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European Planning Studies


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Bridge the Gap: From Spatial Planning to Strategic Projects


Louis Albrechts
a a

Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium Published online: 28 Nov 2006.

To cite this article: Louis Albrechts (2006) Bridge the Gap: From Spatial Planning to Strategic Projects, European Planning Studies, 14:10, 1487-1500, DOI: 10.1080/09654310600852464 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09654310600852464

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European Planning Studies Vol. 14, No. 10, November 2006

RESEARCH BRIEFING

Bridge the Gap: From Spatial Planning to Strategic Projects


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LOUIS ALBRECHTS
Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium

ABSTRACT This paper introduces one of the largest single research projects ever granted in the eld of spatial planning. It presents the context the project has to work in and the challenges it has to face. It further gives a broad outline of the research project, with three horizontal and three vertical tracks and some success indicators.

Introduction Both social relations and the technical infrastructure of society have changed signicantly over the last three or four decades. The reasons for this change (see Castells, 1996) are, on the one hand, the rise of new technologies (information, telecommunication) and, on the other hand, the concurrence of global historic social traditions. The latter reason includes: the changes in the production process (focus on innovation and exibility) that have an impact on labour and capital, the growing strengthat all levels from global to local of movements (green movement, feminism, anti-globalists, etc.), a tendency to increased social inequality and polarization, a crisis of the nation state, a related crisis of representative democracy, and the globalization of the economy and of culture. All these changes go togetheraccording to Beck (1992)with a growing individualization and detraditionalization. The loss of traditional social structures (class, family, etc.) in society has had the consequence that individuals are exercising a larger impact on the construction of their own identity. The values and images that frame their actions, however, are not generated in isolation but rather are social constructs that are given meaning and are validated by traditions of belief and practice. These values and images are reviewed, reconstructed and invented through collective experience (see Ozbekhan, 1969; but also Foucault, 1980, p. 11; Hillier, 1999; Elchardus et al., 2000, p. 24). Research (see Elchardus & Glorieux,

Correspondence Address: Louis Albrechts, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Department of Architecture, Urban Design and Regional Planning, Kasteelpark Arenberg 51 Leuven, Belgium. Email: louis.albrechts@asro.kuleuven.be ISSN 0965-4313 print=ISSN 1469-5944 online=06=10148714 DOI: 10.1080=09654310600852464 # 2006 Taylor & Francis

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2002) conrms that the forecasting of the behaviour of individualssuch as voting behaviouris being done less and less on the basis of the social class they belong to. Individuals seem to be taking/deriving their identity increasingly from the roles they play in several networks, rather than from the organization, place or group they belong to (Van Dijk, 1991). All these changes have considerable spatial impact. To cope with these changes, a shift has taken place in planning from a regulative, bureaucratic approach towards a more strategic, implementation-led and development-led approach within administrations on all policy levels. But this approach is still in its infant stage. The knowledge built upon the experiences still remains very casuistic, and needs to be connected through the development of a more theoretical framework. This paper introduces a 4-year research project, Strategic Planning to Strategic ProjectsSP2SP,1 which aims to develop an integrated and innovative approach (innovative spatial concept development, innovative policy instruments, and project and quality management) for strategic projects. This research project focuses on four main questions. First, what kind of planning do we need as an overall framework? Second, can strategic projects serve as a key to more strategic planning? Third, how can we operationalize sustainability and spatial quality? Fourth, what kind of governance and (legal, nancial, etc.) instruments are needed? Finally, the concrete aims of the project and its success indicators are formulated. Motivation and Problem Denition Within the planning literature a lot of attention has been given to designing macrostructures and the characteristics of planning processes. These models stem from different traditions of thought in the social sciences, policy analysis and business management (Friedmann, 1987; Sandercock, 1998). However, a clear understanding of how to implement and evaluate these theoretical models in daily planning processespracticing theoryhas not yet been achieved. Little attention is paid in these models to project planning for the operational level in a strategic planning process. Project planning has been considered unproblematic and remained a black box in many of the models. There has been little academic research on the dialectic between strategic projects and visions. The starting point is that many plans remain too much of an administrative framework for development instead of an action plan aimed at the implementation of the vision and concepts. In the planning literature there are many examples of well-documented cases of plan making and formal decision-making (Meyerson & Baneld, 1955; Altshuler, 1965; Benveniste, 1989; Flyvbjerg, 1998; Albrechts, 1999, 2005), and substantive literature on implementation is also available (Pressman & Wildavsky, 1979; Wildavsky, 1979; Majone & Wildavsky, 1979; Mastop & Faludi, 1997; Gualini, 2001). Hardly any examples of cases analysed from the perspective of the political class and the implementation class are available. Therefore political decision-making and implementation often seem like a black box to planners. Planning requires a ne-grained analysis of what actually takes placein formal decision-making and implementation, in the transition from plan to formal adoption of the plan and in the actual implementation of the planas opposed to what the planners normatively would like to see happen (see Friedmann, 1998). Research by Flyvbjerg (1998) makes it clear that critical analysis of cases is

