Institutions for Sustainable Land Use and Transport Policy: the Role of Regional Governance
T Leite, M D Leiren, Institute of Transport Economics, NO
Increased regional coordination has been put forward as a strategy to obtain a sustainable land use and transport planning. We discuss regional governance as a required intermediating level between the national and local level.
Increased regional coordination (governance) has been put forward as a strategy for improving the integration between land use and transport planning (Benz and Fürst, 2003; Bratzel, 1999; Lehmbrock et al., 2005). We discuss how different responsibilities at regional level may improve the institutional conditions for integrated land use and transport policy at municipal, county, and state level. The paper is based on qualitative case studies, by means of document analyses and semi focused expert interviews (Leite et al., 2007).
We have chosen three regional governance schemes: The administrative pilot of the Kristiansand region in Norway, the former County model of Funen in Denmark and the regional model of Greater Hanover in Germany. The governance schemes of the case regions could be described as three distinct models of enhanced regional governance. The cases thus differs in the relationship between public authorities and other stakeholders (network governance), as well as in the relationship between the administration levels (multi-level governance). These differences have given us the opportunity to study the significance of variable institutional settings at local level as well as the significance of different national planning systems and competence schemes (Leite et al., 2007).
In the paper we will argue that enforced regional governance is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for closing the gap between national policy goals and local implementation of an integrated land use and transport policy (such as urban concentration versus urban sprawl, reduced car use and improved public transport). Regional governance schemes face several challenges in achieving a more sustainable land use and transport planning: First, the regional level is dependent on sufficient demand and support from national policy level and on consistent policy instruments. Second, historical patterns of settlement may constrain the possible choices at hand. Third, the path dependency of institutions at both local and regional level may hamper changes in planning. Fourth, the range of competencies at regional level may be too limited to ?make a difference? (Leiren and Leite, 2008; Leite et al., 2008).
All models of regional governance in the studied cases performed well as regional coordination schemes both due to the institutional design, and to the quality of the dialogue between the stakeholders involved. There has been little evidence that the local level, represented through the municipalities, has lost influence, through a stronger regional level. Hence, regional governance can foremost be seen as a required intermediating level between the national administrative and policy level (goals, instruments and planning requirements) and local planning interests. When we presuppose urgent necessity for implementing sustainable land use and transport planning ? we simply need regional governance to secure policy commitment and professional engineering at administrative level that is required for implementing national goals for an integrated land use and transport planning in the municipalities.
The paper will be based on results from the research project ?Towards an Integrated Spatial Development and Transport Policy: Regional Governance in a Fragmented Sector? (Leiren and Leite, 2008; Leite et al., 2008; Zibell et al., 2008). The project is financed under the Democracy and Governance in a Regional Context Programme (DEMOSREG) of the Research Council of Norway.
Proposed conference theme: Integrated land use and transport development - strategy, impact, policy effectiveness
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