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VII. Market-Oriented Planning Of Type 5 - Planning In Co-operation To Increase The Competitiveness Of The City

The types of market-oriented planning discussed above are very much focused on the local arena, and the relative power and resources of local politicians, local property owners and developers. When the economic system as a whole develops into a more global system in which firms and people more easily can move between cities and countries, there is an increased pressure on the local actors to cooperate instead of compete with respect to local power.

Williams (1999, p. 21) talks about "the marketing of places" and writes:

"Currently, however, there has been a rebirth of interest in approaches to strategic planning with 'collaborative' positions becoming central.... ...[O]ur major cities have entered into a new competitive era, promoting a range of 'capacity-building' initiatives and perceiving local political fragmentation as impairing their ability to compete..... The starting point is no longer the visions of the local government or of the private sector. Instead both join forces against an external threat - that "their" region will lose in relation to other regions."

Gleeson and Low (1999, p. 42) write:

"In a real sense, the triumph of the 'productive city' signals an end to the long antagonism between the market and planning in neo-liberal Western societies.".. "The productive city seeks not a new accommodation of the market to planning - it seeks to reconstruct and redeploy planning as a market dynamic itself."

A number of the articles in Rodwin and Sanyal (2000) point in the same direction, for example, the ones by Innes and Susskind. A similar Swedish development is described in Cars and von Sydow (2001).

In Table 6, we summarise this fifth form of market-oriented planning, which we call "Globalization Style." The local government is seen as an important actor, but one among several actors, who formulate visions for the development of the city. The local government has strong legal rights concerning structural issues and also considerable economic resources that can be used for investments, especially in infrastructure. Compared to the other types of market-oriented planning, the distribution of formal power will, however, be of less importance. The external pressure to be competitive is the driving force.

TABLE 6: Market-oriented Planning: Type 5 - Globalization Style

Component The position of the local government
Visions In co-operation with other local actors
Legal rights Strong, but for a smaller number of issues
Financial resources Rather strong, but mostly for infrastructural purposes

To keep a dynamic economic base is, of course, important in all types of local planning. The Globalization Style of market-oriented planning is an ideal type in which the foot-looseness of the economic base is very high. The local actors are, in reality, in a game situation reminiscent of the Prisoners´ Dilemma: The outcome for them can improve if they all cooperate to make the city competitive, but each local actor might want the other actors to compromise the most. Some actors, or some municipalities within a region, might try to ride free on the cooperative efforts of the other actors/municipalities. One way to avoid conflicts between different actors or municipalities is to limit the kind of issues over which the local or regional government has decision making powers, as is indicated in Table 6. Considerable room for local initiatives may also be a way of making the region more attractive.

Thornley (1993, p. 217) argues that one of the characteristics of the developer-driven planning, described above Thatcher Style planning, was " the removal of social criteria." It might be interesting to speculate a little about the general content of the Globalization Style of market-oriented planning. What does it take to make a city more attractive? If we examine, for example, Andersson (1999), then the picture that emerges is that, for a city to be able to attract expanding new industries, it will need to have a well functioning housing market, a good infrastructure (including schools and other social institutions), and a low level of social problems. The city must avoid slums, high levels of criminality, and social unrest to be attractive. Too-wide income differentials might reduce economic growth partly by creating greater uncertainty and higher risk of social unrest. See Persson and Tabellini (1994). .If this is a correct view of what it takes to make a city attractive, then social criteria would come to play a bigger role in planning. If we compare with Thatcher Style planning, and perhaps American Style planning, one goal common to each municipality is to keep problems out of their municipality - and let other municipalities try to solve them. Globalization Style planning might be closer in content to the Coasian Style planning. The local actors would continue to invest in the region as long as the gains in terms of their share of the profits from firms are greater than their share of the costs. As I will revisit in the next section, many interesting questions remain concerning the relationships between the different types of market-oriented planning.

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