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needed to discover the whys and wherefores of how elected representatives or preferential actors change the plan and why and how executive ofcers depart from the formally approved plan. Research reveals (Albrechts, 2006; Flyvbjerg, 1998) that plan-making and political decision-making and implementation are dealt with in different arenas and that different actors are involved (see also Hillier, 2002). Political decision-making and implementation are processes of their own, with different actors and different rationales interspersed with sector and local/regional logics. New actors, new agendas, new goals and new strategies turn up with political decision-making and implementation. Planmaking and political decision-making and implementation use their own networking as a way to mobilize, to build alliances for their objectives and to reach an acceptable consensus. As few actors take part in plan-making, formal decision-making and implementation, it becomes clear that most actors in the plan-making process, the formal decision-making process and the implementation process are unable to grasp the sensitivities, the gaining of a deeper understanding of the different perspectives and interests, the understanding, the ambiance, and the social, intellectual and political capital built up during the processes that they were not part of. Planners tend to criticize decision-makers and implementers for deviating from their plans. Political decision-makers and implementers criticize plan-makers that their visions are just idealized modeling (Rodriguez & Martinez, 2003), exercises in banalization, woolly thought, or pseudo-legitimation for a number of measures and projects connected only on paper (see Borja & Castells, 1997). There are several challenges for planning in Europe. Some relate to dominant policy agendas in the European Union (EU) and nation states: the persistent problem of coordinating public policies, the concern to reduce existing regional disparities and the prevention of further regional imbalances in the EU. The inuence of the competitiveness agenda has been widespread in Europe (CEC, 1991, 1994, 1999), underpinning much investment in infrastructure and urban redevelopment. The focus on city and region relates to well-established arguments about the importance of place qualities in development. In Europe, the environmental agenda is strong, linked in part to the environmental movements emphasis on sustainable resource use and in part to citizen movements concerned with the quality of life in specic places (see Hall & Pfeiffer, 2000). This place focus in turn is linked to a political-cultural momentum to reassert the importance of regional/local identity and image in the face of European integration and globalization. Shifts in Planning Approaches Traditional land use planningbeing a more passive planning approach aimed at controlling land use through a zoning system and regulationsseems unt for bridging the gap between plan-making, political decision-making and implementation. Hence in many countries the need was felt for a different type of planning, moving away from regulatory policy and instruments to a more development-led approach that aims to intervene more directly, more coherently and more selectively in social reality and development (see Albrechts, 1995, 1999, 2004). In the 1960s and 1970s strategic spatial planning in a number of Western countries evolved towards a system of comprehensive planning at different administrative levels. This approach to planning via a single policy eld (i.e. spatial planning) met erce opposition from other and usually more powerful policy elds. Although these plans had formal

