Regional design: Design in the context of fragmented governance.

Speaker: Verena Balz

Tuesday, October first 9:15-12:00

Location: OTB, Hugo Priemuszaal

Over recent decades, national governments (in North West Europe) have opened up a variety of planning processes to the involvement of de-central governments, coalitions among these and coalitions among these and public and private agencies. That why, who and how to plan became open to interpretations of a broad variety of actors has spurred the emergence of new decision making practices, among them a range that was commonly labeled ‘regional design’.

Since regional design has emerged as a practical and experimental response to a variety of devolution niches, practices differed tough. At times regional design was a practice to utilize spatial opportunities and improved regional spatial qualities, a value-free technical expertise to solve problems that have been framed by others earlier onward. At other times regional design was a form of political engagement and used to advocate values and norms; it was perceived to be a practice to increase the democratic quality of decision making. At yet other times regional design was a form of territorial management, a practice to explicate conflicting perceptions on regional spatial development and facilitate discussions and agreements.

During this seminar, we will discuss different aspects of regional design by means of examples. The aim of the seminar is to help students define the kind of design products they want to achieve in their graduation projects and underpin their choice in the context of broader research aims.


DÜHR, S. & MÜLLER, A. 2012. The Role of Spatial Data and Spatial Information in Strategic Spatial Planning.Regional Studies, 46, 423-428. Download 

NEUMAN, M. 1996. Images as institution builders: Metropolitan planning in Madrid. European Planning Studies, 4,293-312. Download

HEALEY, P. 2006. Relational complexity and the imaginative power of strategic spatial planning. European Planning Studies, 14, 525-546. Download 


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