Towards a ‘Consensual’ Urban Politics? Creative Planning, Urban Sustainability and Regional Development

Authors

  • ROB KRUEGER,

    Corresponding author
    1. Interdisciplinary and Global Studies, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA
      Rob Krueger (Krueger@wpi.edu), Interdisciplinary and Global Studies, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, Massachusetts 01602, USA and Susan Buckingham (susan.buckingham@brunel.ac.uk), Centre for Human Geography, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH, UK.
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  • SUSAN BUCKINGHAM

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Human Geography, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH, UK
      Rob Krueger (Krueger@wpi.edu), Interdisciplinary and Global Studies, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, Massachusetts 01602, USA and Susan Buckingham (susan.buckingham@brunel.ac.uk), Centre for Human Geography, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH, UK.
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  • We would like to thank James Evans and Phil Jones who provided critical commentary at a much-needed time in the writing process. The IJURR reviewers were especially supportive with their critical evaluation of this article's various iterations. We would also like to gratefully acknowledge financial assistance for a research scholarship provided by the WPI Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Programme which facilitated this work. Finally, we would like to acknowledge our interviewees' generosity with their time and views.

Rob Krueger (Krueger@wpi.edu), Interdisciplinary and Global Studies, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, Massachusetts 01602, USA and Susan Buckingham (susan.buckingham@brunel.ac.uk), Centre for Human Geography, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH, UK.

Abstract

Abstract

This article critically examines three interrelated contemporary themes in urban regeneration and regional development: economic development, urban sustainability and creative city planning. While these themes have distinct conceptual origins, they complement each other in practice. The question we ask in this article is: how do the embedded and contingent politics found in these approaches shape opportunities for sustainable urban regeneration? We begin the article by defining our core concepts: urban sustainability and creative planning. We then explore their convergence with economic development, both in theory and practice, and raise critical questions about the universal applicability of these formulas. We conclude with a conceptual discussion of the problems these discourses represent. In particular, we reveal how these discourses create consensus among diverse (often competing) groups of actors, and the problems associated with this form of ‘consensual urban politics’.

Résumé

Cet article étudie sous un angle critique trois thèmes contemporains liés dans le cadre de la régénération urbaine et du développement régional: l'essor économique, la ville durable et l'urbanisme créatif. Bien qu'ayant des origines conceptuelles différentes, ils se complètent mutuellement sur le terrain. Il s'agit ici de savoir comment les politiques imbriquées et contingentes qui relèvent de ces approches configurent les opportunités de régénération urbaine durable. L'étude définit d'abord ses concepts fondamentaux: la durabilité urbaine et l'urbanisme créatif. Elle s'intéresse ensuite à leur convergence avec le développement économique, sur un plan à la fois théorique et pratique, afin d'amener un questionnement critique sur l'applicabilité universelle de ces formules. La conclusion présente une analyse conceptuelle des problèmes soulevés par ces discours. Elle éclaire notamment la manière dont ces derniers créent un consensus entre divers groupes d'acteurs (souvent concurrents), ainsi que les difficultés qu'entraîne cette forme de ‘politique urbaine consensuelle’.

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