Planning in a place of co-becoming: Informal and more-than-human placemaking in Scottish vacant land policy

Imogen Humphris*, Ward Rauws, Lummina Horlings

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Vacant land can provide social and ecological benefits to cities as they are informally used by people and spontaneously populated by animals and plant-life. However, planners and policy makers often frame vacant land as ‘empty’, ‘blank’ spaces, making it difficult to acknowledge informal and more-than-human shaping of these places. This paper demonstrates how a reconceptualization of vacant land through a relational lens enables the inclusion of informal and more-than-human placemaking in planning policy. Analysing the recent Scottish planning policy debate on vacant land through the analysis of policy documents and key informant interviews, we demonstrate that the inclusion of informal and more-than-human placemaking in the Scottish planning policy is fostered by growing recognition of concepts such as urban biodiversity, but hindered by persistent nature-culture divisions. Waymarkers for future policy making are, firstly, strengthening the presence of informal and more-than-human actors in policy debates by seeking representatives who can speak on their behalf and, secondly, supporting new placemaking traditions specifically for vacant land that are incremental and collaborative.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105036
Number of pages11
JournalCities
Volume150
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2024

Keywords

  • More-than-human
  • Placemaking
  • Policymaking
  • Relational theory
  • Vacant land

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