Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy

No 2013/37: Physical Planning in Place-Making through Design and Image Building

Ana Mafalda Madureira ()
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Ana Mafalda Madureira: CIRCLE, Lund University, and Blekinge Tekniska Högskola Sweden

Abstract: This paper discusses how physical planning works with place-making through urban design to support image creation in a municipality that aims to create a new image for its city. Two large-scale urban development projects in Sweden are analysed. The analysis focuses on official plans and documentation, and expert interviews. It distinguishes how place-making by physical planning happens through aestheticisation, the design of physical environments for specific groups of inhabitants, and by granting visual and symbolic coherence to an area aligned with the new image for the city. The construction of this image is kick-started by a flagship development, but requires that subsequent projects support complementing urban visions, so as to grant coherence to the perceptions of the new image. In the process, heterogeneity, variation and conflict are tamed and urbanity is framed for “creative classes”. The paper thus highlights potential dilemmas that place-making might create for the practice of physical planning in urban development, and contributes to the discussions on the transformation of public sector urban planning in contexts of urban entrepreneurialism..

Keywords: Physical planning; Place-making; Urban entrepreneurialism

JEL-codes: O21

17 pages, December 18, 2013

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