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Here you can find all articles published during 2008.

Refereed articles


Cognitive mapping of public space: Causal assumptions and core values among Nordic city planner (#32)

Tomas Hellström



18pp (Refereed Articles, September 2008, no 32)

Hellström, T. (2008). Cognitive mapping of public space: Causal assumptions and core values among Nordic city planners, European Journal of Spatial Development, 32


Mobility as Stress Regulation: A Challenge to Dialogue in Planning? (#31)

Tore Sager


Most people consider both conflict and negotiation to be unpleasant experiences. It is particularly stressful to try to reason with others who do not share one’s values and who therefore might appear unreasonable. Those who are habitually involved in this type of long-lasting dialogue which includes building consensus and trying to understand and respect other ways of thinking, are likely to experience mental strain. People in conflict ridden communities would thus have a motive to look for stress-reducing strategies, such as ‘voting with their feet’ or other forms of physical distance regulation. The more mobility that a society offers, the more likely such strategies for keeping stress at a tolerable level would tend to be used. However, the tenets of discourse ethics require compresence when dealing with tensions in troubled communities. Furthermore, communicative planning benefits from place attachment and social inclusion, some similitude of preferences, and strong commitment to one’s home community. These are characteristics that might wither as a result of frequent travels away from home. As such, hyper-mobility may potentially be seen as a challenge to communicative planning and deliberation in a pluralistic society.

31pp (Refereed Articles, September 2008, no 31)

Sager, T. (2008). Mobility as Stress Regulation: A Challenge to Dialogue in Planning? European Journal of Spatial Development, 31


Rural response to urban-biased land use policy - New bottom-up planning strategies in Norway (#30)

Eva Falleth & Hege Hofstad


Many rural councils are in favour of dispersed low density housing as it takes advantage of a country location. They are likely however to increasingly come into conflict with the planning system and with governmental planning policies which favour a planned and dense development. We discuss the degree to which six rural councils on the urban edge have developed dispersed housing as a strategy and how this is addressed in their planning. Five of them have strategies for dispersed housing and used local planning as a means of realizing this goal. Nevertheless, only two had proactive plans to address this strategy. Despite governmental policy to ban dispersed housing, such areas are identified in negotiations between local and regional authorities who then subvert institutional barriers. We conclude that while central planning policy does not seem to constrain dispersed housing, local planning does. Local authorities do however set limits on dispersed housing through sector interests.

17pp (Refereed Articles, August 2008, no 30)

Falleth, E. & Hofstad H. (2008). Rural Response to Urban-biased Land use Policy - New Bottom-up Planning Strategies in Norway, European Journal of Spatial Development, 30


Implementation of the Habitat-agenda - residents' interest and actions in citizen-participation processes – a comparison of residential areas in Sweden and Russia (#29)

Madeleine Granvik, Per G. Berg & Ulla Berglund


Within the politics of sustainable development citizens are expected to play an active and direct role in the implementation process. The potential for citizens to actually assume this role remains, however, unclear. This paper explores the prerequisites for citizen participation in accordance with the UN document the Habitat-agenda. In the paper we discuss the actual requirements for democratic participation in local urban communities, emphasising the level of the individual, in both the Swedish and the Russian context. Do residents have the interest, time and will to work as local actors toward sustainable habitation? Is there a difference in collective action in Swedish and the Russian residential areas? This has been studied in the context of four cases: the small-house area Kungsgärdet and the multi-family house area Gottsunda in Sweden, and the small-house area Perevalka and multi-family house area Drjevlanka in Russia. The results indicate that the conditions cannot be considered optimal in any of the cases, as local participation is generally not prioritised by the citizens. Some differences emerged in terms of attitudes concerning general participation in local matters between the four residential areas, though a clear exception here was the question of citizen participation in actual planning or implementation processes, which afforded relatively similar results in all four cases. Few people actively participated or wanted to participate. In one of the Russian areas, however, a few of the respondents expressed an interest in participating for change in the area, which is the first prerequisite for implementing the Habitat agenda. An initial assumption of the study was that participation would be greater in Swedish residential areas, due to Sweden's relatively long tradition of democratic practice, as compared to Russia. That assumption can now, in general, be dismissed even if there was slightly higher citizen participation for change in the Swedish cases.

24pp (Refereed Articles, July 2008, no 29)

Granvik, M., Berg, P.G. & Berglund, U. (2008). Implementation of the Habitat-agenda - residents' interest and actions in citizen participation processes – a comparison of residential areas in Sweden and Russia, European Journal of Spatial Development, 29


'Territorial cohesion' as a category of agency: the missing dimension in the EU spatial policy debate (#28)

Enrico Gualini


EU spatial policy is a remarkable expression of how this ‘sui-generis institution’ is moving – against all odds – towards increased ‘positive integration’. While its development may be seen as consistent with a ‘European model of society’, it is nevertheless apparent that current political-institutional discourse on spatial policy also reflects the EU’s unresolved contradictions on its way to becoming more ‘effective and democratic’.

Apparently, while progressing in institutionally ‘mainstreaming’ spatial issues, the EU keeps having a hard time developing its policies beyond settings defined by limitedly innovative expert processes and restricted intergovernmental negotiations.

One result of this can be seen in the current trend towards supporting EU-wide policy choices by means of, so-called, ‘evidence-based’ approaches. What remains unaddressed in light of this search for ‘objective’ consensus is the fact that a mature EU spatial policy can only develop through actively engaging in innovative subsidiarity based forms of agency. This is particularly so in respect of ‘territorial cohesion’, a policy concept which – as even official EU documents admit – can only gain effective meaning through its appropriation and enactment by local-regional governance actors.

The paper discusses these issues in the context of recent developments in EU spatial development policy, and particularly in relation to an analysis of the ‘Territorial Agenda’ process. In light of the features adopted by this process, it argues that it is now both scientifically and politically expedient to address the meaning of ‘territorial cohesion’ as a category of agency, that is, as the expression of concrete patterns of spatially contingent interests, interactions and practices of governance.

21pp (Refereed Articles, March 2008, no 28)

Gualini, E. (2008). ‘Territorial cohesion’ as a category of agency: the missing dimension in the EU spatial policy debate, European Journal of Spatial Development, 28


Population Dynamics from Peripheral Regions: A North Atlantic Perspective (#27)

Godfrey Baldacchino


This paper argues for the need to adopt a dynamic approach to demography and migration in the peripheral (often island or remote rural) regions of the North Atlantic. It cautions against the simplified and false dichotomy between gentrification and depopulation, calling rather for a more fluid appreciation of the manner in which people exploit opportunities for mobility as they connect with, and from, peripheral places. In so doing, the paper also identifies the limitations of both data-collection methodologies for demographic purposes, as well as public policy generally, wedded as these are to static categories of time and location. It also reviews qualitative material from Prince Edward Island, a small island province of Canada, which highlights why immigrants may privilege their mobility to ‘settling down’: some of the reasons given speak to the difficulty of ‘fitting into’ a tight, albeit friendly, island community. Finally, the paper suggests policies that may facilitate the better integration of geographically remote communities into the wider knowledge economy.

20pp (Refereed Articles, February 2008, no 27)

Baldacchino, G. (2008). Population Dynamics from Peripheral Regions: A North Atlantic Perspective, European Journal of Spatial Development, 27