Neoliberalist Planning? Re-thinking and Re-casting Sydney's Metropolitan Planning

Authors

  • PAULINE M. McGUIRK

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    1. University of Newcastle, Australia
      Dr. Pauline M. McGuirk, The Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales 2308, Australia. E-mail: pauline.mcguirk@newcastle.edu.au
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Dr. Pauline M. McGuirk, The Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales 2308, Australia. E-mail: pauline.mcguirk@newcastle.edu.au

Abstract

This paper argues that neoliberalism should be viewed not as a unified coherent project but as a series of complex and overlapping strategies that produce hybrid and always emergent forms of governance. To substantiate this argument, the paper reflects on the recent history of Sydney's metropolitan planning and rejects any simple characterisation of its having been transformed from a social-democratic to a neoliberal form of governance. Instead it traces the unevenness with which neoliberalist aspirations and forms of governance have been enacted through metropolitan planning. In particular, it examines the enduring scope of state institutional capacity to pursue desired spatial and distributional outcomes through planning and suggests that the current reinvigoration of Sydney's metropolitan planning is an opportunity to enhance that capacity and to pursue ‘after-neoliberalist’ planning possibilities.

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