The role of planning cultures in urban infrastructure development : The art of planning a tram for Nijmegen
This is a case study on the planning culture of an urban infrastructural public transport project in the region of Nijmegen. The interviews with involved actors at the core of the thesis, are conducted under the theoretical framework of actor-‐centred institutionalism. This theory asks for the role of the actors within their institutional setting and tries to unravel the spaces of interpretation. These spaces, with respect to my work, consist of the soft factors of planning like the personal beliefs and styles of working that individuals have. The project under investigation is the HOV planning for the region, but my main focus was on the question of whether being able to bring back the tram to the city of Nijmegen. In this aspect of the HOV planning, mainly the municipality of Nijmegen and the City Region Arnhem Nijmegen are involved. Therefore these two institutions are presented by introducing their main actors in the project. The chapter on these leading institutions is based on the interviews conducted with the actors in spring 2012 and therefore should already open up the discussion relevant to my research questions. On the chapter on the actors follows a part where I have chosen fields of agency within the project of HOV. Here again, it is not mainly about technical aspects of the planning, but about how the actors deal with the hard sides of the project. Different opinions and convictions become clear and offer us insight into the soft aspects of the planning process. The core of the analysis consists of the chapters 2.3 until 2.5.3 but two more abstracts summarize the findings in reference to the research question. These concern the spaces of interpretation of the actors within their institutional setting and the underlying motives of their doings and sayings. The thesis is introduced by a chapter on the research background and by one about the internship organisation. In the part on theory, practice theory is added to actor-‐centred institutionalism. As a key concept, planning culture and governance are introduced before moving on to the methodology. Here, it is first about the way the interviews were developed and conducted, then follows up a notion on how I worked with the programme Atlas TI. The presentation of the research question leads to the empirical section, where the actors of the case study are presented and their way of working is analysed. The main outcome, as shown in the conclusions, is the finding that soft factors are highly influencing the planning process by the widely varying characters of the actors. Institutional settings can be described but it became clear that the planners’ personality is much more than the doctrine of the organization.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen