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Title: Planning, mediation and the divided city : three case studies of Belfast
Author: McCarten, Alan Paul
ISNI:       0000 0004 5370 989X
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis is concerned with planning practice and the mediation of conflict. It argues that collaborative approaches to planning fail to acknowledge the complexities of conflict surrounding the redevelopment and use of land. Drawing on conflict studies and mediation literature, it puts forward the concept of mediation as having the potential to embrace conflict in a way that collaborative approaches to planning do not. Accordingly the aim of the thesis is to evaluate how the parameters of mediation are capable of supplementing the collaborative ideal in planning. The thesis employs a distinct analytical framework comprising the theoretical perspectives of communicative action, communicative planning, agonistic pluralism and power alongside key principles derived from the literature on conflict and mediation. It uses case studies in the divided city of Belfast and adopts a qualitative approach to examine the context of physical redevelopment initiatives at three contested sites located in the West and North of the city. An interpretative analysis of the qualitative data places under scrutiny the issues associated with the processes, partnerships and societal relations connected to the three case study sites: The Stewartstown Road Regeneration Project in West Belfast; The Crumlin Road Gaol and Girdwood Barracks site in North Belfast; and the Adam Street site in North Belfast. The investigation advances and deepens the understanding of the nature of conflict in planning practice. It demonstrates the influence of contextual factors on processes of collaborative decision-making. The empirical research has shown these factors to act as intractable barriers and points to the false promise of collaborative planning. The study attends to the emerging context of change in NI through the development of new structures and legislative/policy frameworks, and in drawing together the empirical findings, offers a conceptualisation of mediation in the framework of spatial planning.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available