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The quest for spatial quality

Keijzer, Coen (2022) The quest for spatial quality. Master thesis.

Keijzer, C 2022 the quest for spatial quality.pdf

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The pressure on the Dutch (planning) landscape seems to be at an all-time high with a plurality of (future) spatial challenges and transitions affecting the quality of spaces; quality which citizens increasingly desire. This development has resulted in a renewed appreciation in spatial quality within Dutch national spatial planning. A multitude of programmes have recently been introduced that feature spatial quality as (part of) their main objective. This quest for spatial quality is, however, not new as it was already on the political agenda during the 1980s, finding its first operationalization within policy in 1988. Since then, its conceptualization and position has developed and changed. This study aims to explore this development process starting with its conception in the 1980s until the year 2020. A discourse analysis paired with the policy arrangements approach are used and adapted to investigate whether a new discourse has been able to instigate change by influencing the available resources, actor coalitions and institutions. The findings demonstrate that discursive shifts in spatial quality follow a wave-like pattern starting with efforts to instigate spatial quality in the dominant Dutch national spatial planning discourse during the 1980s, followed by a period of hegemony in the 1990s and a subsequent downfall during the late 2000s and onwards. Recent years have experienced a revival in appreciation and interest in the topic with new actors aiming to instigate a new discourse. Overall, the findings indicate that when a discursive shift place took place, interactions with all other policy arrangement dimensions occurred, suggesting the need for resonance with all dimensions for the successful adoption of a new discourse on spatial quality in Dutch national spatial planning. For the successful implementation of recent initiatives to install a new discourse on spatial quality (and to subsequently improve its positioning) it is recommended that resonance is created with all other dimensions of a policy arrangement.

Item Type: Thesis (Master)
Degree programme: Environmental & Infrastructure Planning
Supervisor: Kempenaar, J. and Restemeyer, B.
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2022 10:45
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2022 10:45

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