Innovative Planning in Rural, Depopulating Areas: Conditions, Capacities and Goals

Josefina Syssner, M. Meijer

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


This chapter reflects on the conditions, capacities and goals for innovative planning in depopulating rural areas. The first argument is that conditions and capacities for planning are place and context specific. The second argument concerns a broadened and context-sensitive interpretation of what planning capacity means. The final argument is that planning goals should differ between dense, expanding urban areas and those areas that have experienced long-term depopulation. Currently, most municipalities opt for a growth strategy. This chapter suggests that municipalities also should invest in plans for demographic adaptation. In conclusion, this chapter suggests that if the conditions for planning are recognised, the planning capacity is sensibly interpreted, and the goals of planning are reconsidered, more efficient planning strategies can emerge in depopulating rural areas.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInnovation in Public Planning
Subtitle of host publicationCalculate, Communicate and Innovate
EditorsAksel Hagen, Ulla Higdem
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-46136-2
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-46135-5
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Depopulation
  • Demographic adaptation
  • Rural
  • Innovative planning


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