Change is inevitable in all communities: they both grow and decline. Planning is a means by which we have sought to manage this change. It has not always succeeded in providing the types of settlements and environments which many residents and others want, either because it is operating with the wrong policies or because it is failing to ensure that the right policies are effectively implemented. These failings have opened planning to criticism by a dominant neoliberal orthodoxy which shapes an increasingly difficult environment in which planning has to operate.
Planning for Small Town Change builds on an underexploited selection of international research and the authors’ English case studies to consider the efficacy of planning for change. Drawing on insightful small town experiences, three themes emerge: understanding and conceptualising change; appreciating the potential within place; and the mechanisms for planning and delivery. The research draws on many examples of how key actors have made a significant difference to specific places and provides important insights into how the planning process can be better matched to the long-term and complex challenges faced. Whilst small town experiences are often neglected, they are found to be particularly insightful in understanding the potential roles of local communities and the importance of place quality when planning for change.
About the Author
Neil Powe is Senior Lecturer in Planning at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at Newcastle University, UK. His two career research interests are non-market environmental valuation and rural planning, with small town research providing the focus of his efforts in more recent years. His work with Trevor Hart has enhanced our understanding of small towns, in terms of their characteristics and their various functions, interactions and future viability.
Trevor Hart is Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at Newcastle University, UK. He has a number of years of experience of practice in planning and economic development. He has also worked as a consultant, mainly involved in the evaluation of government and EU regeneration programmes. He has recently produced, with colleagues at Newcastle University, an update of Cullingworth’s classic Town & Country Planning in the UK.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 – Introduction Part I: Understanding the challenge Chapter 2 – Choices in managing small town change Chapter 3 – Small town planning aspirations Chapter 4 – Match policy to reality Part II: Mechanisms for planning change Chapter 5 – The framework for policy generation Chapter 6 – The English planning system in an international context Chapter 7 – Managing change at the small town level Part III: Making a difference at the small town level Chapter 8 – Localising and sustaining small town regeneration Chapter 9 – Planning and managing housing growth Chapter 10 – Exploring small town centre futures Chapter 11- Conclusion