Keywords: urban, peri-urban, rural, development, governance, planning, policy, case studies
A key challenge for decision-makers, developers, planners and administrators involved at different governance levels and in different policy domains is to foster a more balanced, sustainable and spatially integrated development. Well-designed multi-level and multi-actor governance arrangements play a central role in orchestrating the interplay between different spheres, activities, actors and interests.
In this contribution we are examining the role of planning in strengthening beneficial relations between rural, peri-urban and urban areas. Can more beneficial territorial relations be planned? Related to the efficacy of planning instruments and their contribution to higher-level strategies, drawbacks are often resulting from insufficient implementation. Are we more interested in constructing plans than implementing them?
In this paper, we examine the strengths and the limitations of spatial, regional and land use planning, as well as the connections with territorial development and programming.
The real-life cases that we analyse, show that more beneficial relations between urban, peri-urban and rural relations cannot simply be planned. Instead, they need to be accompanied by strategies and instruments that foster mutually beneficial relations between different actors across spatial levels and the urban, peri-urban and rural interfaces. Also, the planning process as such, might need to be revisited.