Defining ambitions...

The New Planning Brainstorm - Reporting back

30 november 2019

As part of 'The New Planning Dialogue', the second activity was a brainstorming session to refine the directions of "The New planning" and to define the expected outcomes. The session was organised on the 1st of November, 2019 as an intimate session with 11 experts, founders and members of The New Planning, to discuss the urgencies, solutions and probable methods .

On a Friday evening, brainstorming with a group of experts and some nice pizzas was this session all about.

During the session, we discussed about the current planning situation in the Netherlands, based on our daily practice and by receiving relevant input from experts. However, it was clear from the discussion that the ambition of the partners and collaborators of the project is to add an European perspective to this discussion. In the meeting three main reflections became clear and are elaborated below. These reflections will form as key points to improve ‘The New Planning’ 10 pointers (directions and learnings). The results and outcomes of the session will be published during the upcoming conference, ‘Take on the Future’ on the 10th and 11th of December, 2019.

Why The New Planning?

One of the first questions posed in the meeting was: what is wrong with the old planning?

The first ideas of this project was to react on the new Dutch Environment Act and New Spatial Planning and Environmental Vision. The rethinking process in the Dutch system at this current point of time, illustrates an ongoing or expecting change from an old to a new planning. From a broader perspective, this change can be positioned in the altered arrangement of the government in planning: from a post-war welfare state to a neo-liberal society.

New planning is not only about using another toolkit or a different organization of planning. It is, perhaps most importantly, a change in the culture of planning and the planning community.

Brainstorm session Brainstorm session. The New Planning dialogue

“In a neoliberal society, a value-based dialogue is pivotal to guarantee the soft or public values” (Peter Pol, Den Haag municipality).

“With The New Planning we should not be developing instruments from the perspective on how we do things now, but from the perspective where we want to go.”

What is the role of design?

In The New Planning,  design should not be limited to its primary significance, but to be broadened with organisational and institutional design. Planning is about an idea on a desired output or outcome and a proposed set of actions towards a certain set of goals. Due to overall lengthy process leading to a longer time period between the goal setting and the concrete project execution, the uncertainties pop-up in the picture during this timeline. Thus, a blue print planning approaches often does not work or is not a smart choice in the present scenario. Instead there is a need for a process design, where there are enough possibilities for decision making, alterations and adaptations during the process. In a recent book, ZUS describes this as: the desirability of not having arranged everything at the start of a process.

Brainstorm session Brainstorm session. The New Planning dialogue

“The current regional energy strategies are done from a sectoral approach, when major urgencies occur, the quality of life becomes subordinate”. (Bart Vink)

To whom are the 10 pointers addressed?

The New Planning should be able to clarify and simplify what is needed to fulfill the public needs and what all involved partners can expect, considering the uncertainties during the process of development. One of the important question raised during the brainstorming was, “How can the local city makers be included in this process?”.

The public sector needs to have a better understanding, that they are not solely in-charge of planning at any scale. At the same time, they are not the bystanders. The government needs to clarify in a better way, their role and their forms of cooperation, within and between levels of government and planning institutions. And doing this, they would be able to seize the opportunities at hand, to get the best possible results.

There is a need for a better democratic legitimation and representation on the regional scale. At the same time, a better balance needs to be created between the choices/ decisions that can be made at a local or regional and a national level. This will put in order a framework towards achieving national goals.

Brainstorm session Brainstorm session. The New Planning dialogue

“Currently there is no integrated policy, there are sectoral policies, brought together by a staple.” (Bart Vink)

written by Jaap Modder, David Dooghe, Alankrita Sarkar

Brainstorming session attended by: Verena Balz, Jaap Modder, David Dooghe, Paul Gerretsen, Bart Vink, Peter Pol, Ron Lander, Flip ten Cate, Jelte Boeijenga, Michel Duinmeyer, Alankrita Sarkar

For further New Planning activities and sessions, follow the project page or contact us.

The New Planning dialogue is a platform, to discuss the progressing issues and the crucial questions about the planning and policies, with a broad audience of planners, policymakers, developers, and academicians. Join the dialogue to opinionate, influence and revolutionize the planning model and support the project by your eminent participation.

Follow the link to know more about the project and connect to us.

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