ‘polderen, the tradition to include ‘all’ players in
a conversation and nd a consensus, can be seen as enforcing some of the
problems mentioned before. While one cannot generalize and claim that
consensus is bad, it becomes problematic when one assumes that it is always
possible, that consensus is good, and conict bad. In many cases, consensus
is in fact a compromise, and not all parties are behind it. In addition, much
consensus is reached via deliberations with representatives of public and private
organisations. The players around the table in the Dutch planning system
are often the same ones, and while in some cases they represent society well,
in other cases this is much less so. The value of dierence in perspective, of
testing dierences, and nding something new, is often not recognised in this
approach. If the same players assume that they have to avoid conict and come
up with a consensus solution, this also tends to pressure the experts, including
scientists, who can advise the planners or the collective of decision makers.
It reinforces existing tendencies in some disciplines to see themselves as the
objective answer to social problems, and makes it more dicult for science to
actually change things. Indeed, new or simply dierent scientic perspectives
are likely to be excluded if these do not legitimise an existing system of spatial
ordering or the consensus that has been reached.
Thus, the fear of conict can be linked to a fear of dierence both in science and
in administration, and the two fears reinforce each other. In an evolutionary
governance perspective, this fear makes it harder to adapt to changing
circumstances. If conict is avoided, it will simmer and explode later, or it
will be suppressed and governance will reproduce an order of things that
is less and less an answer to issues as seen in society. Good administration
allows dierence and conict to arise in politics, yet is able to manage it, so
it doesn’t spill over and create chaos. The dierent positions in governance
ought to become visible before an assessment can be made about public goods.
An obsession with consensus, within a decision making environment that is
desensitised and too narrowly dened, renders the power of dierence null and
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void and contributes to the maintenance of a bureaucratic worldview that sees
itself as fair, scientic and ecient, while in many cases it is not (Frissen 2007).
Seeing ‘participation’ as the solution of these issues can also not considered
being wrong as such, but the devil is in the details (Van Assche et al. 2011b).
Participation can go wrong in roughly two ways. It can undermine the
mechanisms and benets of representation, which slowly evolved over several
centuries. Society cannot be based only participation, simply because it is there
are too many people and too diverse interests involved (Held 1996). Secondly,
government can dene participation, and either manipulate or unwittingly
reproduce existing relations of power, congurations of power/knowledge,
routines, concepts, by means of the design of the process of participation. Some
new actors can be brought in but without real impact, or old actors can suddenly
‘participate, now in front of the screen instead of behind (Turnhout et al. 2010).
Or, new actors can be brought in to legitimise in a new way what has been
done before (Van Assche et al. 2011. If one furthermore combines ineective
participation with fear of conict and dierence, one can see that it will not
easily lead to a substantial adaptation of the planning system.
The evolving perspective
The Dutch planning system co-evolved with society by continuously looking
for alternative approaches to coordinate practices and policies, but the ideals
of social engineering were never left. In line with the rise of neo-liberal ideals
and pleas for more inclusive forms of democracy, planning responsibilities
were devolved to lower tiers of the government and private companies and
stakeholders and residents became involved in the processes. This also implied
that the form of planning changed, with less emphasise on guidance and more
on mechanisms of control (Van Ark 2005). The importance of visions and plans
was reduced and legal tools for coordination became more important (see for
example Beunen and Van Assche 2013).
Within the congurations of power/ knowledge and actors/institutions that
shape the Dutch planning system, a certain form of market, with specic links
to politics, law and science, evolved. When neoliberal discourse became more
prominent, this ‘market’, that was given more power, had little to do with the
markets for land and housing that could be observed in other countries (Assche
and Leinfelder 2008). The result is a typical Dutch planning system in which
government and markets are strongly interwoven. New roles, rules and power/
knowledge congurations had to evolve out of the existing ones and the market
players that took advantage of the new wind in policy were the ones that thrived
in the earlier constellation. Thus, building ones own house is still nearly
impossible, and small constructors have no chance. Even small engineering,
consultancy and design rms have little chance in the ‘fair’ competition that
has been shaped by a century of co- evolution of a limited set of actors. The
gorillas that were fed and grown out of proportion by the zookeeper do not
fairly compete with the little monkeys next door once the zookeeper leaves.
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The simultaneity of neoliberal and social engineering discourse with many
government actors adds to the attraction of this situation: most actors prefer to
work with a small set of players they know, who know ‘how things are supposed
to work’, and many of the older players do not mind incorporating some newly
dened public goods in their strategies, if the responsible authorities also
maintain the scarcity, reduce competition and keep prices high.
