Respectful Renewal - On Knowledge and Transparency in the Urban Planning Process
Doctoral thesis, 2006
This thesis is written within the field of architecture and urban planning. Based upon a critical examination of the Critical Planning Theory, communicative rationality and the concept of consensus, a model of communicative planning as management of conflicts is adopted as a theoretical framework together with the concepts of transparency and knowledge as qualitative aspects of an urban renewal planning process within a deliberative democratic society. An analysis of the historical development of the notion of the common good within the Swedish planning legislation leads to a discussion about the interdependence of efficiency, participation and the civil right to appeal in the planning process.
The thesis is based on three case studies. A court case about the design of a private house in Gothenburg illuminates the function of the Swedish legal system concerning aesthetic control, local democracy and the definition of the common good. The local planning history of a programmatic Swedish 1940s housing estate, possibly facing densification, is presented as part of a discussion about the possibilities and shortcomings of local participatory planning processes, regarding both transparency and knowledge. The transformation of the Inner Harbor in Baltimore is analyzed as a long term complex urban renewal process, with an interesting deliberative technique for design review.
In the final section, the concept of transparency is elaborated as a regulating ideal for process design. American and Scandinavian examples of design review, design control and pre-planning processes are discussed from a knowledge perspective as tools for improving the quality of the built environment. Comparisons are made between the Inner Harbor project in Baltimore, and the brownfield transformations now taking part in the former harbor area in Gothenburg. Finally, respectful renewal, with equal stress on both terms, is proposed as a tentative approach to summarize these findings.
The thesis is written in Swedish
critical planning theory