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The great recession - a transformative moment for planning

Feindt, Peter H. 2010. The great recession - a transformative moment for planning. International Planning Studies 15 (3) , pp. 169-174. 10.1080/13563475.2010.512177

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The global financial and economic crisis that started in 2007 has challenged fundamental assumptions about the role of markets, public policy and planning in the provision of wealth and public goods. This special issue sets out to explore the meaning of the crisis for planning, looking into various areas that represent a broad concept of planning as public policy: urban development and governance; housing and urban design; international development and poverty reduction; transport and mobility; and environmental policy and planning. The special issue links reflections on the changing economic and financial environment, on shifting attitudes towards markets, governance and planning, and on practical and policy implications, with conceptual and theoretical considerations. Without claiming to fully exhaust the content of the contributions, this introduction resumes the arguments and findings with regard to three key questions: the nature of the pre-crisis regime as exposed during the crisis; planning and public policy responses to the crisis; and likely scenarios for the future of public policy and planning. The background of these questions is the observation that the Great Recession marks a crisis that will potentially transform key institutions and the wider ideational framework of planning. The sequence of events that unfolded since mid-2007 was breathtaking. The crisis that was to become the Great Recession first emerged in the US subprime mortgage market, quickly spread throughout financial markets globally and then caused vast damage in the real economy, which saw the worst slump since 1929. While a globally coordinated Keynesian response of unseen proportions helped to stop immediate panic in financial markets, it did little to prevent a major rise in structural unemployment, left public budgets with huge deficits and brought several countries to the verge of a sovereign debt crisis. Indications of a structural transformation abound: two years after the collapse of the US investment bank Lehmann Brothers, despite record-low interest rates, many asset values remain depressed, capital supply limited and credit tight. Many economic forecasters expect a long period of sluggish growth at best. Many regions saw key factories and businesses close down, probably forever. Moving towards post-stimulus politics, governments have cut back public services and announced a decade of austerity. The overall scenario is subdued and there seems no easy return to pre-crisis conditions that in hindsight appear like a happy era – for planning and beyond. But were they?

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1356-3475
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2019 09:07

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