Environment and planning a vol:38 issue:6 pages:1149-1170
Clear-cut definitions of strategic spatial planning are rather exceptional. Therefore in this paper I use building blocks from literature (planning and business) and my experience in practice to construct a workable normative definition of the 'what' and 'how' of strategic spatial planning. Five main characteristics (selective, relational annex inclusive, integrative, visioning, and action orientated) that constitute the hard core of the 'strategic' in the normative view are confronted, in a first broad scan, with nine so-called strategic plans from different planning traditions in Europe (Italy, France, Spain, the Czech Republic, Belgium, and the Netherlands) and in Australia (Perth). The confrontation highlights some hesitant shifts towards the normative view but also makes it clear that there is still a long way to go.