Exploring the use of spatial concepts in the planning and development of the North West of England

O'Brien, Philip
Exploring the use of spatial concepts in the planning and development of the North West of England. PhD thesis, University of Liverpool.

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This research explores the use of spatial concepts in sub-national land-use planning and economic development policy, and in the governance of these, by examining the application of policy from local, regional, national and European levels of government over the course of three decades. The research seeks to investigate how, and to what extent, spatial concepts have entered sub-national planning and development policy in order to better understand the ways in which policy has been able to account for the increased spatial complexity of contemporary social and economic life. The prospects of cities and regions have been dramatically altered by increasing economic globalisation, leading to a shift in understandings of urban and regional growth towards models and explanations that incorporate spatial concepts. These global scale changes are affecting patterns of economic and social activity in cities and regions in such a way as to alter the roles of, and relationships between, territories and places. Policy-makers thus face challenges relating to the nature of economic development interventions under shifting interpretations of distance, the problem of coordinating different policy areas towards shared territorial aims and the difficulty of managing spatial development processes that transcend administrative boundaries. Using as a case study region the North West of England, the thesis addresses these concerns by exploration of the roles played by a range of organisations lodged at a number of governmental scales and of the strategies used by these towards the achievement of planning and development aims. The thesis concludes that the integration of spatial concepts into the planning and development of the case study region is a process strongly mediated by political and other institutional agencies active there. The nature of spatial development policy is subject to the negotiated processes of the governance arena and the form taken by spatial strategies reflects the interaction of contemporary strategies with inherited and existing plans, strategies and spatial visions. It is suggested that the extent to which spatial development policy can address the spatial complexity of economic and social life in contemporary regions may be dependent upon the ability of policy-makers to engage in innovative and expedient solutions to spatial problems that span administrative boundaries and policy remits.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Date: 2014-09-30 (completed)
Subjects: ?? GE ??
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2015 12:29
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2022 01:31
DOI: 10.17638/02006825
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/2006825