Now showing 1 - 10 of 39
  • Publication
    The emergence of green infrastructure as promoting the centralisation of a landscape perspective in spatial planning - the case of Ireland
    The 'landscape' approach to planning and design has long since advanced a social ecological perspective that conceives ecosystems health and human well-being as mutually constitutive. However, conventional public sector organisational arrangements segregate and discretely administer development issues, thereby militating against the holistic viewpoint necessary to redress the entwined nature of complex planning issues. The emergence and continuing evolution of green infrastructure (GI) thinking seeks to redress this problem by promoting interdisciplinary collaboration to deliver connected and functionally integrated environments. This paper reflects upon the ongoing development and institutionalisation of GI in Ireland as a means to critically evaluate 'if', 'why' and 'how' GI thinking promotes the centralisation of landscape principles in public sector planning. Drawing on a review of local authority practices and interviews with local authority officials, the paper traces and explains the concept’s growth from the 'rebranding' of ecological networks to its current manifestation as a new mode of collaborative planning for multifunctional environments. This material is then employed to discuss the potential benefits and barriers encountered by GI planning more generally. Lessons are subsequently extrapolated for the advancement of landscape principles through innovative GI planning practices in other jurisdictions.
      949Scopus© Citations 16
  • Publication
    Green space benefits for health and well-being: A life-course approach for urban planning, design and management
    In recognition that the coming century will see a substantial majority of the world's population living in urban areas, the World Health Organisation and the United Nations have developed policy frameworks and guidance which promote the increased provision of urban green space for population health. However, these undertakings do not provide specific guidance for urban policy in terms of the particular design attributes required to tackle lifestyle illnesses and to promote well-being in urban populations. Furthermore, green spaces have generally been treated as a homogenous environment type. In order to address these weaknesses, this paper collates and reviews the evidence linking health, well-being and green space using a lifecourse approach. The literature generally endorses the view that urban green spaces, as part of the wider environmental context, promote health and well-being across the life course. Based on the evidence, cohort-specific and cross-cutting design interventions are identified and a general integrated green space framework for health and well-being is proposed. This analytical lens facilitates distillation of a vast quantum of research and the formulation of specific planning and design guidance for the provision of more inclusive green spaces that respond to the varying needs of people across all life-course stages.
      3418Scopus© Citations 238
  • Publication
    Urban green space for health and well-being: developing an 'affordances' framework for planning and design
    (Taylor and Francis, 2017-06-19) ; ;
    A vast literature exploring environmental influences on human health and well-being has provided renewed interest in connecting planning for the built environment with health initiatives. In response, planners and urban designers have been tasked with translating this knowledge into spatial planning and design schemes. This paper responds to an identified need for a conceptually-informed framework for green space planning and design for health and well-being that moves beyond attribute-descriptive studies. The notion of an 'affordances star' is proposed as a means to maximise the functionality and inclusivity of green space for health and well-being.
      1368Scopus© Citations 56
  • Publication
    The Utilization of Environmental Knowledge in Land Use Planning: Drawing Lessons for an Ecosystems Services Approach
    (Sage Publications, 2014-04) ;
    Proponents of ecosystem services approaches to assessment claim that it will ensure the environment is 'properly valued' in decision making. Analysts seeking to understand the likelihood of this could usefully reexamine previous attempts to deploy novel assessment processes in land-use planning and how they affect decisions. This paper draws insights from a meta-analysis of three case studies: environmental capital, ecological footprinting, and green infrastructure. Concepts from science and technology studies are used to interpret how credibility for each new assessment process was assembled, and the ways by which the status of knowledge produced becomes negotiable or prescriptive. The influence of these processes on planning decisions is shown to be uneven, and depends on a combination of institutional setting and problem framing, not simply knowledge content. The analysis shows how actively cultivating wide stakeholder buy-in to new assessment approaches may secure wider support, but not necessarily translate into major influence on decisions.
      403Scopus© Citations 79
  • Publication
    Green space and the compact city: planning issues for a ‘new normal’
    (Taylor & Francis, 2021)
    The paper traces the emergence of urban public green space as an issue of concern for planning. This is used as a platform to discuss the emergence of the compact city idea and how this conceives the design and use of such spaces. The paper then identifies a series of issues that need to be prioritised in future research for the planning of urban green space in the ‘new normal’ of social distancing consequent on COVID-19. Issues requiring attention and a series of outline examples of potential solutions are grouped beneath four categories: form & features, distribution, connectivity and resilience.
      311Scopus© Citations 27
  • Publication
    On issues of plurality and practice in considering planning’s public interest
    (SAGE Publications, 2019-05-01)
    The ‘public interest’ has waxed and waned as a concept of concern in planning theory over the years. Even when not explicitly under discussion, it is often implicitly present beneath other monikers, such as ‘justice’, ‘rights’ or ‘capabilities’ (Basta, 2015, 2017; Fainstein, 2010; Lennon et al., 2019). Indeed, as the public interest is conventionally considered the raison d’être legitimising planning activity, it would be difficult for things to be otherwise. Against this backdrop, the recent appearance of numerous papers in this journal overtly seeking to reconsider what the public interest might entail suggests to me that we once gain find ourselves in a waxing phase on this central topic to our discipline (Maidment, 2016; Mattila, 2016; Moroni, 2019; Tait, 2016). It is into this discussion that my paper was inserted (Lennon, 2017). Soon afterwards Willem Salet published his enlightening treatise that merges institutionalism with pragmatism to demonstrate how ‘planning needs both the dialectic of the practical and the institutional’ to understand the good (Salet, 2018: 63). Having studied his argument, I was both flattered and apprehensive to be notified that he had produced a comment on my paper. Thankfully, Willem Salet does justice to my views through his attentive summary. Where critical comment is provided, this is undertaken in a constructive discussion that seeks clarification rather than contestation. Hence, for the most part it appears that we are whistling the same tune, albeit perhaps in a different key. Accordingly, rather than indignantly challenging ill-informed assertions I find myself furnishing clarifications that consolidate my perspective.
