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Relu special session Bham planning conf_carter-schiessel-scott_13-09-2011


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  • RUF laboratory: RUF as microcosm of world within which we can test new ideas
  • Long sub-title but explains what this presentation is about Context: BIG environmental (and other) challenges - Reaching capacity, transgressing thresholds, uncertainty Structure of talk as per the 4 bullet points
  • Planning policy emerged from historical context with associated values, planning culture / framing and associated governance/institutional structures. Gradual changes happening; sometimes also more fundamental ones Planning system to deal with conflicts of interest remains; not getting any easier…
  • Lack of connections and cross-references; separate approaches, concepts, publications; divided politics and policies
  • ‘ Characterisation’ of planning evolution past 50 or so years. Reality of course a bit more mixed and varied! Present has signs of old and new Spatial planning characteristics reflected in the ‘present – future’ right-hand column Not necessarily a matter of ‘better’ or ‘worse’, depends how it is applied, can be interpreted and implemented, though fundamental guiding principles and recommended or statutory processes obviously critical in shaping the kind of planning system we have/want.
  • Vertical integration: (also international/global perspective e.g. in terms of climate change / CO2 and other gases) Horizontal integration: Priorities and framing of criteria/themes may change over time (new situations, knowledge, insights, identified needs)
  • Descriptive and aspirational Connectivity Long term vision Values and Decisions
  • Issue of social learning from experiments as a coping mechanism from uncertainty
  • Note that human wellbeing and health is also a fundamental principle in the development of planning policy and guidance. E.g. adequate housing standards; limits on housing densities; provision of greenspace; proximity to essential services; provision of basic infrastructure … just uses different framing, criteria and language/terms. Not necessarily the best illustration of links to health issues, but figure highlights the (potential) importance of socio-economic factors in all this and the strength of links between certain ES and impact on health.
  • Key issues in RELU-RUF case study area of Hampton: Exemplar for green space but restricts access to SAC. Developer able to deliver houses and triggers for section 106 based on completions means that community resources are delayed leading to community fragmentation and lack of joined up planning. Jones’ coppice was protected and access prevented due to environmental zoning/planning - rural was protected within the new urban (KEEP OUT SIGN on next slide). But what value does that area give if we think in a ES terms?
  • Keep out sign – nature and people kept separate for biodiversity / newts’ sake (weighing up of different ‘values’, needs…)
  • Hampton and Redditch – lots of green space but not very biodiverse. Planning requires public open space provision. But ‘green deserts’ could with a little careful design provide all sorts of other services. – Link with green infrastructure as a way these are coming together. View from central Redditch – may be useful to add SP and ES to? Again, developers get the best land and there is lots of green but not biodiverse. Potential for plannign to consider services not just land use (green/brown/residential/employment) etc. So an area would LOOK similar but deliver more environmental services. Also green connectivity poor – roads in the way of pedestrians and other species. Developers get the valleys; farmers get the hills. Quotes form participants that those living on the fringe (in new housing that has just been built over green land) will argue to the death that bit next door is the best bit of green belt ever and should be sacred. Alvechurch man quote ‘there should be gradation – there’s green belt and there’s green belt, and this is, well, special green belt’ (my paraphrase). But WHY? For him, visual and leisure use. But for others? Setting priorities for all not just those buying the view.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Planning for resilient communities and landscapes in challenging times Claudia Carter, Nicki Schiessel & Alister Scott Birmingham City University Mark Reed, Peter Larkham, Karen Leach, Nick Morton, Rachel Curzon, David Jarvis, Andrew Hearle, Mark Middleton, Bob Forster, Ruth Waters, David Collier, Chris Crean, Miriam Kennet, Richard Coles and Ben Stonyer RURAL-URBAN FRINGE (RUF) project July 2010 – December 2011 funded under the Research Councils’ RELU programme Planning Research Conference - Birmingham - 13 th September 2011
    • 2. Defining the Rural-Urban Fringe (RUF)
      • The fuzzy and dynamic space where town and countryside uses, interests and ideas meet.
      • Directly adjacent to town/city or in countryside where it is dominated by urban interests.
    • 3.
      • Research and insights from a practice-led rural-urban fringe (RUF) project
      • Why RUF?
        • neglected in planning (> green belt)
        • diverse competing needs/interests
        • variety and complexity of ‘place’
        • the RUF as a laboratory
      Photo: Val Vannet
    • 4. The potential of the ecosystem approach and spatial (landscape-scale) planning to transform culture and practice of planning
      • Planning policy & practice: now – where next?
      • SP and EA divide
      • What can we learn from spatial planning (SP) concept?
      • What can the ecosystem approach (EA) add to planning processes and outcomes?
