The Bartlett School of Planning


Ben Clifford's new book 'The Collaborating Planner' published

23 May 2013

The Collaborating Planner

In an age of hyperactive reform to both the planning system and the local government context within which it operates, the role of frontline professionals is vital in shaping the contours of modernisation argues Dr Ben Clifford, Lecturer in Spatial Planning and Government at the Bartlett School of Planning, in a new book which has just been published.

Written with Professor Mark Tewdwr-Jones, from Newcastle University, The Collaborating Planner: Practitioners in the Neoliberal Age is an empirically rich exploration of how both specific planning and broader public sector reforms have been experienced and understood by chartered town planners working in local authorities across Great Britain. Although such reform has been extensively commented upon within academia, there has been a tendency just to look at policy announcements and governance structures without studying how these changes are manifesting themselves in planning practice.

With chapters on process, management, participation and culture, the book contributes both to debates about planning reform and also more broadly about how modernisation is rolled-out by frontline public servants.

“The current Coalition government continues to try to reform the planning system in pursuit of economic growth”, commented Ben, “yet this followed a decade of extensive changes pursued by the previous Labour government. Both governments have given too little though to the issues of implementation on the ground. Planning reform is therefore likely to continue to be experienced as a chaotic conveyor-belt of initiatives, and hard-pressed planners seen as obstacles to reform in need of culture change.”

The book is published by The Policy Press, and further details are on their website.
The book will officially be launched at an event held at UCL on Monday 3rd June. Further details are on our events page [insert link].