Mayors and Spatial Planning in Their Cities

Annick Magnier, Panagiotis Getimis, Marcello Cabria, Luís Baptista

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


In the last decades, institutional reforms and new informal practices have deeply transformed ‘spatial planning’ systems in Europe; in a context of reduced resources, local actors must simultaneously adapt their agenda and networking strategies for local development and urban transformation. Do European mayors continue to have faith in ‘new’ instruments such as territorial strategic planning, integrated urban projects in public–private partnerships? Or do they presently have more trust in a regulation introduced hierarchically within vertical power relations? Are there particular ‘spatial planning’ practices linked to specific urban agendas? Which are the main difficulties mayors have to face in defining urban plans and projects? The mayors’ declarations on the different ‘spatial planning’ instruments show how local leaders are currently contributing to the re-construction of the planning systems. Under the sign of an increasing adherence to the principles of ‘communicative’ planning emerges a composite trend, in contrast with the hypothesis of a progressive uniformity of cultures and practices around Europe. The three patterns of interpretation of the regulation’s function resulting from the statements of mayors suggest, on the contrary, the appearance of original configurations, new national settings and cultures if not of urban situations, which echo some classical models but, nevertheless, deeply revised.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolitical Leaders and Changing Local Democracy
Subtitle of host publicationGovernance and Public Management
EditorsH. Heinelt, A. Magnier, M. Cabria , H. Reynaert
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages44
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-67410-0
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-67409-4
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Urban regimes
  • Mayors’ urban agendas
  • Economic crisis
  • New social and environmental issues
  • Local development


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