PLANNORD is a platform for networking and exchange of knowledge concerning spatial planning. It is an informal forum that primarily operates in a Nordic context. It is comprised by planning academics and practitioners who gather to discuss changes in planning activities and experiences.
The platform is aimed at raising awareness of emerging planning challenges, trends and practices in connection with various development conditions and different scales of spatial governance activities, in particular at local-regional levels. PLANNORD seeks to provide an opportunity to look across the varied spectrum of planning activities in a search for the new settings and roles that spatial planning adopts in societal development.
Background and main focus
PLANNORD has its roots in the early 2000s when a Nordic network was formed over the issue of Local Authority Planning in Change. The starting point was to debate contemporary changes in local planning and how to meet new challenges:
There are important changes influencing local authority planning in the Nordic countries. The economical conditions for the local authorities have decreased and the competition of inhabitants, new establishing of industry and commerce, and tourism is encouraging the local authorities among other things to improve the attractiveness through urban renewal of city centres. More local authorities even strive to reduce the segregation between inner and outer parts of the cities. There are even important changes that are challenging the way we organise and carry out local or municipal planning in the Nordic countries.
The underlying paradigm has moved from hierarchical regulation and control to more network democracy, partnerships, new public management and governance. As a result, major restructurings of the institutions and legal frameworks for local planning and development are being implemented in several countries. Demands for efficiency have also resulted in new policy regimes and new roles for both professionals and politicians.
How are we to meet these new challenges? What are the emerging trends and practices in our respective countries? What can we learn from each other’s experiences in our attempts to meet the future in a dynamic and constructive way? What do we really mean with new public management and governance? Is it a new way of thinking or just new concepts on already well-known conditions?