Planning challenges in a context of discontinuous growth

Leonie Janssen-Jansen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterProfessional

1 Citation (Scopus)


Cities and urban regions stand at the brink of a new era. The structural dynamics of socio-economic and demographic processes are accelerating. Societal arrangements are constantly challenged and redefined due to dominant neoliberal ideological drivers of market-infused ideas, limited government and restricted public expenditure (Aalbers 2009; Engelen et al. 2011; Warner and Clifton 2014). The neoliberal urban agenda is – and has been – focused around growth and investment, and plays an important role in the urban ‘competitiveness’ discourse. While the urban neoliberal turn has been recently described as having reinvented planning as a service to property owners (Feindt 2010; Lovering 2010), earlier research has shown that city governments have always faced the challenge of effectively resisting the interests of developers that conflict with the wider public interest of sustainable communities (Peterson 1981; Peiser 1990; Leo 1997). The pursuit of growth has reinforced the pressure on local governments to lift barriers to allow for increased economic and urban development. The neoliberal models of urban development, however, have been widely criticized for their hypercommodification of urban land and basic social amenities like public space and housing (Harvey 1989; Brenner et al. 2009). Efforts to overcome barriers to change and search for future opportunities to deliver more sustainable urban futures are thus not about pursuing all types of growth. Instead these efforts should consider the long-term needs of society. Due to transforming contexts and discontinuous growth, planners across the world face different challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInstruments of Planning
Subtitle of host publicationTensions and Challenges for More Equitable and Sustainable Cities
EditorsR. Leshinsky, C. Legacy
Place of PublicationNew York / London
ISBN (Electronic)9781315749037
ISBN (Print)9781138812055
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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    Janssen-Jansen, L. (2016). Planning challenges in a context of discontinuous growth. In R. Leshinsky, & C. Legacy (Eds.), Instruments of Planning: Tensions and Challenges for More Equitable and Sustainable Cities (1 ed., pp. 11-18). Routledge.