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The first lecture of the Global Course: Institutional Design and Spatial Planning will set the scene for the rest of the course. What is the overall structure of the course? Which theoretical
approaches to institutional design are central in the weeks to come? During this course, institutional arrangements of planning in the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, China and the Netherlands are compared. In this first lecture, it will be sketched out on the basis of which dimensions this comparison will be made throughout the course.
Spatial planning is traditionally mostly concerned with spatial design. However, institutional design takes an increasingly dominant place in our discipline nowadays. In short, institutional design matters for planners in two ways: First, it is the context for spatial interventions. Second, we might need to change institutions in order to achieve particular spatial goals.
During the first lecture institutional design will be defined using the conceptual framework of Elinor Ostrom. She defines the action situation for institutional design as based on (1) resources brought by actors, (2) valuations of the world and actions, (3) knowledge contingencies and information, (4) processes that actors use for action.
Finally, it will be discussed how institutional design is associated with issues of power. Who profits from certain institutional arrangements? And why do they remain stable over time or change? Sociological, historical, economic and political takes on institutional design will be touched upon the set the scene for the lectures in the weeks to come.