      • EA – SP compatibilities, possibilities, challenges
    • 5. Current planning policy…
      • Sector-based perspectives
      • Separate planning departments
      • Zones, boundaries
      • Control and restraint
      • Definitions, objectives
      • ‘ of material consideration’
      • Quest for spatial order limits innovation
      • Environment as add-on
      • Participation as add-on
      • Politics and policy-practice disjuncture
      … planning culture, governance
    • 6. SP – EA Divide
      • CLG* and Defra** divide reflects planning and environment divide
      • Spatial planning superficial cover in National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA) (2/6/2011)
      • Ecosystem approach / NEA superficial cover in Draft Planning Framework for England (28/7/2011)
      * Department for Communities and Local Government ** Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
    • 7. Influence of SP Theory … what is considered relevant is changing
      • Past  Present
      • Separate planning systems: Town and Country Planning & Resource Planning
      • Sectoral
      • Bounded
      • Control and restraint
      • Policy-practice disjuncture
      • Definitions, regulation
      • Environment: add-on
      •  Future
      • Integrated policies (horizontal and vertical): e.g. Green Infrastructure
      • Cross-sectoral
      • Fuzzy, messy
      • Pro-active, enabling
      • Networks, connections
      • Principles and guidance
      • Embed env. consciousness
      Reconnect with the interdisciplinary roots of UK planning - PRATICE
    • 8. Spatial Planning Framework EUROCITIES (2004) The Pegasus files: a practical guide to integrated area-based urban planning EUROCITIES , Brussels
    • 9.
      • “ Collective place shaping efforts aimed to improve the qualities and connectivities of places into the future for the benefit of present and future publics and their potential values”
      • Healey 2008: 3
    • 10. Ecosystem approach
      • "the Ecosystem Approach is a strategy for the integrated management of land, water and living resources that promotes conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way “
      • (Convention on Biological Diversity, COP 7 Decision VII/11)
      • beyond biodiversity
      • beyond ‘environmental’
      • humans inherently part of nature
    • 11. Ecosystem approach Structure/Factors e.g. Climate Topography Rock, Soil Water Biota Processes/Services: e.g. Air pollution ‘filter’ Recreational resource Waste receptor / neutraliser Carbon storage Flood protection Landscape diversity Natural factors e.g. extreme weather events; geological events Human factors e.g. pollution; deforestation; urban development
    • 12.
      • Ecosystem Approach: Respect for and being mindful of whole system
      • Ecosystem Services: Anthropocentric; economic framing common
    • 13.
      • “… we must learn to apply an adaptive ecosystem approach to ecological planning. This will allow us to deal with the thorny issues of sustainability , itself taken complexly in regional and urban planning, in novel and ultimately more realistic ways.”
      • Vasishth 2008: 101
      • Vasishth, A. (2008) ‘A scale-hierarchic ecosystem approach to integrative ecological planning’, Progress in Planning 70 : 99-132.
    • 14.
      • “ The ecosystem approach may represent a paradigm shift . A fundamental change in the way we manage, value and pay for our natural environment. Implemented successfully, it will mainstream the environment across all decisions”
      • Head of Ecosystem Approach, Natural England (2010)
    • 15. SP and EA Compatibilities
        • Holistic frameworks
        • Cross-sectoral
        • Multi-scalar
        • Negotiating
        • Enabling
        • Long term perspective
        • Connectivity
        • Governance
        • Equity goals
        • Regulatory
        • Market-orientated
    • 16. Link to Wellbeing (also in PLANNING) Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2003) Ecosystems and Human Well-being . Washington: Island Press.
    • 17. Ecosystem approach in planning
      • Integrative perspective beyond ‘sectors’
      • Context and consequence co-evolve*
        • holistic perspective (wider context)
        • trace consequence in the decision/planning process
      • ‘ Resilience’, ‘Sustainability’
      * Kay. J., Regier, H., Boyle, M. and Francis, G. (1999) ‘An Ecosystem Approach for Sustainability: Addressing the Challenge of Complexity’, Futures 31(7): 721-742.
    • 18. Possibilities
      • Reconceptualise SP and EA:
        • Values
        • Time
        • Connections
    • 19. Values habitat(s) - biodiversity recreation health & wellbeing pollution buffer/filter GREENSPACE climate change - C sequestration flood alleviation/buffer barriers accessibility, freedom to roam? HOUSING Get away from pollution (but noise, heat, exhausts, CO2) barriers Transition space GREENSPACE – ‘natural’ low quality – lacks diversity but good for children to play? views Section 106: community provisions? community fragmentation?
    • 20.  
    • 21. Time habitat(s) - biodiversity recreation health & wellbeing transport? fewer cars? GREENSPACE more trees - C sequestration flood alleviation barrier to species migration HOUSING (natural materials, better thermal properties) use of alternative energy sources (wind, solar, fuel cell) barriers for wildlife GREENSPACE low quality – lacks diversity but good for kids to play? views Re-development rain & grey water collection and reuse administrative boundaries/barriers Mini habitats: e.g. green roofs; garden; allotments Economic: food, timber, fuel, recreation
    • 22. Connectivity Habitat network Integrated transport system (public) Streams & rivers HOUSING (suit range of social, economic and cultural needs) – COMMUNITY development With Birmingham? Worcester? Warwick? Motorways & Big Roads: barrier for some wildlife species and pedestrians but connection for many people (e.g. car owners) – Small roads & Paths: vice versa Green Infrastructure Views to and from Historical and cultural heritage Permeable surfaces
    • 23. Link: Green Infrastructure
    • 24. Challenges, as both SP and EA …
      • Creeping incrementalism
      • Conditional and restricted inter-disciplinarity
      • Vague
      • Disjuncture between theory and practice
      • Complex jargon
      • Used uncritically
      • Value what is measured
      • Idealistic goals crossing a legal and institutional / administrative minefield
    • 25. So…
      • Embedding – innovative ways of research and working: Research – Policy – Practice
      • Interdisciplinary working with complexity requires experimentation and adaptation
      • SP and EA not separate add-ons, but fundamental change required: mind-set – policies – institutions – governance – adaptive management
    • 26. For more information visit:!/reluruf