- The disconnected innovation of new urbanity in Zuidas Amsterdam, Ørestad Copenhagen and Forum Barcelona
- European Planning Studies
- Volume | Issue number
- 17 | 9
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
In the latest generation of large-scale European peripheral development projects, a growing ambition is visible to plan more urban environments. We refer to this intention as planning for "new urbanity" since the aim is to reintroduce into a new timeframe and location the traditional urban concepts of density and mixing uses. Empirical evidence shows, however, that the path to realize such ambitions has been very difficult. This article presents a study on governance factors influencing the trajectory from initial ambitions towards the first physical results in three cases. An analysis is made of the different dimensions of framing of these projects in their respective metropolitan action space and of the rules that structure their operational domains. This is the basis to question the extent to which the ambition for new urbanity has developed in a social norm influencing acceptable behaviour among actors. The conclusion is that the narrowly defined operation spheres of these projects are weakly connected to important societal domains that could have better supported these ambitions. New urbanity has, therefore, predominantly remained a disconnected, free-floating, "good idea" without strong material results. It is also in danger of becoming an extremely privatized planning concept, deviating from its original spatial and socially integrative nature.
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