Sustainable communities and English spatial policy

Allan Cochrane

in The Future of Sustainable Cities

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9781847426673
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305545 | DOI:
Sustainable communities and English spatial policy

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The notion of ‘sustainability’ is increasingly mobilised in public policy discourse, particularly in the taken-for-granted language of contemporary planning. The promise of sustainability brings together personal and community responsibility with a world in which economic well-being and environmental protection can exist side by side, and may even mutually support each other. This chapter explores these issues through a review of some aspects of New Labour's ‘sustainable communities plan’ and its implementation, with a particular focus on the South East of England. Here the policy promise was unequivocal: the delivery of a major housing programme can help ensure that the economic strength of the South East economy is maintained; the sustainable communities that are fostered or created will both be environmentally sensitive and capable of reproducing the (skilled) labour force needed to underpin future growth. The utopian premises underlying this apparently ‘realistic’ policy approach are considered and fundamental tensions identified.

Keywords: housing strategy; regional policy; southeast England; social policy; sustainable communities; urban policy

Chapter.  7129 words. 

Subjects: Urban and Rural Studies

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