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This book project highlights creative approaches to planning and local development. The dynamic complexity, diversity and fluidity which characterize contemporary society represent challenges for planning and development endeavours. While research and policy work has extensively focused on large cities and on metropolitan regions, there has been relatively little work on ‘smaller places’.
This book shows that if these new challenges affect all places and regions, small and medium-sized towns (SMSTs) are suffering many specific problems that call imperatively for the design and implementation of very imaginative, creative approaches to planning and local development. What could enhance creativity in local development and planning? Is it possible to talk about creative capacity building at the level of a town that might release imaginative and innovative activities? Under what local and non-local conditions is creativity being initiated and flourishing? What are the major obstacles and in what way can these be contained in order to safeguard pockets of creative action?
Interdisciplinary and with case studies from France, Norway and other European countries, this volume presents a wide range of approaches and territorial contexts of small cities and towns in which spatial dynamics and the consequences of the city-region for urban planning theory and practice in Europe are highlighted, with a special focus on the challenges for - and understanding of - planning and development of SMSTs. It provides a significant body of critical, comparative and contextual perspectives on the quest for urban sustainability and resilience in SMSTs, therefore emphasizing collaborative and potentially innovative approaches that can be detected, but also the shortcomings, pitfalls and 'traps' that can lie behind the approaches aimed at concerting ecological, economic, and socio-cultural concerns, and the discourses promoting them.