THAT WHICH WE CALL PLANNING, BY ANY OTHER NAME,
WOULD SMELL AS SWEET
>> In this contribution we introduced Evolutionary Governance Theory (EGT)
as a framework to reect on the adaptive capacity of the Dutch planning system.
Enhancing this adaptive capacity and thus triggering and directing changes,
are challenges that have to be workout on dierent levels within planning
organisations, universities, research centre, politics, law and society at large.
Taken into account the path, inter and goal dependencies that direct, enable and
limit the on-going change of planning system and its planning perspectives,
any kind of recommendation could easily be side-lined as an ignorant attempt
to overcome the many constraints for adaptation as presented in this chapter.
We partly agree, but would like to argue that the recent crisis presents a perfect
moment to rethink the planning system. The strong position of planning in
the Netherlands is eroding and alternative perspectives are likely to gain more
attention and inuence. Furthermore we will embed our recommendations
in a reection on the context in which they are supposed to land. Change and
evolution are part of this context. The role of planning in society, the roles of
particular actors and institutions, and the role of certain forms of knowledge
will change. Reexive governance can build on a thorough understanding of
these changes. Therefore we started with an analysis of the dominant planning
perspective and its underlying assumptions.
The analysis in this chapter shows the institutionalisation of a dominant
planning perspective, which systematically overestimates the possibilities of
steering. This institutionalisation is reinforced by repeating performances of
success, which have strengthened the rigidities in the planning system (Van
Assche et al. 2012). These rigidities partly explain the diculties the Dutch
planning system faces in adapting to a changing socio-political environment
in which other perspectives on planning are becoming more important. The
self-referential reections of the planning system obstruct a thorough self-
analysis of the possibilities and limits of planning in dierent forms. This is
partly maintained by the interdependencies in the system, such as the strong
links between politics, administration, and academia, and partly by the path
dependencies, like the institutionalisation of specic underlying planning
assumptions in academic and professional networks. It is the combined eects
of these dependencies that hampers the inclusion of other perspectives, the
evolvement of existing ones and a revitalisation of the planning system.
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The recurring modernist ideologies underlying planning tend to install
overoptimistic expectations about the possibilities for science to understand
socio-ecological systems, dene problems, and design and implement solutions
(Duineveld et al. 2009, Scott 1998). As a consequence contemporary planning
organisations, procedures, policies, plans, and practices are often strongly based
upon the idea that they can be used to steer and control spatial developments.
We agree with Rip (2006: 88) that ‘the notion of ‘steering’, with its implication
of an agent faced with an ‘object’ to be steered, is of course misleading since
the steering agent is part of an evolving system, including the ‘object’ and
himself. ‘Steering’ and ‘implementation’ look dierent from an evolutionary
perspective. Indeed, actions can have eects that are predictable to a certain
degree, but an interpretation of eects as results of steering remains just that:
an interpretation (Luhmann 1990, 1995).
Adopting a non-linear perspective would imply more modest expectations
about steering. Steering should be seen in the context of co-evolving social
systems. Each social system is self-referential and steering is therefore always
self-steering. ‘For causal analysis, self-reference is an explosive. Social systems
are unpredictable, an output once observed for a given input will most likely
not be the same for the same input later’ (Paterson and Teubner 2005: 4).
Thinking about planning in terms of complexity and non-linearity should
start from a sustained reection on path dependencies and interdependencies
in and between function systems and organizations. These reections can
be used to search for spaces and times when interventions are more likely to
gain eect. Such reections require a theoretical framework that can grasp
the complexity and unpredictability of everyday practices of planning and
analyse the continuous dynamics of the planning systems, its structures and its
elements. This could be read as a warning against theories and approaches that
oversimplify reality and reduce planning practices to a number of variables that
can be measured and controlled (Voß and Bornemann 2011; Scott 1998; Jacobs
1961).
Certainly such perspective on steering does not imply that planning would
become dispensable. On the contrary, history has shown that attempts to
plan do sort eects and that planned intervention have in many cases solved
social and environmental problems and brought dreamed for worlds closer to
reality. History has also shown that ideas about the best spatial organisation
change and that goals change while working on them. In terms of planning
this means that although planners still can work on plans, there should be
awareness about the dynamic character of the ideals and ideas upon which
these plans are based. Once made, these plans, as well as their underlying
ideals have the power to inuence the course of governance in various and
puzzling ways. They can create new goal and path dependencies, shaping
new perspectives, interactions, and strategies. Thinking about the impacts
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of plans in terms of goal dependencies, rather than in terms of conformity
(or impact) can help re-locating the inuence of planners and plans in the
present of governance. That present is always co-determined by other actors
and institutions, in interdependence, and it is shaped by legacies from the past
of various sorts. The success of Dutch planning in the past has led to an overly
strong and comfortable focus on the future, which was assumed to be knowable
and changeable to an extent not truly investigated, and to a past and present
which were similarly understudied, so their constraining and enabling eects
on planning were not fully grasped. So, when society changes, these changes
are not incorporated easily into the planning system, and dependencies that
once produced appreciated and implementable plans, start to produce less
appreciated and unimplementable ones. The eects of constructed futures in
the present have become dierent, but there is no form of reexivity, which
makes this visible, and makes adaptation possible.
