Planning for States and Nation-States: A TransAtlantic Perspective

On October 15-16, 2012, a symposium on planning for states and nation-states was held in Dublin, Ireland. The symposium was jointly hosted by the National Center for Smart Growth at the University of Maryland, the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Policy at the University College Dublin, the National Center for Smart Growth at the University of Maryland, and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. The symposium included paper presentations from leading scholars from the U.S. and Europe and responses from seasoned planning practitioners at the regional, state, and national levels. The symposium offered fresh new information for those interested in comparative planning, European spatial planning, state planning, regional planning and intergovernmental planning relationships.  (See symposium overview below.)

Inquiries about the symposium can be sent to Gerrit Knaap or Zorica Nedovic-Budic.

Planning for States and Nation-States: A TransAtlantic Perspective

Symposium Overview

The symposium, Planning for States and Nation-States: A TransAtlantic Perspective, will examine the process, contents, and implementation of National Spatial Strategies in Europe and State Development Plans and planning frameworks in the United States. Such comparisons must be conducted carefully. State development plans and frameworks in the United States and national spatial strategies in Europe have distinctly different conceptual roots and administrative foundations. European nations and US states are probably more different than alike in geography, culture, economic structure, political institutions, and other aspects that pertain to planning at the supra-local scale.

But national spatial strategies and state development plans and frameworks face many of the same challenges. As inherently intergovernmental endeavors, successful implementation requires extensive vertical integration across various levels of government, horizontal integration across functional agencies within each level of government, and spatial articulation of concepts and policies at various geographic scales. The comparison, therefore, is potentially valuable.

Five states and five nations will be represented and discussed. Specifically, state case studies will include Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland, all with some form of state development plan, and Oregon and California, states with no explicit state development plan but unique state planning frameworks. There will also be an overview of state and federal planning frameworks in the US and an overview of the European Spatial Development Strategy. Case studies from Europe will include The Netherlands, Denmark, and Ireland, all with some form of national spatial plan, and France and Great Britain, nations with no national plan but unique national planning frameworks. For each case study, an academic will present a paper followed by commentary from a local practitioner.

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