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status and served as ofcial guidelines for implementation, when it came down to the actual implementation, other policy eldswhich, because of their budgetary and technical resources, were needed for the implementationwere easily able to sabotage the spatial plans if they wanted (Scharpf & Schnabel, 1978; Kreukels, 2000). Moreover, it became increasingly clear that a number of different planning conceptssuch as the coherent, convenient and compact city long advocated by plannerscannot be achieved solely through physical hard planning (see Hart, 1976). In the 1980s we witnessed a retreat from strategic planning fuelled not only by the neoconservative disdain for planning, but also by post-modernist skepticism, both of which tend to view progress as something which, if it happens, cannot be planned (Healey, 1997b). Within the architectural/urbanism discipline, a new approach emerged to land use regulation and urban projects (Secchi, 1986; Motte, 1994), especially for the revival of rundown parts of cities and regions. A new generation of strategicmainly urban projects, such as the French Projet urbain, has been trying to develop a more inclusive approach informed by insights in policy analysis and strategic planning. From these practices a whole body of knowledge is developing which could be described as theorizing practice (Masboungi & De Gravelaine, 2002). However, a more theoretical framework within which these concrete practices could be framed and evaluated has not yet been developed and the gaps remain open. Planning and urbanism seem highly complementary in their approach, and in their weaknesses and strengths. A cross-fertilization between the often more model-based and top-down planning views, and the more casuistic, bottom-up experiences is needed to construct an integrated approach. Other discourses to be integrated concern the social, cultural, social, political, ecological, participative and economic aspects. In conclusion, both for the public and for the private sector, the need exists to develop a more action-oriented approach. The growing complexity, the increasing concern about rapid and apparently random development (Breheny, 1991), the problems of fragmentation, the dramatic increase in interest (at all levels, from local to global) in environmental issues (Breheny, 1991), the growing strength of the environmental movements (green movement, feminism, antiglobalists), a re-emphasis on the need for long-term thinking (Newman & Thornley, 1996; Friedmann, 2004) and the aim to return to a more realistic and effective method all served to expand the agenda. In response, more strategic approaches, frameworks and perspectives for cities, city-regions, and regions had again become fashionable in Europe by the end of the millennium (Healey et al., 1997; CEC, 1997; Pascual & Esteve, 1997; Albrechts, 1999, 2004, 2006; Salet & Faludi, 2000; Albrechts et al., 2003; Pugliese & Spaziante, 2003; Martinelli, 2005). Strategic Planning as a Framework Traditional spatial planning is basically concerned with the location, intensity, form, amount, and harmonization of land development required for the various space-using functions (see Chapin, 1965; Cullingworth, 1972; CEC, 1997). The motivations for embarking on a strategic spatial planning process vary, but the objectives have typically been to articulate a more coherent and coordinated long-term spatial logic for land use regulation, for resource protection, for action-orientation, for a more open multi-level type of governance, for introducing sustainability and for investments in regeneration and infrastructure.

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Reecting on the challenges that spatial planning is facing and relying on the experience accumulated from planning practice and a selective reading of the planning literature leads us to a normative point of view regarding the what and how of strategic spatial planning. This normative viewpoint afrms values regarding the what and how of strategic spatial planning. Strategic spatial planning is a transformative and integrative, (preferably) public sector led (Kunzmann, 2000) socio-spatial (see Healey, 1997b, for the emphasis on the social) process through which a vision, coherent actions and means for implementation are produced that shape and frame what a place is and might become. A combination of characteristics related to the how of strategic spatial planning gives a specic colouring to the what. Strategic spatial planning focuses on a limited number of strategic key issue areas, and it takes a critical view of the environment in terms of determining strengths and weaknesses in the context of opportunities and threats. It studies the external trends, forces and resources available (Quinn, 1980; Kaufman & Jacobs, 1987; Poister & Streib, 1999; Bryson & Roering, 1988; Hamnett & Freestone, 2000). Strategic spatial planning identies and gathers major actors (public and private). It allows for a broad (multi-level governance) and diverse (public, economic, civil society) involvement during the planning process. It creates solid, workable longterm visions/perspectives2a geography of the unknownand it creates strategies at different levels, taking into account the power structurespolitical, economic, gender and culturaluncertainties and competing values (Quinn, 1980; Friend & Hickling, 1987; Bryson & Roering, 1988; Young, 1990; Sager, 1994; Mintzberg, 1994; Granados Cabezas, 1995; Healey, 1997a, 1997b; Poister & Streib, 1999; Kunzmann, 2000; Albrechts, 2004). Strategic spatial planning designs plan-making structures and develops content, images and decision frameworks for inuencing and managing spatial change. It is about building new ideas and processes that can carry these structures, content, etc. forward, thus generating ways of understanding, ways of building agreements, and ways of organizing and mobilizing for the purpose of exerting inuence in different arenas (Faludi & Van der Valk, 1994; Healey, 1997a, 1997b; Mintzberg et al., 1998; Albrechts, 1999; Mintzberg, 2002). Finally, strategic spatial planning, both in the short term and the long term, is focused on framing decisions, actions, projects, results and implementation, and it incorporates monitoring, feedback, adjustment and revision in its efforts to accomplish these aims (Bryson & Roering, 1988; Mintzberg, 1994; Faludi & Korthals Altes, 1994, Bryson, 1995; Poister & Streib, 1999; Gibelli, 2003). This strategic spatial planning is presented not as a new ideology preaching a new world order but as a method for creating and steering a (range of) better future(s) for a place based on shared values (see also Ogilvy, 2002). The normative view may seem to some people (see Mintzberg, 1994) to be too broad a view of strategic spatial planning. However, the many experiences documented in the planning literature (Healey et al., 1997; Pascual & Esteve, 1997; Hamnett & Freestone, 2000; Albrechts et al., 2001; Albrechts et al., 2003; Pugliese & Spaziante, 2003; Martinelli, 2005) back up (parts of) this broader view. This view also implies that strategic spatial planning is not a single concept, procedure or tool. In fact it is a set of concepts, procedures and tools that must be tailored carefully to whatever situation is at hand if desirable outcomes are to be achieved (Bryson & Roering, 1996). Strategic spatial planning is as much about process, institutional design and mobilization as it is about the development of substantive theories. Content relates to the strategic issues selected in the process. The capacity of strategic