Education plays an important role in the construction and reconstruction of
dominant planning perspectives and the emergence of new ones. Adaptation of
the planning system should therefore also include a revitalisation of planning
education programmes. If educational programs remain strongly focused on,
and embedded in, ideals about steering and engineering it will be much more
dicult to rejuvenate the planning system. If students will be trained to follow
linear planning procedures, supposed to lead to perfect plans and policies, they
probably will draw on these ideas once they work as practitioners. Students
should learn what planning implies if it is seen from a non-linear perspectives,
taking into account uncertainties and complexity. Reexivity, a deeper and
more systematic self-reection, a reection on the disciplines, their teaching,
and on the role of planners and designers in society, is therefore considered
an crucial academic skill that needs to be educated and trained (Beunen et al.
2013a). Reexive practitioners, putting forward new understandings and new
perspectives can be a vital source for adaptation.
Therefore we like to end with a list of ten changes we believe, once implemented
will make the planning system less rigid and more adaptive. Some
recommendations will necessarily be more abstract, others more concrete:
1 Rethink the academic discipline planning. To become more applied, more
useful for society in the long run, the discipline needs to become less applied
and more reexive and analytical. This would allow the discipline to produce
new perspectives that can be introduced in the planning system and might
strengthen it adaptive capacity.
2 Include and accept disciplines and groups like anthropologists, geographers,
journalists artists and entrepreneurs to reect on the Dutch planning system
and the many planning practices. Don’t just observe planning from the
dominant planning perspective.
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3 To prevent rigidities, in the form of dominant discourses on what planning
is and should be, it is important to become aware of the contingent nature
of the ‘true’ meaning of planning. Accept that things always could have
been dierent and that they might be dierent in the future. Once this
is understood and accepted, one can allow dierent views, dierent
perspectives to impact planning.
4 Planning is a means, a form of spatial coordination that can be eective
and bring forward something good. But one has to recognize that other
forms of spatial coordination are possible. Planning might emerge without
the label planning. That however, should not lead us to abandon the project
of planning; it is just that some of the assumptions regarding the power
of planning and planners are metamorphosed remnants of a modernist
ideology.
5 Accept that the life of organisations should be subject to the planning
system not the other way around. Reform or, if necessary, get rid of the
planning organisations and research centres that are no longer required in a
planning system that embraces the notions of complexity and non-linearity.
6 Besides planners many other actors, individuals and organisations, aect
spatial organisation. Make these more explicit and include them in the
planning system and its embedded perspective. There are all kinds of actors
performing roles that have traditionally been ascribed to planners or
designers. Many of these actors are not recognised as planners and designers,
yet they plan, they design, and they mould landscapes. A reection on how
the roles of planning in society have evolved over the last few decades could
bring to the fore many other existing and possible roles that remained
unnoticed within the dominate planning perspective. Think of art school
students working on temporally roof top gardens, citizens taking care of
their back yard, cultural heritage or health care. Think of civil servants
who dare to think beyond the normalised and juridical reproduction of
restrictions.
7 Creativity, exibility, and diversity are pre-requirements for adaptation
and innovation. Avoid the pitfalls of tight delineations of roles. Strong
role expectations delimit the possibilities for the reection on and
transformation of roles. Unwanted rigidities can be created if too much
emphasis is given to core-curricula or professional registers.
8 Try to untie the strong links between government, companies and scientists
that are created via funding constructions and innovation policies. Most of
these strongly restrict innovation since they reduce the space for diverging
perspectives. Provide scientist with space for critical reections and allow
planning practitioners the option not take the advises of scientist into
account. Leave aside the idea the science can legitimatise planning
decisions; planning decisions, in whatever form, will always be politics, not
science.
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... Ref. [1]) they tend to be descriptive in nature and do not address the relationship of land with marine legislation and vice versa, or how to overcome mismatches in the scales of different pieces of legislation [2]. Evolutionary Governance Theory (EGT) has been deployed to analyse how elements of governance are subject not only to evolution but also how these elements co-evolve over time [3,4]. EGT understands governance as radically evolutionary: all elements of governance are subject to evolution, all these elements and their dependencies co-evolve, and many of them are the product of governance itself [3]. ...