      427Scopus© Citations 2
  • Publication
    Planning as Justification
    (Taylor & Francis, 2020-06-01)
    Much theorising in our field is focused on what planning should do. Such work is generally informed by perspectives borrowed from social and political theory that are used as an analytical lens to examine where planning practice has gone wrong and as a platform to prescribe how planning should be corrected to deliver better ends. For example, the work of Dewey and Habermas has deeply influenced the communicative and collaborative approaches to planning by informing stances on how planning should be democratically orientated to provide an effective means to identify and provide for ends. Associated with these theories but differentiated by emphasis, is a strand of planning theory that combines social and political thinking to focus on the ends to which planning practice should be directed and specifying the means necessary to deliver such ends. This family of planning theory includes Just City, advocacy planning and phronetic planning approaches. Another prominent vein of planning theory is primarily occupied with critiquing consensus focused approaches, and is illustrated by neoliberal and post-political critiques, as well as work on the dark side of planning. Although different in their particularities, what all these approaches have in common is a concentration on what planning should or shouldn’t do, rather than what planning is. 1 Linking these approaches together is an implicit prioritisation of means over ends, such that democracy, participation, recognition, respect, (re)distribution and avoiding abuses of power become the focus through which the formulation and delivery of ends are evaluated. In this sense, a concern with means is implicitly privileged over, or even conflated with ends in theorising and interpreting practice. For example, a common theory-infused planning analysis would seek the provision of more affordable housing (ends) through greater state intervention in house building (means #1) and collaborative methods in decision-making (means #2), rather than seeking the provision of more affordable housing (ends #1), by relying primarily on a private sector dominated system of property companies acquiring and developing land banks in response to market dynamics (means), with the ultimate aim of maximising shareholder profit (ends #2).
      190Scopus© Citations 3
  • Publication
    De-democratising the Irish planning system
    (Taylor & Francis, 2019-03-20) ;
    This paper examines the practices deployed to de-democratise elements of the Irish planning system. It does so through scrutinizing the processes by which a new streamlined planning procedure for large scale residential developments was institutionalized. The paper investigates how a development lobby group successfully prompted the institutionalization of this streamlined procedure by momentarily capturing the policy formulation agenda surrounding a housing crisis. It demonstrates how this was achieved by defining problems regarding the democratic character of the planning system and accruing agency through solution specification and resonance with the ideologies and rationalities of pertinent political and senior civil servant decision makers. The paper undertakes this analysis by situating a discourse analytical approach within the Multiple Streams Framework. In doing so, the paper provides an original contribution to academic scholarship through novelty of theoretical application on a disquieting aspect of neoliberalism in a planning context that as yet has received limited attention.
      1753Scopus© Citations 19
  • Publication
    The 'natures' of planning: evolving conceptualizations of nature as expressed in urban planning theory and practice
    (Taylor & Francis, 2017-11-27) ; ;
    Over the course of the past century, the idea of nature in the city has become increasingly intricate, evolving from being viewed as a refuge separate from the city to being understood as an essential component of dynamic urban systems. As such, attempts are currently being made to re-nature cities to support local and global ecosystems, increase human well being, and address environmental issues such as climate change. While the literature has examined changing assumptions about society-nature relationships in planning, a dearth of knowledge exists relating to the changing conceptualization of natures relationship with the city and how this has influenced how urban planning with respect to nature has evolved in both theory and practice. In this paper, we address this lacuna by tracing the history of the entwined relationship between nature and city planning. The conceptual framework developed from this review is subsequently employed as an analytical lens through which to investigate an illustrative case study of planning for nature in Dublin City, Ireland. The paper concludes by reflecting on how exploring the natures of planning provides scope for greater critical attention to what we do as planners when we seek to address the challenge of safeguarding nature through policy.
      1027Scopus© Citations 28
  • Publication
    The values and vulnerabilities of ‘Star Wars Island’: exploring tensions in the sustainable management of the Skellig Michael World Heritage Site
    (Taylor & Francis, 2018-02-09) ;
    This paper explores challenges in reconciling the cultural, economic and ecological pillars of the sustainable development concept. It does so by examining how conflicts in the management of an island off the Irish coast called Skellig Michael, which has been internationally designated for its significant cultural and ecological attributes, have been intensified by: (a) increasing tourist numbers; (b) a re-framing of the site’s identity and (c) changing visitor motivations. These have resulted from the amplified attention the island has received following the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi in which it features prominently. Following a critical identification and discussion of the fault lines between different stakeholders involved in the conservation and use of the island, the paper advances a roadmap for action to help resolve animosity in the governance of the site and facilitate its sustainable management in the context of changing visitor numbers and profiles.
      470Scopus© Citations 4