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Conference paper
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Abstract: Metropolitan Planning Strategies (MPS) have tended to set long-term targets of creating particular spatial forms and then pursued them in a top down fashion. This modernist planning has largely failed to constrain the outward growth of cities and focus growth on identified activity centres due to the lasting effects of planning and investment decisions that have become embedded within bureaucracies and condition the choices of property development firms and consumers in a path dependent way. We propose that policy makers should focus on how to design institutional arrangements that engage communities in responding to urban problems and opportunities as they arise. The design of institutional arrangements to support metropolitan plans might include a greater focus on harnessing the capabilities of local communities in policy design and implementation. State governments could set the ‘rules of the game’ through high level metropolitan outcomes, with local governments and communities working together on local solutions within those rules. This oblique strategy would plan for resilience and growth in a flexible way.

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