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42nd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "From Industry to Advanced Services - Perspectives of European Metropolitan Regions", August 27th - 31st, 2002, Dortmund, Germany
Since the signing of the Agenda 21 and the HABITAT resolutions, sustainable development has become an important principle for spatial planning in Europe. The European Minister Conference on Regional and Spatial Planning (CEMAT), for example, resolved "Guidelines for sustainable spatial planning on the European Continent" during its meeting in Hanover in 2000. Although the principle of sustainable development has gained popularity in regional planning it has not been widely implemented. The main weaknesses in terms of the implementation are the vague definition of sustainability and the variety of goals which have been developed for the principle of sustainable development. With the amendment of the Legislation in Germany (Federal Regional Planning Act and the Building Code) in 1998, sustainable development has been established as a guiding principle for spatial planning in Germany. In order to meet the demands of sustainable spatial development implementation must occur in the state legislation as well as in the regional planning documents and strategies. The regional planning authorities of North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) have developed a new generation of regional plans. Although ecological, social and economical aims have been included in these plans, many conflicts between the different goals still remain. In Poland, since the change of the political and economical system in 1988/89, sustainable development has also become a main principle for the further development of the country. In 1998 the principle of sustainable development was integrated into the new Polish constitution. The Polish system of regional planning is still being developed in consequence of the reform of the territorial and administrative structure of the country in 1999. Although the reform is not finished yet, guiding documents for the new regions (voivodships) already exist. These are the 'Preconditions for development' and 'Development Strategies', which contain the main goals for the development of the voivodships. They are necessary to get financial support from the central government for regional projects. The paper will examine the question of how sustainable spatial development has already been implemented in the legal basis and in fundamental documents of regional planning in the region (voivodship) of West Pomerania (Poland) and North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany. The main focus will be on the goals related to sustainable regional development, such as containing urban sprawl, open space protection, improved mobility. Equally important is the description of the structure of regional planning in North-Rhine-Westphalia compared to the situation in West Pomerania (Poland). The relationship between the state-, regional- and local-planning institutions will be analyzed. Specific attention will be given to the role of regional plans within the two different regions. Finally, the paper will deal with the limitations in implementing sustainable spatial development in regional planning documents. In this context the paper will examine the practical problems of integrating sectoral planning approaches, such as transportation, within regional planning processes to achieve sustainable development.
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