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Spatial planning as 'co-evolution': linking expectations, uncertainties, and conflicts

A case study of supra-local plans in the Catalan Pyrenees (Spain).

Ignasi Domingo Pastó

The planning process is gaining importance due to the increasing complexity of making plans. During the process, planners have to deal with multiple expectations, uncertainties, and conflicts (EUCs). These concepts are widely discussed in theoretical planning literature, but the relationships between them are rarely explored. This research provides a better understanding of these concepts and their relationships with the study of real planning practices. Three cases of supra-local plans in the Catalan Pyrenees (Spain) are analysed. The main planning actors and other stakeholders are interviewed in order to describe the different EUCs generated during the planning process. The cases show the different perceptions about EUCs, the strong interrelationships between them, and different ways of dealing with them. Finally, a new concept is introduced to provide understanding about the way people’s perceptions of EUCs change during the process: ‘planning as co-evolution’. The concept stimulates reflections about the importance of interaction and communication to deal with EUCs in spatial planning.

Keywords: regional planning, Catalonia, 'planificación territorial', 'ordenación territorio', 'pla territorial', 'pla director urbanístic'

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