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Sustainable development and local planning: A study of the plan making process in the London Borough of Southwark.

Hands, Victoria (2009) Sustainable development and local planning: A study of the plan making process in the London Borough of Southwark. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The research explores the incorporation of the concept of sustainable development in UK land use planning policy through an in-depth case study of the planning policy formulation process in the London Borough of Southwark (LBS). The thesis questions the notion of a formal policy cascade as a standardised and therefore neutral influence. It seeks to look beyond the written guidance to investigate the influence of the informal within the formal plan making process. Adopting a New Institutional perspective of the formal and informal, stable and dynamic, strategic and norm-governed dimensions of institutions (Lowndes 1997), the research examines how sustainable development is interpreted and enters established local planning policy. The context of the research in an arena of emerging local governance is explored with particular reference to local managerial and participatory governance as applied to planning policy formulation. The research employs qualitative techniques using documentary and content analysis, semi-structured interviews and observation. The research concludes that during the LBS plan making process, the incorporation of sustainable development in planning policy became eroded by a combination of inter-related formal institutional and political forces. The argument is made that strong interpretations of sustainable development were able to appear through the informal personal and professional influence of local planning officers. The research concludes that the New Institutional perspective adopted offers a useful way of understanding the complexity of introducing new concepts such as sustainable development into established institutions. Recommendations for enhancing the theoretical framework and for further research are made.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, Public Administration, Urban and Regional Planning, Sustainability
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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