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Sustainability and its complements as the new paradigm in Croatian planning theory and practice

Author(s): Branko Cavrić

Journal: Geoadria
ISSN 1331-2294

Volume: 14;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 61;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: spatial planning | sustainability | sustainable planning | evolutionability

Effort to incorporate sustainability aspects into the spatial planning agenda requires new relationships between conventional and new players in today's post-socialist world. Some stakeholders engaged in development, management and governance are sometimes tailoring the destiny of regional and urban systems in Croatia without sustainability concerns. Their activities show the lack of awareness and negative attitude towards sustainable planning practices where the major goal is to improve the quality of life of current and future generations. Without sound ideas about carrying capacities and sustainability, some of these actors have ignored the planning knowledge and expertise (CAVRIĆ, NEDOVIĆ – BUDIĆ, 2007). Planners advise upon them with their professional skill and knowledge but the driving force is still political power. These proponents have managed to safeguard their own spatial and land interests on the expense of the public and ordinary citizens, by maintaining the system of "copy-paste" planning blue prints, suitable for supporting emerging urban sprawl and uncontrolled construction activities. Unfortunately, due to the long-term social ignorance and strong alliance of developer's lobbies, architects and constructors, various international planning ideas with "sustainability in mind" have not affected Croatian planning theory and practice, yet. Some of them are petrified, misinterpreted or simply abolished owing to obstinate legislation, the non-existence of formal planning education, and the privileged position of only one brand of chartered planners (e.g. architects) . Alternative development solutions, such as public participation, behavioral, organizational and technological advances, diversity of implementing instruments in the planner's "toolkit", and the planner's numerous tasks in guiding sustainable change, are still to be recognized in this EU accession country.Notwithstanding, this paper aims to summaries sustainability and its derivates as the new paradigms, in which the guiding leitmotif of the new global agenda for planning is spelled out by the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (2001b) as follows: "The new planning is less coded and technical, more innovative and entrepreneurial. It is more participatory and concerned with projects rather than whole spatial systems. Planning expertise is increasingly sought not only by the state, but also by the corporate sector and civil society. What is controversial is not planning per se, but its goal: whether it should be directed chiefly at efficiency, reinforcing the current distribution of wealth and power, or whether it should play a distributive role to help create minimum standards of urban liveability" (Hague, 2001).

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