• Applied geography;
  • ethical principles;
  • discourse analysis;
  • neoliberalism;
  • Nota Ruimte 2006


The ethical dimensions of geography attract attention of academic and applied geographers more and more. Still, in contrast with the planners, applied geographers mostly only deal with ethics in vague terms and ways, not suitable for the evaluative practices of geography applied in spatial planning. In this paper, some principles or criteria explicitly used in planning or implicitly in applied geography are formulated. One can distinguish the normative ex ante evaluation from the ex post evaluation of a decision. Both have their own set of criteria, but in practice the ex post principles will be used in the ex ante evaluation too and vice versa. The ‘Nota Ruimte’ is the major Dutch planning document, in force since 2006. The ex ante and ex post evaluations are applied to the parliamentary discussions when deciding to accept the Nota. The final ethical evaluation of the Nota has to be postponed until its elaboration at lower governmental levels has become clear.