Comparing Planning Cultures in Shrinking Cities Across the USA, Germany, and Japan: Perspectives From Urban Planning on the Refiguration of Spaces and Cross-Cultural Comparison

Keywords: figurational sociology, cross-cultural comparison, sociology of space, spatial analysis, refiguration of spaces, comparative planning cultures, shrinking cities, Germany, USA, Japan, semi-structured interviews, purposive sampling, qualitative content analysis

Abstract

Spatial planners deal with aspects related to the quality of life and future development of cities and regions, which are highly relevant for society. Due to various institutional and cultural settings, spatial planning systems emerged with comparable features. However, such systems have been adapted to specific cultural, normative, and spatial conditions. In our study, we conducted a comparison to investigate changes in planning cultures in the context of shrinking cities across the USA, Germany and Japan. The findings make it possible to detect interdependencies between changes in planning cultures and societal changes in the wake of shrinkage processes and potentially to place planning cultures in the perspective of a refiguration of spaces. We conclude with the hypothesis that planning cultures are framed by an array of factors in a somewhat polycontexturalized mode, such as geographic entities (nations, regions, cities), and also topics such as shrinking cities.

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Author Biographies

Karina Pallagst, Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

Karina PALLAGST is professor for international planning systems in the Department of Spatial and Environmental Planning at Technische Universität Kaiserslautern. In her research, she focuses on international comparative urban development, shrinking cities, urban growth, planning cultures, and planning theory. She is also a co-founder of the Shrinking Cities International Research Network (SCiRN).

René Fleschurz, Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

René FLESCHURZ is a research assistant for international planning systems in the Department of Spatial and Environmental Planning at Technische Universität Kaiserslautern. In his research he focuses on urban shrinkage, demographic decline in rural regions, participatory planning and planning cultures, and comparative research.

Tetsuji Uemura, Nomura Research Institute

Tetsuji UEMURA is a senior researcher at the Nomura Research Institute (NRI). He received his PhD from the London School of Economics. He has investigated the impact of shrinkage on Japanese cities and on society and has compared shrinkage in Europe and in Japan for many years.

Published
2021-09-29
How to Cite
Pallagst, K., Fleschurz, R., & Uemura, T. (2021). Comparing Planning Cultures in Shrinking Cities Across the USA, Germany, and Japan: Perspectives From Urban Planning on the Refiguration of Spaces and Cross-Cultural Comparison. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 22(3). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-22.3.3793
Section
The Refiguration of Spaces and Cross-Cultural Comparison II