... Goal dependence is dependence on the influence of shared visions or plans on changes in the actor/institution configuration. The combined effects of these different dependencies create rigidities for the evolution of the planning system, however the interplay between the different dependencies also creates flexibility [4]. This EGT framework provides a greater understanding of how organisations, perspectives and institutions are continuously changing in relation to each other. ...
Article
The coastal zone is a locus where many activities of society intersect with natural processes that shape the coastal zone and the resource base available. In the EU, regional legislation exists to specifically manage the coastal and inshore marine space and resources (e.g. Marine Strategy Framework Directive) whilst policy areas such as land-use planning, property rights and key aspects of consenting processes remain under the authority of Member States. Interactions exist between these different policy drivers at multiple scales, but the overall landscape is characterised by tensions or weak links between drivers originating from the EU and national priorities leading to a complex, non-linear and confusing policyscape. This paper reviews how legislation, and implementing organisations, in Ireland have evolved in the context of EU environmental perspectives that have progressed from conservation-centric to addressing modern day challenges such as regional development for Blue Growth and aspirations of international agreements (e.g. Convention on Biological Diversity, UN Agenda 2030). Through an analysis employing principles of Evolutionary Governance Theory, the way different governance institutions have co-evolved to understand how dependencies between current actors and objectives influence each other is examined. The study explores appropriate governance approaches to land-sea interactions utilising examples from implementation of the EU Maritime Spatial Planning Directive in selected EU Member States, and how they take land-sea interactions into account. This is contrasted with examples from other EU legislation and policies such as those relating to river basin management, the marine environment, and integrated coastal management. The paper concludes with tentative recommendations on how policies addressing land-sea interactions need to evolve to better deliver on global policy drivers.
... Complexity and ambiguity are new key-concepts and therewith comes a recognition of the limitations of planning and design to solve societal issues and a more modest position for the experts (Van Assche & Verschraegen, 2008b;Fischer, 2009). In this article we therefore present education as an important means to raise a new generation of landscape architects, urbanists, environmentalist, spatial planners and developers that is well prepared to face contemporary societal issues often characterized by ambiguity, uncertainty and complexity ({De Roo, 2012 #3493};Beunen et al., 2016). Drawing on the poststructuralists and systems theory, we introduced the concept of reflexivity as the skill and attitude to reflect on personal action and thought and on the position of planning and design within society, as well as on current and potential roles of planners and architects in a given configuration of the function systems. ...
Article
Integrated, participatory forms of marine governance can form a basis of stakeholder support on which to base increasingly complex marine planning efforts, in the EU and beyond. Yet such stakeholder support is often the product of a constellation of external factors at the local, national and international level as well as of the internal organisation of a given interest group. This paper presents a qualitative study of an outlier case, examining the question why the Dutch fisheries sector was the only involved interest group which was unable to give its full support to the 2020 North Sea Accord. Through in-depth, semi-structured interviews with participants in the Dutch North Sea Accord negotiation, ratification and implementation process as well as with representatives of local fisheries organisations, the authors identified crucial factors which contributed to the division within the sector over the ratification of the Accord. Such factors include perceived inconsistencies in the double closure to conventional fisheries of both wind parks and marine protected areas, disagreements over the practical aspects of the transition fund and the decommissioning scheme, and varying degrees in which Brexit influenced local fisheries organisations. More fundamentally, a parallel, equally multileveled division within the Dutch fisheries sector over the desirability of participatory marine governance at the national level was identified. Such findings demonstrate the importance of understanding not just a given (marine) policymaking process, but also participants therein, in their own multileveled context, in order to explain a particular policy outcome or functioning of a given marine governance structure.
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Integrating non-profit organizations (NPOs) and the services they provide into development planning highlights an aspect of government–NPOs relationship that frames NPOs as drivers of development. In South Africa, even though NPOs are typically regarded as private owned organizations, the nature of the services they provide in various policy fields has implications for socio-economic development. However, the development planning process is currently, more public and business sector oriented. Using a qualitative research approach, the findings suggest that non-profit services can be integrated into development planning through the processes of Reality Adjustment, Strategic Engagement, Sector Mapping and Pro-activism.
