What is The New Planning?

Directions and learnings

Are we prepared to change the future? How do we deal with the transitions and what are we aiming for? How do we efficiently implement visions? Visions (like Nationale Omgevingsvisie) facilitates changes? Are we equipped with the right expertise to create these visions? Which are the sectors/ organizations that can be involved in these decisions from the beginning of the process?

There are many vital questions that all planners and decision makers are dealing with at the moment. Evidently, these questions are as important for the Netherlands as elsewhere, but furthermore these discussions are crossing borders, sectorally, politically and geographically.

A new way of doing planning – a model of planning – is needed that can simultaneously provide direction and coordination whilst working inclusively in more complex governance settings. This will require both more reform of the formal institutions of planning law and instruments, but also crucially the informal ‘ways of doing’ planning, the norms and practices of Dutch planners. A breakthrough is required in the thinking about spatial planning.

#newplanningdialogue seeks an approach to systematize the innovative planning instruments to be adapted in an appropriate manner, by creating a community of pertinent organizations.


The New Planning ….

  1. Involves an “unprecedented” approach

To prepare for the uncertainties and to cope with the transitions/ societal challenges, this project anticipates more creative and innovative approaches and encourages to locate new elements, plans, methods of planning. It desires to let go of the traditional methods and make a fresh start.

— What can be the ‘New’ in planning? How can we innovate new solutions for planning and development?

  1. Is exploring present challenges to formulate “realistic goals

The “new planning” should be able to clarify what we to expect realistically, what people want and how to fulfill these needs.

—What should be the first and foremost things which are needed to be addressed in the Dutch planning system?

  1. Follows a “dialogue” based method

It focuses on a “deliberative democratic model” in search of the accurate questions and answers to be able to accept more commonly. This method will direct towards a transparent impact assessment. This implies the need for a better, more direct, connection between knowledge and deliberation. It also stresses the need for “soft spaces”, informal settings where dialogues can flourish.

How valuable this method can be in order to expect explicit results?

  1. Is an “actor oriented” approach.

Setting up a consortium with coalition building of the right expertise and distributing responsibilities in the planning system.

Who is the right actor to contribute in this discussion? Who gets what as a result? The results of new planning are targeted to whom? Is it only about professionals with experience or should it be the discussion between the generations?

  1. Is “inclusive” and “integrated”.

— It seeks to involve the supporting group of people in the right manner at the right moments. We expect this approach to be inclusive meaning, not excluding any section of society or any party involved as well as integrated meaning, combining the right expertise and equal participation to form a community. Inclusive in understanding the consequences and taking responsibilities. It should be “integrative” and comprehensive in the sense that planners (while thinking and acting) are fully aware of other perspectives and interests that are relevant for their actions and take these interests into account.

— How to organize integrated planning but inclusive dissemination?

  1. Is based on the model of “co-funding / partnership funding”.

— It is being build up with the interested people and parties who could support the planning aims, and are able to contribute financially. This new model requires the project costs to be shared between national and local actors to reduce the limitations.

— How can a balance between the public and private parties be defined?

  1. Is concentrated over the “range of scales” for action.

— It focuses on various scales in order to analyze the challenges and opens the discussion to cater them at the right scale. With the present scenario, the “regional scale” is being focused in particular for implementing changes.

— How the organizations can be directed towards the right scale of vision making and application?

  1. Takes “unpredictability” into account.

— The core objective of the new planning is to encourage the flexibility and adaptability for future challenges. It is being developed based on the scenario approach to incorporate the possibilities of predictions.

— How to accommodate sustainability and resilience in planning?

  1. Should bring control back: “take back control

— It doesn’t want to have government’s former dominant role back but it somehow expects from the government to have firm regulations to instrumentalize the spatial developments. Ability to control spatial development has been diminished in many ways (particularly over scales, local-national-international).

— Who has the power and what you take control of?

  1. Is utilization and development of new communicative and interactive “tools / instruments” in the “digital age”.

— Creation, discussion and dissemination of innovative planning tools and instruments through this dialogue.

— How to put it these new innovations/ understanding on the agenda? (including gaming tools)

  1. Is contemplating a “shared urgency

— There should be a “shared urgency” on the issue(s) at stake among the principal actors (driving force, ambitions) that would lead to balanced choices for implementation. It is a shared responsibility between the public, private and academic parties together.  It should be understandable, able to reach people and even encourage them to engage. People should be able to relate planning goals and actions to their own situation.

— How can we take responsibility with the quality of environment?

— What are the crucial things that we miss out as planners or decision makers?

  1. Is focused at concrete “results” (delivery)

— The radical aim is “action-oriented planning” (Elvis Presley: “a little less conversation and a little more action). This should motivate actors for quicker and faster actions and developments.

— How to reduce the gap between vision and implementation?


Join the dialogue to opinionate, influence and revolutionize the planning model and support the project by your eminent participation.

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