Planning and Law in Evolving Governance

Kristof Van Assche*, R. Beunen, Anneke Smit, Gert Verschraegen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This chapter presents a theoretical perspective on the roles of law in the evolution of planning systems. Three main roles of law in planning are distinguished: law can enable, delimit and codify planning. How these roles play out and relate to each other in the evolution of a planning system, will differ by community. In four scenario’s we discern key points regarding the relation between the roles of law in evolving spatial governance. Understanding the different roles of law in planning, and their interplay in the evolution of the planning system, adds to the scientific and societal debates on planning and law, where hitherto polarizing discourses (planning vs law) dominated the discussion. More broadly, our perspective on the enabling, codifying and delimiting functions of law in planning sheds a new light on the potential and limitation of both law and planning to shape the future of communities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEvolutionary Governance Theory
Subtitle of host publicationTheory and Applications
EditorsRaoul Beunen, Kristof Van Assche, Martijn Duineveld
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783319122748
ISBN (Print)9783319122731
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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