When soft planning and hard planning meet: Conceptualising the encounter of European, national and sub-national planning

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The EU contributes to the creation of soft spaces, differing from administrative entities, while at the same time, it acts as a driver of soft planning, focusing– both for strategic and legal reasons – on coordination, cooperation and mutual learning, rather than ‘hard’, regulatory planning. The article claims further that instead of depicting the connections between the EU and its member states, research should pay increased attention to the encounter of European and domestic planning within a country. The scales, actors and instruments that deal with EU inputs within a country might prove to be crucial factors that ultimately determine the impact of EU policies on spatial planning. To illustrate the encounter of European and domestic planning in the light of soft and hard planning, the article introduces a conceptual framework and thereby provides an outline for further empirical research.


Original languageEnglish
Article number61
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Spatial Development
Publication statusPublished - May 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • European Union, spatial rescaling, soft spaces, planning system, europeanisation

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ID: 4298203