|M.Sc Student||Alkides Constantinos|
|Subject||Central-Local Government Relations in Land-Use Planning:|
A Cross-National Comparison of Planners' Views
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Rachelle Alterman|
Legally binding land-use plans capture the core of the planning engine and most immediately serve as the basis for development control. Their anchorage in legislation justifies the existence and importance of planning in society. We are all directly or indirectly affected by land use plans. This research examines the opinions of planners in central-local government relations during the local level plan preparation process. An attempt is made to extend the comparative approach that Alterman (2001) has used in her book National-Level Planning in Democratic Countries. Similar to this book, which serves as our theoretical framework, this research has selected countries with a western tradition; four of them are European (United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, Greece), one is Australia and the other is Cyprus. We visited all our case studies and talked to planners that prepare and implement land use plans. Our main research tool is the interview questionnaire. We addressed topics such as the current degree of central authority on the local tier, the use of direct powers on decision making, the size of staff in planning agencies, the needed changes for improvements, the potential for more decentralisation and the role of the European Union on statutory land use planning. The role of the central government reveals as important but the planning engine may become vulnerable in electoral periods. Increase in resources is a common element in the views of our planners. The role of the EU on local planning matters seems to be useful. Enhancing community engagement and improving central-local relations are widely appreciated as well as the invention of mechanisms for decreasing the number of objections against plans.