Now showing 1 - 10 of 39
  • Publication
    Rewilding as rural land management: opportunities and constraints
    (Routledge, 2019-02-01)
    This chapter explores the potential benefits and constraints of ‘rewilding’ as a response to the challenges posed by land abandonment in rural environments. It first explores the evolution of the concept and identifies a variety of interpretations of what rewilding means. The potential benefits and problems associated with rewilding are outlined. This supplies a platform from which to examine the opportunities for and barriers against rewilding as a policy approach for land use management in marginalised rural areas. The chapter then employs a case study of a rewilding initiative on an extensive area of unproductive forestry land in Ireland to illustrate some of the issues that may arise when attempting to rewild rural landscapes and to highlight outstanding deficits in rewilding research. Despite these matters, the chapter concludes that rewilding should be recognised by policy-makers as one of the possible land management options available in addressing the myriad of challenges faced by marginal rural areas.
  • Publication
    Morality, Power and the Planning Subject
    (Sage Publications, 2016-05-20) ;
    Ethical issues are at the heart of planning. Thus, planning theory has long displayed an interest in debating both the ethical justification for planning and how the activity of planning can be rendered more ethically sensitive. However, comparatively little attention has been shown to how the very constitution of the planner as a 'moral subject' may be ethically problematic for planning practice. This paper addresses this lacuna through an engagement with the philosophy of Michel Foucault. In contrast to how his work is normally applied, this paper accords with Foucault's own direction that his later examination of ethics be used as a lens through which to read his earlier analysis of power and knowledge. Accordingly, the paper first outlines Foucault's innovative reinterpretation of how power and knowledge operate in society before setting this within his novel re-conception of ethics.  This theoretical exposition is then employed to interpret material drawn from in-depth qualitative interviews with twenty planning officers working in a range of different contexts.  The paper subsequently employs Foucault's ethically informed reading of power and knowledge to identify ethical issues arising from the approaches used by practitioners to justify their planning activities.  The paper concludes by suggesting how such issues can be resolved.
  • Publication
    Eco-Health: Ecosystem Benefits of Greenspace for Health
    (Environmental Protection Agency, 2020-07) ; ; ;
    The Eco-Health project explores the health benefits of ecosystems services as a means to supply evidence and tools for developing health promoting environments or ‘healthy places’.
  • 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).
      89Scopus© Citations 3
  • Publication
    Planning and the Post-Pandemic City
    (Taylor & Francis, 2021-08-12)
    The Covid-19 pandemic has left society dazed and confused. Self-evidently momentous, its multifaceted impacts upon the functioning and experience of city living have been swift and deep. This has precipitated a range of laudable research in planning, which, among other foci, has sought to examine how the disruption is amplifying inequities (Cole et al., 2020), improving urban environmental quality (Sharifi & Khavarian-Garmsir, 2020) and generating enhanced demand for public space (Sepe, 2021; Ugolini et al., 2020). The pandemic has also heightened interest in re-engaging planning with its roots in public health (Lennon, 2020; Scott, 2020).
      69Scopus© Citations 2
  • Publication
    What is Planning?
    (Liverpool University Press, 2017)
    Planners are frequently asked to explain what planning is. This seemingly simple request is often met with a vague response that leaves the interlocutors unsatisfied. A viewpoint is presented on how to identify and convey what it actually is we do as planners.
      275Scopus© Citations 5
  • Publication
    Delivering ecosystems services via spatial planning: reviewing the possibilities and implications of a green infrastructure approach
    (Liverpool University Press, 2014) ;
    Ecosystem services have been researched and promoted widely as a tool to address biodiversity conservation and as an approach to tackle climate change mitigation/adaptation. This paper explores the potential for delivering ecosystem services through spatial planning, proposing a deepening of an ecological fix in planning theory and practice.  Specifically, we examine the emerging literature surrounding green infrastructure to: (1) identify ecological principles to inform planning policies and processes; (2) propose a re-scoping of spatial planning practices to place ecology, ecosystem services and environmental risks as central concerns of planning practice; and (3) examine effective procedures to ensure more ecologically sound outcomes in the planning process. 
      907Scopus© Citations 81
  • Publication
    Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure as a Health-Promoting Asset
    (Town and Country Planning Association, 2019-05) ; ;
    Drawing on recent policy and practice in Ireland, particularly as promoted by the National Planning Framework, Mark Scott, Mick Lennon and Owen Douglas look at green infrastructure’s potential as a health-promoting framework.
  • Publication
    Flood risk management, (un)managed retreat and the ‘relocation fix’: examining shifting responsibilities and compounding risks through two Irish case studies
    (Taylor & Francis, 2021-03-18) ;
    Managed retreat raises important questions of both risk and responsibility. These include what risks are addressed and/or exacerbated through retreat and whether retreat might function as a byword for state withdrawal and the individualisation of responsibility. In response, the aim of this paper is to understand the implications of shifts in the perceived balance of responsibilities between the state and private actors for managing the risks and vulnerabilities associated with managed retreat. The paper draws upon an analysis of two household relocation schemes which took place in County Galway, Ireland in 1995 and 2009. This analysis highlights a range of factors which contribute to vulnerability and risk and which are traced to underlying conflicts regarding responsibility. These factors both put people at risk initially, leading to demands for relocation, and create new risks through a failure to effectively manage the relocation process. It is argued that the approach to relocation in Ireland reflects a neoliberal approach that responds to political and financial pressures upon the state and temporarily resolves some immediate risks for property owners but fails to address the underlying drivers of risk. The aggregate effects of such shifting responsibilities are to amplify existing and produce new vulnerabilities for communities impacted by flooding.
      35Scopus© Citations 6
  • Publication
    Contending Expertise: An Interpretive Approach to (Re)conceiving Wind Power's 'Planning Problem'
    (Taylor and Francis, 2015) ;
    We explore the complex and multidimensional nature of wind power's 'planning problem' by investigating the ways different knowledges and knowledge holders seek to accumulate authority over the 'facts' of a situation. This is undertaken through an interpretive analysis of how different parties to contentious wind farm debates in Ireland strived to mobilize contending realities wherein they were advantageously positioned as credible sources of knowledge. We advance a novel approach grounded in rhetorical theory that reveals and explains how the different parties to these debates deployed nuanced discursive strategies that constituted their character (ethos) by skilfully interlacing implicit and explicit portrayals of scientific objectivity (logos) with emotive subjectivity (pathos). In doing so, we identify the important role played by 'rescaling' in privileging and marginalizing different perspectives within both the contending discourses and the formal processes of planning application assessment. We draw conclusions from this analysis regarding broader debates in environmental governance and suggest how wind power's 'planning problem' should be reconceived.
      331Scopus© Citations 15