Global Course

Spatial Planning & Institutional Design

Lecture 5

Theoretical perspective: Understanding spatial planning from a political economy perspective

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This lecture examines how the definition and management of the historic environment is the product of a particular set of institutional forms and relationships. These encompass, for example, laws and policies but in practical terms the influences on outcomes are much wider and vary across tome and space. Also important are, for example, the actors involved in managing the historic environment and their embedded practices and shared narratives. Equally, the management of the historic environment has been increasingly seen not purely as a cultural good and is expected to help achieve other economic and social goals. 

The British system for conservation-planning has a long history of incremental development. It is, relative to other countries, very extensive and relatively flexible. It is inadequately resourced and these resources are declining. Over time, it has become increasingly attached to other policy goals and, to some degree, it has become normalised that management objectives are economic as much as cultural. 

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