Space in Transition: Planning, Knowledge and Action in MetropolitanLandscapes
01 / 2006 - 12 / 2012
Transitions are structural and drastic social changes that take 20 to 25 years. The concept refers to interrelated economic, cultural, technological, social and institutional transformations. In the metropolitan landscape this concerns specifically transitions in the rural areas of densely populated regions, where agriculture makes way for new functions and actors. Spatial policy is aimed at developing strategies to influence these transitions. To manage that, better understanding of the complex physical and social dynamics behind transition is needed. At the same time, there is only so much government can do, as it increasingly depends on the private initiatives of civil society. Recently the term `development planning¿ has become popular in Dutch spatial policy to indicate new experiences in the planning practice that are thought to bring solutions to this dilemma. The relation between spatial planning and transition management and the role of transdisciplinary knowledge development in these processes are the key subjects of this research. Transition management is based on the belief that transition processes can be coordinated and influenced through learning by doing in a joint search process (Rotmans, 2005). This supposes that joint generation and consolidation of knowledge is an important aspect of transition management. Transdisciplinary knowledge (the combination of `professional' and `layman' knowledge) is seen in literature as the highest form of integration of knowledge. The goal of transdisciplinary knowledge is to develop a joint reference framework for decision-making. This research project explores a) the degree in which government in general, specifically through its spatial policy, is able to influence transition processes in the metropolitan landscape and b) the feasibility of transdisciplinary knowledge and the value of this idealized approach for planning practice. This together will bring insight for the way government can handle transition processes through spatial policy.