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The current Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) combines sectoral elements and territorial development features at the local level based on the decentralised and participatory management of part of its funds, the intention of which is to accommodate the proposals articulated by the fisheries communities themselves. This study critically examines the specificities of territorial governance in EU coastal areas, focusing on the case study of the Fishery Local Action Groups (FLAGs) established in Ireland and Spain as new instruments for the application of sustainable development of fisheries areas. The role of FLAGs has been fundamental in the construction and evolution of new fishing areas, and has depended mainly on the territorial system in which they carry out their activities and on the characteristics of the governance model into which they are inserted. Following the approach of the Evolutionary Governance Theory, it is observed how the FLAG framework in each community follows different pathways and generates different effects, even when the political discourse and sectoral planning pursue similar objectives.
Book
The dramatic changes in land use observed in Europe in the last fifty years have generally resulted in improvement of human welfare and economic development. On the other hand, they have caused serious environmental problems. There is therefore a need for approaches that help to understand in an integrative way the economic, environmental and societal impacts that land use changes have on sustainability. Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA), which assesses the impact of policies on sustainability, addresses this challenge. SIA partly builds on the concept of the multifunctionality of land which helps to deal with the complexity of interactions between different land uses, their temporal and spatial changes, and finally how policies might steer those changes towards sustainability. Following this need for true integration of economic, environmental and societal issues across policy areas at a meaningful spatial scale, an nterdisciplinary team in the SENSOR project has developed an innovative conceptual framework to assess the impact of policies on land sustainability at various levels of spatial aggregation i.e. the Land Use Functions (LUFs) framework. LUFs are the goods and services provided by the different land uses that summarise the most relevant economic, environmental and societal issues of a region. The LUFs framework integrates the changes observed in a large set of impact indicators into nine Land Use Functions (LUFs), which are balanced among the three pillars of sustainability. The LUFs framework makes it possible for policy makers, scientists and stakeholders to identify at a glance those functions of the land which are hindered or enhanced under various scenarios of land use change, and makes it possible to explore the trade-offs between them. The LUFs framework allows therefore the building of assessment across disciplines, sectors and the three sustainability dimensions. It has proved to be very helpful for the systematisation of relevant sustainability indicators within SENSOR and is intended to be further used in other projects as a tool for Sustainability Impact Assessment. The rationale leading to the LUFs concept, its definition and the conceptual framework is described in this chapter. We conclude that the concept of LUFs allows users to make explicit the analytical links between multifunctional land use and sustainable development, and therefore to look at multifunctionality as a way towards sustainability.
Book
One of the foremost experts in public policy here attempts not only to describe what public policy is, but given societal changes in the last two decades, to account for its present status.To learn from the past in order to establish public policy as a discipline in its own right, Wildavsky traces its motifs from their beginnings in the 1960s to the 1980s. Starting from the premise that there has been growing polarization of political elites, he shows how public policy as a field has had to face increased politicization. For Wildavsky, the field of public policy needs to incorporate more awareness of the human aspects of policy making: he emphasizes the political choices to be made in a competitive environment and the social relations that sustain them.When the first specialist schools devoted solely to public policy came into existence in the 1960s, the programs of the Great Society were their main impetus. With the disillusionment and failure of the Great Society, the identity of public policy became transformed. New theoretical issues had to be addressed. In this volume, Wildavsky provides a foundation for the theory no less than the practice of policy-making.Aaron Wildavsky is professor of political science, University of California, Berkeley. He founded the School of Public Policy there, and is presently its Director. He was formerly Director of the Russell Sage Foundation. He was the President if the American Political Science Association for the years 1986-1987. © 1987 by Taylor & Francis and 1979 by Aaron Wildavsky. All rights reserved.
Book
'The empirical data and analysis is rich and well-written and so is the policy section. . . the book provides a valuable addition to the literature of regional clusters and should be included as a must-read for those involved not only in research, but also in policy-making on regional clusters.'- Jukka Teräs, Regional Studies. © Dirk Fornahl, Sebastian Henn and Max-Peter Menzel 2010. All rights reserved.
Article
In the 1980s, advances in the passivation of both cell surfaces led to the first crystalline silicon solar cells with conversion efficiencies above 20%. With today's industry trend towards thinner wafers and higher cell efficiency, the passivation of the front and rear surfaces is now also becoming vitally important for commercial silicon cells. This paper presents a review of the surface passivation methods used since the 1970s, both on laboratory-type as well as industrial cells. Given the trend towards lower-cost (but also lower-quality) Si materials such as block-cast multicrystalline Si, ribbon Si or thin-film polycrystalline Si, the most promising surface passivation methods identified to date are the fabrication of a p–n junction and the subsequent passivation of the resulting silicon surface with plasma silicon nitride as this material, besides reducing surface recombination and reflection losses, additionally provides a very efficient passivation of bulk defects. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.