Smart City, Integrated Planning, and Multilevel Governance: A Conceptual Framework for e-Planning in Europe

Smart City, Integrated Planning, and Multilevel Governance: A Conceptual Framework for e-Planning in Europe

Lukasz Damurski (Faculty of Architecture, Wroclaw University of Technology, Wroclaw, Poland)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/IJEPR.2016100103
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Abstract

The interdependent concepts of smart city, integrated planning and multilevel governance greatly determine the current discussion on planning theory and practice in Europe. Each of them presents new challenges for e-planning, pushing it into a priority position in performing planning tasks on various levels of administration. Thus e-planning is not just a way of describing current tools for governing space anymore, but becomes a new philosophy of public decision-making. The paper gives a discourse analysis of the key EU policy and research directions, defines the core attributes and values of contemporary planning concepts (such as governance, sustainability, communication, participation, responsiveness, innovation and coordination) and draws a “conceptual patchwork” situating e-planning on the intersection of smart city, integrated planning and multilevel governance.
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Research Material And Methodology

As a methodological approach, this research adopts discourse analysis. The term ‘discourse’ clearly means different things to different researchers, varying from strictly linguistic approaches to approaches that embrace ideas and actions as integral to discourse (Sharp & Richardson, 2001). Here the concept of discourse reflects the general idea that language is structured according to particular patterns and meanings that people follow when they take part in social life. No discourse is a closed entity: it is constantly being transformed through contact with other discourses. Moreover, it plays an active role in constructing the social world (Jorgensen & Phillips, 2002).

Discourse and urban planning have a lot in common. As Albrechts (2003) observes, planning forms knowledge and produces discourse, it builds networks and institutions that act as a catalyst for change (and sometimes not only change, but also continuity). Planning discourse analysis (in particular drawn on poststructural theory – see Foucault, 1980) is part of a process through which things and identities get constructed, as discourses create their own ‘regimes of truth’, they formulate problems and solutions to those problems (Lees, 2004).

In this paper I will take a closer look at the discourse of the territorial planning policy in Europe. Usually discourse studies of political text and talk deal with the enactment, reproduction and legitimization of power. They also describe so called “discourse networks” – the networks of people, institutionally stabilized and held together by stable patterns of ideas, pointing the primary policy directions and finally the political communication and rhetoric (Van Dijk, 2001; Low, 2005).

It is difficult to describe discourse analysis in terms of method. It is a craft skill, something like bike riding, which is not easy to render or describe in an explicit manner. When undertaking discourse analysis, researchers seek to highlight two things: first, the interpretative context, that is the social setting in which the discourse is located; second, the rhetorical organization of the discourse, that is the argumentative schema that organize a text and establish its authority (Lees, 2004).

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