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spatial planning systems to deliver the wished-for outcome is dependent not only on the system itself, but also on the conditions underlying it (see also Mintzberg, 1994). These conditionsincluding political, cultural and professional attitudes towards spatial planning (in terms of planning content and process) and the political will on the part of the institutions involved in setting the process in motion (Granados-Cabezas, 1995)affect the ability of planning systems to implement the chosen strategies. The term spatial brings into focus the where of things, whether static or dynamic; the creation and management of special places and sites; as well as the interrelations between different activities in an area, and signicant intersections and nodes within an area which are physically co-located (see also Healey, 2004). The focus on the spatial relations of territories allows for a more effective way of integrating different agendas (economic, environmental, cultural, social and policy) as these agendas impact on places; it also allows for translating territorial development into specic investment programmes and regulatory practices (Albrechts et al., 2003; see also Wilkinson & Appelbee, 1999). Strategic frameworks and visions for territorial developmentwith an emphasis on place qualities, diversity and the spatial impacts and integration of investments complement and provide a context for specic development projects. They also carry a potential for the rescaling of issue agendas down from the national or state level and up from the municipal level. The search for new levels of policy articulation and new policy concepts is also linked to attempts to widen the range of actors involved in policy processes, with new alliances, actor partnerships and consultative processes (Healey et al., 1997; Albrechts et al., 2001; Albrechts et al., 2003). Moreover, a territorial focus seems to provide a promising basis for encouraging levels of government to work together (multi-level governance) and in partnership with actors in diverse positions in rst, 2001; Kunzmann, 2001). the economy and civil society (Albrechts, 1999; Fu The normative viewpoint produces a quite different picture than traditional planning in terms of plans (master plans or land use plans versus strategic plans), type of planning (technical/legal regulation versus framework), governance type (government-led versus government-led but negotiated form in governance) and purpose (plans as an end versus plans as a vehicle for change). Strategic Projects as a Key to a More Strategic Planning Strategic projects are spatial projects, (preferably) coordinated by public actors in close cooperation with the private sector, and other semi public actors. These projects are strategic to achieve visions, policy objectives and goals embedded in strategic planning processes at different policy levels. They aim at transforming the spatial, economic and socio-cultural fabric of a larger area through a timely intervention. Strategic projects aim to integrate the visions, goals and objectives from different policy sectors, as well as the ambitions and goals of the private sector. It also aims to integrate the inhabitants and users of the area. In this way these projects are transformative and integrative. They are strategic in the sense that they deal with specic key issues in an area. Visions must be placed within a specic context (economic, social, cultural, political, and power), place, time and level regarding specic issues that are of interest and within a particular combination of actors. Visions must be rooted in an understanding of the basic processes that shape places. This must be done recognizing conditions of power, inequality and diversity. Whose vision is created remains a basic question to be

