The Role of States and Nation-states in Smart Growth Planning
New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Gerrit-Jan Knaap, Huibert A. Haccoû, Kelly J. Clifton and John W. Frece
Introduction: Why Explore Smart Growth from a Trans-Atlantic Perspective?
Gerrit-Jan Knaap and Huibert A. Haccoû According to Robert D. Yaro (2002), learning from foreign experience in planning does not come naturally to planners in the United States: Over the past few decades American planning and land use regulations have become increasingly insular and introspective. Occasionally, we have been known to reach beyond the narrow conﬁnes of our own municipal or state planning and zoning system to learn about the latest state or regional smart growth innovations in some far away, exotic places, say Oregon or Maryland. But seldom do we feel the need to look beyond the seas to learn from the innovations from other countries. (Epilogue) European planners tend to be less insular. Not only do national boundaries frequently exist within the scope of their plans, but to achieve economies of scale, meetings of European planners tend to be multinational and focused on the sharing of ideas across national borders. Further, given the dominance of English in the planning literature, it is for European planners just as diﬃcult to avoid the discourse of North American planners as it is to avoid the marketing of Coke or McDonalds. Still these conversations tend to be unidirectional with little opportunity for the free exchange of ideas. To develop a common platform of understanding and investigate interest in participating in research, the Habiforum Foundation from The Netherlands and the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education at the University of Maryland jointly initiated an international symposium in Annapolis, Maryland,...