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Sustainable development in English metropolitan authorities : an investigation using unitary development plans.

Bruff, Garreth Edward (1997) Sustainable development in English metropolitan authorities : an investigation using unitary development plans. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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    Abstract

    Sustainable development can be approached from many different perspectives. Whilst
    short, 'punchy' definitions have successfully communicated and popularised sustainable
    development, a detailed and meaningful application of the concept is much more
    problematic. In order to address the situation, this thesis investigates the potential of
    unitary development plans (UDPs) to operationalise sustainable development in the
    current political and economic context. The study utilises a combination of qualitative
    techniques over two distinct stages to meet three research aims.

    Stage I consists of a broad survey of 36 UDPs to assess their strengths and weaknesses
    in terms of sustainable development. It uses the work of the UK Local Agenda 21
    Campaign to define sustainable development as 29 'Policy Directions for Sustainable
    Development'. This definition is then applied to the UDPs using the methods of content
    analysis. The survey reveals that all UDPs are currently promoting sustainable
    development in terms of the built and natural physical environment. Other areas of
    sustainable development, however, such as energy and land, air and water quality, are
    currently outside the remit of most UDP policies.

    Using the results of this survey, Stage 111 of the research selects two UDPs for a case
    study investigation. This stage utilises documentary analysis and in-depth interviews with
    local actors to explore the dynamics of each UDP process. It reveals that the policy remit
    of both plans were largely researched, defined and then written by the professional
    planners in each authority; whereas inputs from locally elected councillors, the general
    public or other local organisations are generally limited to narrower, site specific issues.

    These characteristics can be explained by the perceptions of the planning profession held
    by local actors in both authorities. For example, many councillors have a narrow,
    procedural understanding of the planning system, believing that good land-use planning
    is largely equivalent to sustainable development. Planners, on the other hand, see
    sustainable development as a new legitimisation of their profession and are therefore
    keen to promote their own understanding of the concept.

    In order to realise the potential of UDPs to fully operationalise sustainable development,
    the thesis concludes with a number of recommendations for changing the current UDP
    process.

    Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
    Additional Information: EThOS Persistent ID uk.bl.ethos.363232
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Urban planning & rural planning, Regional planning, Geography, Political science, Public administration
    Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
    H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
    Schools: School of Applied Sciences
    Depositing User: Graham Stone
    Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2009 12:28
    Last Modified: 28 Jul 2010 19:38
    URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/4751

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