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A New Space for Sustainable Development? Regional Environmental Governance in the North West and the West Midlands of England

Aidan While, Stephen Littlewood and David Whitney
The Town Planning Review
Vol. 71, No. 4 (Oct., 2000), pp. 395-413
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40112434
Page Count: 19
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A New Space for Sustainable Development? Regional Environmental Governance in the North West and the West Midlands of England
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Abstract

Since the early 1990s regions have gradually re-emerged as a significant arena of English governance after the anti-planning ethos of the Thatcher years. Under New Labour English regionalisation has gathered momentum with the creation of Regional Development Agencies, regional chambers of local and regional stakeholders and proposals to strengthen the Regional Planning Guidance process. This paper explores the implications of the new regional institutions for environmental policy making. While the imperative for some form of regional approach to sustainable development has been well rehearsed in both academic and policy debates over the last decade, the revival of regional agendas has provided an opportunity to translate theoretical principles into practice. This paper focuses on innovative attempts to use the regional scale to develop new frameworks for addressing issues of environmental policy and sustainable development in two English regions. Emphasis is placed on opportunities for developing appropriate policy responses as well as potential barriers to effective regional-level intervention.

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