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asked. Visioning is seen as a creative act which, at its core, is concerned with crucial questions. Planning must face what could be and what ought to be. What ought to be must be constructed within the process. Therefore participants in the process must be drawn from a representative cross-section of the place. The context provides the setting for the process, but also takes form and undergoes changes in the process. An Initial, Tentative Differentiation of Projects Initially, and for a number of reasons, the SP2SP research project came up with three major types of projects: (1) Urban projects aim to selectively regenerate urban areas as qualitative milieus for economic development, housing and cultural activities. Contemporary strategic urban projects are no longer driven by defensive strategies (combating poverty in deprived areas, social housing) like urban reconstruction (1950s), urban revitalization (1960s) or urban renewal (1970s). Rather, they are being driven more and more by offensive strategies within the context of growing international intercity competition. An effort on the part of the public government, however, is needed in response to the signicant market failures on the real estate markets in urban areas and the need for more integrated and sustainable approaches. The market failure is the result of a lack of transparency (hidden costs, polluted areas, deadlocked physical developments) in the urban real estate market and the technical and institutional complexity of urban projects which impose considerable transaction costs on real estate operations. Given the growing scarcity of urban land and development price levels, redevelopment will become inevitable. (2) Rural projects aim to transform rural and suburban dynamics into a more sustainable and qualitative form of development and to give cultural meaning to a new form of hybrid rurality (neo-rurality, see Gullinck & Dortmans, 1997). Spatial dynamics have led to a highly fragmented, scattered landscape, with a juxtaposition of former urban functions (retail, business parks and entertainment) and the remaining spatial print of a mainly agrarian society. The search for integration and binding elements within this conglomerate of fragments and the creation of culturally meaningful spaces is the core challenge. Institutions from the public sphere are needed to integrate and adjust new functional needs in coherent spatial entities. Moreover, an effort must also be made to provide an alternative to the current market mechanisms, which induce considerable externalities. Detached housing, suburban retail centres, business parks, and scattered developments result in indirect environmental and social costs in terms of the increasing need for individual mobility, the splintering of the rural area, the degradation of the landscape and nature systems, and the need to provide public services (mail delivery, electricity, sewer system, etc.). If we take a realistic approach and assume that the demand for the suburban lifestyle will continue then smart alternatives should be looked for. (3) New, innovative employment at strategic locations is an important part of the effort to keep up international economic competitiveness. The old concept of business parks needs a serious re-engineering in terms of spatial concepts and management. The new spatial requirements of rms need to be translated into specically designed employment locations on specic places.

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The SP2SP project aims to deal with these very different but interconnected types of projects.

Research Outline The approach we aim to develop is open and generic in its character, since it is intended to be applicable within a variety of public private spatial projects in different kinds of strategic planning processes and in different contexts (urban, neo-rural, economic development). Three applications of strategic spatial projects (vertical tracks) and the instruments and attitudes crucial for achieving current policy objectives (horizontal tracks) are considered.

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Vertical Tracks First, strategic urban projects aim to consolidate, to transform, to restructure or to reuse the urban areas/places for new and emerging demands from public and private (individuals, economic and cultural) actors. Within the context of the challenges cities are facing erce international competition, inequality, decay, unbalanced demandsthe quality of life for all citizens is becoming a crucial asset for keeping and attracting a whole range of households and businesses, and maintaining a sound basis for social, economic and cultural life. Strategic urban projects play an important role in the regeneration and transformation of urban areas. Urban projects embody an important paradigmatic shift in urban planning from master planning/regulatory planning to strategic planning with a clear emphasis on implementation. Second, strategic rural projects aim to cope with new emerging functions in neo-rural areas. In post-World War II development in Western Europe, the agrarian production function gradually decreased, while new functions, such as nature, recreation, landscape conservation, water management, housing and new types of business activities became more prevalent. This development occurred in a more or less unplanned way in parallel with the processes of suburbanization of economic activities and households. The result is often a scattered and fragmented landscape, which is neither urban, nor rural. In this hybrid spatial context, strategic projects provide a new approach and new concepts for creatively and proactively dealing with and giving meaning and content to these rurban(rural/urban) places. Third, strategic economic projects question traditional industrial estates and traditional location policy. The worn-out concept of the industrial park no longer meets the current demands of an increasingly service oriented and exible economy. Strategic economic projects attempt to reinvent and spatially redesign the concept of the business park and to reconsider the location of economic activities. A balanced supply policy provides an answer to the question of the availability and suitability of land for specic economic activities. For all three vertical research tracks, the research project aims to develop innovative implementation oriented approaches with a focus on spatial concepts, policy instruments, process architecture and quality management. Innovation is sought in:

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. ways in which new development dynamics can be introduced in a hybrid spatial setting and a complex context; . ways to develop new challenging spatial concepts; . ways these concepts are implemented in multi-actor and multi-level government settings.

