“Urban interventionism” in welfare and planning: National typologies and “local cultures” in Europe

Juliet Carpenter, Patrícia Pereira, Oliver Dlabac, Roman Zwicky

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Comparative research on welfare and planning has traditionally been based on broadly defined typologies of national welfare state and planning systems, thereby neglecting the role of local “cultures” that help sustain and redevelop underlying institutions and practices. Drawing on a European-wide survey of city mayors, we explore how well the established typologies are reproduced in local welfare and planning cultures, as reflected in mayoral attitudes, and whether there are systematic variations of welfare and planning cultures even within the same country. The findings suggest that nationally based categories of welfare regimes and planning systems do not necessarily correspond with mayors’ preferences for “urban intervention” in service delivery, housing provision, or planning. Local specificities, including permeability to the influence of European institutions and policies, may in fact have a significant impact on mayors’ attitudes in these fields, possibly creating new local understandings as well as pressures for reforming national welfare and planning systems. These conclusions strengthen the argument that “local cultures” are presenting a challenge to national typologies of planning and welfare, and are important elements to take into account when exploring the evolution of urban policies at the local level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1019-1038
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Urban Affairs
Issue number7
Early online date1 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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