Community-led and government-fed: Comparing informal planning practices in depopulating regions across Europe.

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Abstract

Community-led planning is in the spotlight of planning research and practice. Moreover, in rural areas, community initiatives are viewed as a panacea for dealing with the effects of depopulating. This article aims at providing more insight into how communities plan in depopulating contexts, by comparing community-led planning initiatives and community–government interactions in three European countries: The Nethe rlands, Spain, and Sweden. Based on this comparison two observations arose. First, community initiatives and their ways of practicing planning informally show large similarities in all of the three research regions, despite large variations between the case study regions in their geographic, institutional and demographic context. Second, despite similarities at community-level, the differences in institutional settings, however, lead to localised variations in community–government interactions, and consequently in their relationship to formal planning. In conclusion, we reflect on what a shift from community-led to government-led planning implies for the development of spatial strategies in depopulating regions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Rural and Community Development
Volume14
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • community-led planning
  • governance
  • shrinking regions
  • citizen engagement

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