Mainstreaming the environment in planning policy and decision making

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This chapter exposes the need for improved mainstreaming of the environment in policy and decision making. Recognising that the term ‘mainstreaming’ itself is poorly understood and uncritically used, the chapter also seeks to also improve mainstreaming’s theoretical rigour. Initially, a series of case studies are presented that illuminate ‘disintegrated development’ posing significant barriers for mainstreaming efforts. It is here that the interface between spatial planning and ecosystem science is seen as a theoretical and practical opportunity space in response. This is formalised within an inductively derived mainstreaming continuum by the author which reflects different mainstreaming states according to capacity, capability and overall acceptability. Using examples from Birmingham City Council and South Downs National Park, the mainstreaming continuum is unpacked, revealing the importance of leadership, political buy-in, willingness to experiment outside established comfort zones and a collective appetite for social learning. Additionally, the concepts of ‘hooks’ and ‘bridges’ as translational mechanisms to help understand complex environmental lexicon and provide traction for wider engagement as a necessary prerequisite for mainstreaming success. This approach has global application to help improve the way the environment is respected and taken account of in planning systems nationally and globally.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Environmental Planning
EditorsSimin Davaudi, Richard Cowell, Iain White, Hilda Blanco
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781315179780
ISBN (Print)9781138894808
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2019

Publication series

NameRoutledge International Handbooks


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