The risky business of planning reform: The evolution of local spatial planning in Poland

Krzysztof Niedzialkowski*, Raoul Beunen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In many countries throughout the EU recent planning reforms have reduced the possibilities for comprehensive and long-term planning. This paper explores the factors that explain why one of these countries, Poland, lost many of its tools for coordinating the policies and practices affecting spatial organization at the local level. The study, based on the discourses of spatial planners, traces the institutionalisation of local spatial planning in Poland since the 1920s identifying dominant policy paradigms and internal and external determinants leading to the reform in the early 1990s. It shows that the planning reform was driven by attempts to adapt planning institutions to changing political and legal environments after 1989. The new institutional framework that emerged from the reform failed to introduce alternative and effective forms of local spatial planning. Once options for planning were reduced, it became difficult to revive them. The case of Poland shows that a revision of long-term planning institutions might have unexpected outcomes and that it might be difficult to restore particular instruments and planning approaches once they have been removed from the toolbox of the planning system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-20
Number of pages10
JournalLand Use Policy
Volume85
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

Keywords

  • Land use planning
  • Spatial policy
  • Institutions
  • Institutional change
  • Policy paradigms
  • Planning reform
  • Path dependence
  • Planners
  • UNDERSTANDING POLICY CHANGE
  • PATH DEPENDENCE
  • IDEAS
  • PARADIGMS
  • NEOLIBERALISATION
  • INSTITUTIONS
  • DISCOURSE
  • SYSTEMS

Cite this

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title = "The risky business of planning reform: The evolution of local spatial planning in Poland",
abstract = "In many countries throughout the EU recent planning reforms have reduced the possibilities for comprehensive and long-term planning. This paper explores the factors that explain why one of these countries, Poland, lost many of its tools for coordinating the policies and practices affecting spatial organization at the local level. The study, based on the discourses of spatial planners, traces the institutionalisation of local spatial planning in Poland since the 1920s identifying dominant policy paradigms and internal and external determinants leading to the reform in the early 1990s. It shows that the planning reform was driven by attempts to adapt planning institutions to changing political and legal environments after 1989. The new institutional framework that emerged from the reform failed to introduce alternative and effective forms of local spatial planning. Once options for planning were reduced, it became difficult to revive them. The case of Poland shows that a revision of long-term planning institutions might have unexpected outcomes and that it might be difficult to restore particular instruments and planning approaches once they have been removed from the toolbox of the planning system.",
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The risky business of planning reform : The evolution of local spatial planning in Poland. / Niedzialkowski, Krzysztof; Beunen, Raoul.

In: Land Use Policy, Vol. 85, 06.2019, p. 11-20.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AB - In many countries throughout the EU recent planning reforms have reduced the possibilities for comprehensive and long-term planning. This paper explores the factors that explain why one of these countries, Poland, lost many of its tools for coordinating the policies and practices affecting spatial organization at the local level. The study, based on the discourses of spatial planners, traces the institutionalisation of local spatial planning in Poland since the 1920s identifying dominant policy paradigms and internal and external determinants leading to the reform in the early 1990s. It shows that the planning reform was driven by attempts to adapt planning institutions to changing political and legal environments after 1989. The new institutional framework that emerged from the reform failed to introduce alternative and effective forms of local spatial planning. Once options for planning were reduced, it became difficult to revive them. The case of Poland shows that a revision of long-term planning institutions might have unexpected outcomes and that it might be difficult to restore particular instruments and planning approaches once they have been removed from the toolbox of the planning system.

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