Soft Spaces in Europe: Re-negotiating governance, boundaries and borders, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Soft Spaces in Europe

Re-negotiating governance, boundaries and borders, 1st Edition

Edited by Phil Allmendinger, Graham Haughton, Jörg Knieling, Frank Othengrafen


248 pages | 54 B/W Illus.

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The past thirty years have seen a proliferation of new forms of territorial governance that have come to co-exist with, and complement, formal territorial spaces of government. These governance experiments have resulted in the creation of soft spaces, new geographies with blurred boundaries that eschew existing political-territorial boundaries of elected tiers of government. The emergence of new, non-statutory or informal spaces can be found at multiple levels across Europe, in a variety of circumstances, and with diverse aims and rationales.

This book moves beyond theory to examine the practice of soft spaces. It employs an empirical approach to better understand the various practices and rationalities of soft spaces and how they manifest themselves in different planning contexts. By looking at the effects of new forms of spatial governance and the role of spatial planning in North-western Europe, this book analyses discursive changes in planning policies in selected metropolitan areas and cross-border regions. The result is an exploration of how these processes influence the emergence of soft spaces, governance arrangements and the role of statutory planning in different contexts.

This book provides a deeper understanding of space and place, territorial governance and network governance.

Table of Contents

I. A Conceptual Framework for Soft Spaces 1. Soft spaces, planning and emerging practices of territorial governance Phil Allmendinger, Graham Haughton, Jörg Knieling and Frank Othengrafen II. Soft Spaces in France, Germany, The Netherlands and England 2. Merseybelt (Manchester-Liverpool) Ian Deas, Stephen Hincks and Graham Haughton 3. Governance Arrangements in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region: Between Hard and Soft Institutional Spaces Marta Jacuniak-Suda, Cormac Walsh and Jörg Knieling 4. The Sillon Lorrain (Nancy, Metz, Epinal, Thionville) Anna Geppert 5.Evolving regional spaces: shifting levels in the southern part of the Randstad Marjolein Spaans and Wil Zonneveld 6. Ashford and Cambridge – two Growth Areas, three soft spaces Phil Allmendinger III. Cross-Border Soft Spaces 7. Soft Spaces across the Fehmarn Belt: Cross-border Regionalism in Practice Cormac Walsh, Marta Jacuniak-Suda and Jörg Knieling 8. Cross-border soft spaces of the Upper Rhine. Overlapping initiatives from the Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Orthenau to the Trinational Metropolitan Region of the Upper Rhine Anna Geppert 9. Creating a Space for Cooperation: Soft Spaces, Spatial Planning and Cross-Border Cooperation on the Island of Ireland Cormac Walsh IV. Conclusions and Outlook 10.Conclusion: What difference do soft spaces make? Frank Othengrafen, Jörg Knieling, Graham Haughton and Phil Allmendinger

About the Editors

Phil Allmendinger is Professor of Land Economy and Head of Department, University of Cambridge, UK.

Graham Haughton is Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at the University of Manchester, UK.

Jöerg Knieling is Professor for Urban Planning and Regional Development at HafenCity University Hamburg, Germany.

Frank Othengrafen is Assistant Professor for Regional Planning and Research at the Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany.

About the Series

Regions and Cities

In today’s globalised, knowledge-driven and networked world, regions and cities have assumed heightened significance as the interconnected nodes of economic, social and cultural production, and as sites of new modes of economic governance and policy experimentation. This book series brings together incisive and critically engaged international and interdisciplinary research on this resurgence of regions and cities, and should be of interest to geographers, economists, sociologists, political scientists and cultural scholars, as well as to policy-makers involved in regional and urban development.

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Natalie Tomlinson – – Routledge Commissioning Editor

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Business Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development