Horizontal Tracks Where the three vertical tracks focus on the integration of different aspects in the construction of an integrated approach, three horizontal tracks deepen specic knowledge (sustainability, spatial quality, set of instruments) of specic aspects related to strategic projects. The outcomes of these horizontal tracks will be systematically implemented and tested in the vertical tracks and vice versa. The rst horizontal research track seeks a more operational framework for sustainability and quality management in spatial and spatial-economic planning. Sustainable development and spatial quality are clearly considered to be the main goal of spatial planning. However, a clear understanding of the meaning of sustainability and quality in spatial development and in planning approaches, as well as of how to make them operational, and the search for criteria and indicators for evaluating and implementing them, remain weak. The operational framework will be applied and tested back and forth in the construction of the approach for strategic projects. The framework in itself is also a nal product since its generic character will enable applications in other spatial policy processes. The second horizontal research track deals with governance in multi-actor and multilevel policy settings. Contemporary policy settings nearly always imply a complex mutual dependency of actors. The capacity to achieve a consensus and to implement decisions is increasingly being challenged by a growing and difcult to manage institutional and spatial complexity. As a reaction different institutions are developing ever more bureaucratic rules and instruments as an outgrowth of their own sector logic. The result is a growing fragmentation and separation between different policy elds and levels. In this context, traditional policy tools and instruments based on control and regulation, such as land use plans and rigid master plans, seem unt to meet the current challenges. A broadening of the arsenal of instruments and tools available for consensus building and implementation-oriented projects seems necessary. This track explores innovative instruments, with special attention being given to the more tacit, informal and indirect instruments needed to enhance the capacity for implementation. The new instruments are used as input for the new approach for strategic projects. The result of this track is also considered a separate nal generic product. The third horizontal track identies and critically analyses all technical, legal, nancial, organizational and property factors inuencing the concrete realization of the three types of projects and creatively searches for proper instruments, tools and means for project development. By exploring the current technical tools and instruments applied in strategic projects and by identifying foreign learning experiences, instruments better tting the specic conditions will be proposed. Finally, the proposed adjustments to the institutional organization and management are tested to ensure the generic character of the proposed instruments and solutions.

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The three vertical and three horizontal tracks, together, constitute a research matrix (see Figures 1 and 2) in which synergies are sought between different disciplines and different research frameworks on spatial dynamics. The matrix as a whole attempts to bridge the gap between concepts, models and methods in the elds of governance, strategic spatial planning, regional economic development, sustainable strategies, urbanism and implementation through a generic, open approach to strategic projects.

Main Aims of the Project . . . . to develop an integrated innovative approach for different types of strategic projects; to develop an operational framework on sustainability in strategic projects; to develop tools for quality management in strategic projects; to broaden the arsenal of tools for multi-actor/multi-level policy settings and to evaluate current instruments and tools; . to disseminate the approach; . to develop an education module; . to build a knowledge network between research institutes, professionals and governments.

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Success Indicators . the production of deliverables and nal products;

Figure 1. Overall project Structure

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Figure 2. Horizontal and Vertical Research Tracks

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. the active involvement of institutions and key actors (among others, a users group) in the platforms, the creation of durable networks; . sustainable embedding of the new approach and the key concepts via institutionalization; . internal and external consensus on the approach, the recommendations in the workshops and the platforms, and the evaluation by the actors; . the ability to nd partners for participatory research; . the ability of the approach to deal with specic contexts in test cases; . the development of realistic and feasible proposals for dealing with the topic on the basis of an evaluation by the different users; . the ability of the quality management and sustainability framework and indicators to deal with specic contexts in the test cases; . the effectiveness of the newly developed policy instruments in specic contexts in the test cases, as far as it can be measured during the research process; . the potential for spin-offs in the public as well as in the private sector.

Notes
1. The SP2SP Project was initiated by Jef Van den Broeck and nanced by the Institute for the Promotion of Innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders. It is by far the largest research project ever granted in Belgium (E2,400,000). The project started on 1 April 2005 and runs till 2009. 2. The plural is very important here. So the real test is not whether anyone has fully achieved the conceived vision, but rather whether anyone has changed his or her behavior because he or she saw the future differently (see also Schwartz, 1991).

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