Actor Consulting: A Means to Tackle the Fuzzy Side to Sustainability within a Commonly Agreed and Positive Planning Environment

Gert de Roo, Geoff Porter

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    This paper argues that many of the key notions associated with spatial planning, such as ‘sustainability’ are essentially fuzzy in their nature. The paper introduces a method of data collection and analysis that seeks to clarify such situations, which might lead to the identification of more realistic spatial policy that reflects the thoughts, aspirations and motives of crucial actors, being limited in number, and having a common and positive understanding regarding the issue at hand. The paper refers to two examples from respectively UK and Netherlands of how such a method can be used to explore realistic ways forward for a sustainable housing policy. In both cases it was found necessary to explore aspects of policy that go beyond the conventional boundaries of spatial policy for housing in order to learn how to pursue more sustainable approaches. The actor- consulting model was effective in unpacking the fuzzy notion of sustainability in a way that assisted the planning authority to learn how policy might be more realistically framed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)16-27
    Number of pages11
    Issue number201
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • actor-consulting
    • Spatial Planning
    • Decision-making

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