Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

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Planning Around Polarisation: Components of Finding Common Ground Based on Regeneration Projects in London and Gdańsk

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Abstract:  Various forms of public participation in urban design and planning—as presented and discussed in literature—have recently been challenged by the needs and expectations of different stakeholders, including those coming from the private sector. This comes with a redefinition of the public good and the roles and responsibilities of municipal authorities in post-liberal times. As a result, contemporary participatory processes need to evolve to accommodate not only the wishes and ideas of the local communities, but also those of institutional stakeholders including investors, developers and land owners. This is also accompanied by the demands, expressed by all partners in this process, associated with having a much stronger influence on the final shape of the development policies and planning regulations. The gradual democratisation of spatial planning results in more engagement of stakeholders in the process. The article focuses on the co-design method as a way to bridge the polarisation of interests and find a consensus. The article focuses on identifying co-design components leading to the successful bridging of divisions and the realisation of large-scale regeneration initiatives that could be replicated. The authors have selected examples of large-scale regeneration areas in London and Gdańsk for a qualitative assessment, given the growing polarisation in both Polish and British societies. The discussion will focus on aspects of inclusivity, partnership working in co-design and political risks associated with co-design.

Keywords:  co-design; large-scale urban regeneration; participatory urban planning; polarisation in urban development



© Piotr Lorens, Agnieszka Zimnicka. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.