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Title: Planning for socially just outcomes : planners, politics and power in the Olympic legacy planning process
Author: Farndon, D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7428 996X
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis explores whether mega event-driven development can achieve socially just planning outcomes by investigating how the development in London’s Olympic Park regeneration masterplan - the Legacy Communities Scheme (LCS) planning application - was rationalised by the actors involved (particularly planners), and assesses whether the LCS’s planning outcomes were socially just. The thesis firstly critically reviews conceptualisations of social justice within the planning and urban studies literature, thus informing a normative framework of ‘socially just planning outcomes’, adapted from Fainstein’s three ‘Just City’ principles, against which to assess the LCS. This theoretical framing is accompanied by an examination into the functioning of power in the planning decision-making process, drawing from analytical concepts relating to agency, agenda setting, and rationality. Through analysis of the LCS application’s documentation and in-depth stakeholder interviews, the main planning outcomes of the LCS are established, focusing on housing, employment, open space, and education land uses. How actors engaged in the LCS’s planning decision-making process reflected on and rationalised their support/objections to these outcomes is then examined. Subsequently, the role of power in shaping the LCS is discussed, with consideration to the exceptional governance arrangements, technical expertise, agenda setting, and the consensual, ‘closed-door’ approach to decision making. The thesis concludes that the LCS only partially provides outcomes that meet the ‘Legacy promises’ and the ‘socially just planning outcomes’ criteria. These outcomes closely align with national government objectives to ensure the delivery of the ‘Legacy’ development and recoup Olympic expenditure. This was primarily secured by the LCS applicant’s technical viability rationalisations, premised on maximising financial returns, which were largely accepted by the planners within the Olympic planning authority when assessing the LCS. This constrained the application of local planning policy and development objectives, and thus the influence of rationalisations advanced by the Boroughs’ planners and councillors.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available