Environmental Planning in the Netherlands: Too Good to be True: From Command-and-Control Planning to Shared Governance, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Environmental Planning in the Netherlands: Too Good to be True

From Command-and-Control Planning to Shared Governance, 1st Edition

By Gert de Roo


408 pages

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The Netherlands is one of the most prominent and innovative countries in the field of environmental planning. Over the past decade, its government has introduced such ground-breaking schemes as Integrated Environmental Zoning, the City-Environment Project, the Bubble Concept and Policy Concepts and new approaches to coping with noise, odours, soil pollution, air pollution and safety issues. These initiatives and policy tools reflect a rapidly changing and decentralising environmental policy, which contrasts with more conventional environmental ideologies. However, at present little is known of these policies in the international arena. De Roo shows how and why, in recent years, the country's planning system has moved away from its traditional 'top-down' structure. The resulting changes have had far-reaching consequences for the traditional principles of Dutch environmental policy. In addition, measures for compensating excessive environmental loads are now open to discussion and environmental quality is a subject of negotiation among stakeholders. All these developments mean that environmental policy-making has become more closely integrated with local initiatives that focus on general location-specific qualities. In this book, this development is referred to as 'tailor-made comprehensive planning', which relates closely to the local context, is area-specific, situation-dependent, and embraces shared governance.


'…Gert de Roo clearly outlines in his most interesting book, environmental planning is much more than just formulating intentions and targets. He shows very clearly by means of many examples that planning methods will fail if they don't take the complexity of local decision-making into account…' Professor Henk Voogd, University of Groningen, Netherlands 'Professor de Roo's new book makes two principal contributions to our knowledge. First, he provides an informed description and a balanced, critical assessment of some important Dutch environmental planning initiatives that can provide ideas for practice elsewhere. Second, he develops and applies a framework for planning in complex situations that is an original contribution to planning theory.' Professor Donald Miller, University of Washington, USA 'The book…is to be welcomed in making Gert de Roo's work more generally accessible…a convincing account of the evolution of a more socially integrated approach to environmental protection that will have considerable resonance and drive in many different contexts.' Journal of Environmental Planning and Management

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction. Part A: Environmental/Spatial Conflicts in a Changing Context: Externalities and the 'Grey' environment; The compact city. Part B: Complexity and Pluriformity: Planning-oriented action in a theoretical perspective. Part C: Interaction and Changing Goals in Area-Specific Environmental Policy: The standardisation and institutionalisation of environmental policy; A decision-making model based on complexity; Liveability on the banks of the IJ; From 'Command-and-Control' planning to shared governance; References; Abbreviations; Legislation; Index.

About the Series

Urban Planning and Environment

Urban Planning and Environment
Maintaining and enhancing living conditions in cities through a combination of physical planning and environmental management is a newly emerging focus of governments around the world. For example, local governments seek to insulate sensitive land uses such as residential areas from environmentally intrusive activities such as major transport facilities and manufacturing. Regional governments protect water quality and natural habitat by enforcing pollution controls and regulating the location of growth. Some national governments fund acquisition of strategically important sites, facilitate the renewal of brown fields, and even develop integrated environmental quality plans. The aim of this series is to share information on experiments and best practices of governments at several levels. These empirically-based studies present and critically assess a variety of initiatives to improve environmental quality. Although institutional and cultural contexts vary, lessons from one commonly can provide useful ideas to other communities. Each of the contributions are independently peer reviewed, and are intended to be helpful to professional planners and environmental managers, elected officials, representatives of NGOs, and researchers seeking improved ways to resolve environmental problems in urban areas and to foster sustainable urban development.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / City Planning & Urban Development