Journal article

Łukasz Damurski (2015)

From Formal to Semi-formal and Informal Communication in Urban Planning. Insights from Polish Municipalities

Journal European Planning Studies
Short title of the journal EPS
Number/Volume 8 (2015)
Page references 1568-1587

ISSN: Print 0965-4313, Online 1469-5944

The communicative turn within planning theory results in a high diversity of planning forms, adapted to particular spatial and social contexts. The degree of their embedment in the official planning law is varied, therefore a precise definition of what is "formal", "semi-formal" or "informal" may be a difficult task. Nevertheless, such attempts need to be made if we want to achieve a general conceptual and normative order in planning theory. In this study, 18 Polish municipalities experiencing a relatively fast growth in urban planning in recent years were examined. The analysis of the emerging new forms of public communication gave the following results: all the information produced within the planning process is perceived as public, though not all is publicly available; formal planning procedures are usually extended by the multiplication of statutory communication channels; the list of actors taking part in planning is dominated by landlords, developers and entrepreneurs, which affects plan formulation with an overbalance of economic factors. A general conclusion is that we may be witnessing a gradual shift from the traditional, hierarchical mentality in Polish planning towards a more communicative model.

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