The Inertial Forces of Ecological Planning: How Planning Resists Conceptual Change

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Spatial planning–in both its ideas and practices–cannot directly adopt new concepts, but instead they must be embedded in the existing framework of professional concepts. This is challenging for planning discourses when determining the ways in which the urban green is conceptualized. This chapter argues that the basic dichotomy of recreational and preservation values has been able to resist the introduction of new concepts, such as green infrastructure and ecosystem services. This resistance can be understood through an ‘archaeological’ analysis of planning discourses, using Foucault’s analysis of the discourse formations of serious speakers. In addition to the usual dichotomies of urban growth versus green or the built environment versus nature, there is a deeper dualism between rationalized nature and the ‘bestiality’ of uncontrolled and uncommunicated nature, which is still needed for the legitimacy of planning. Current conceptual frameworks in the planning in the cities on Helsinki, Milan and Montreal are analysed from this perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEcosystem Services and Green Infrastructure.
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives from Spatial Planning in Italy
EditorsAndrea Arcidiacono, Silvia Ronchi
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-54345-7
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Publication series

NameCities and Nature
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
ISSN (Print)2520-8306


  • ecosystem services
  • ecology
  • cities
  • nature
  • Foucault
  • planning

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The Inertial Forces of Ecological Planning: How Planning Resists Conceptual Change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this