Rescaling spatial planning: spatial planning reforms in Denmark, England, and the Netherlands

P.H. Roodbol-Mekkes, A. van den Brink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Following a wave of spatial planning reforms at the beginning of the 21st century, a second wave of reforms has recently swept through several European countries. In this study we investigate the significance of these latest developments by analysing the reforms in Denmark, England, and the Netherlands from the perspective of rescaling, the process of redividing tasks, and responsibilities between the various tiers of government. We show that the reasoning behind the new planning systems and the philosophy they were based on were remarkably similar. Typical catchphrases, such as ‘closer to the citizen’ and ‘development-oriented spatial planning’, were used in each of the countries under study. Although the second wave of changes is legitimised by much of the same wording, the changes are significantly different because comprehensive visions on the integrated spatial development at the national and regional level have been almost completely abandoned. The loss of this ‘something more’ seems to impact the core of spatial planning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-198
JournalEnvironment and Planning C. Government and Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • local-government modernization
  • sustainable development
  • english regions
  • governance
  • space
  • rethinking
  • strategies
  • growth
  • europe
  • scale


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