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7 experts contribute to RTPI publication on devolution

18 June 2015

Following the RTPI’s Symposium on Governance in April , a range of critical perspectives have been compiled  in Critical Perspectives on Devolved Governance to encourage continued discussion on governance issues.

"The hope of decentralisation… is the slow replacement of a top-down way of doing governance dominated by experts, to multiple, non-hierarchical, overlapping but interacting, forms of ‘network governance’, centred in debates and discussions which connect to what people in all kinds of situations are concerned about"

Patsy Healey

"There is a long history of British governments issuing challenges to local authorities and then failing to follow through. But surely it is high time, given the unstable British political and financial systems, to go beyond ideological or conceptual arguments…"

Nicholas Falk

"Meeting these challenges calls for the development of a new type of public leadership that is more proactive, horizontal and integrative and that recasts public leaders as conveners, facilitators and catalysts of collaborative innovation"

Jacob Torfing


Critical Perspectives on Devolved Governance, includes the following contributions:

  • Critical perspectives on devolved governance – lessons from housing policy in England. Miguel Coelho, Institute for Government
  • Assessing the impact of decentralisation. John Tomaney, Bartlett School of Planning, UCL
  • Planning, Place Governance and the Challenges of Devolution. Patsy Healey, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University
  • Making strategic planning work. Nicholas Falk, UrbEd
  • The contribution of planning to England's devolutionary journey. Janice Morphet, RTPI
  • Place-based leadership and social innovation, Robin Hambleton, University of the West of England*
  • Collaborative Innovation: The argument. Jacob Torfing, Roskilde University

*Due to a technical fault Professor Hambleton's references are not included in the pdf document. They are listed below


[1] Hambleton R. (2015) 'Power, place and the New Civic Leadership', Local Economy, Vol 30 (2) pp167-172

[2] Hambleton R. (2015) Leading the Inclusive City. Place-based innovation for a bounded planet.  Bristol: Policy Press

[3] Frederickson H. G. (2005) 'Transcending community: Local leadership in a world of shared power', Public Management, Vol 87, No 10

Find out more about what the RTPI has done on devolution and governace: 

Upcoming Great North Plan.

Read Making Better Decisions for Places.

Listen to Jacob Torfing on collaborative governance.

Listen to John Tomaney discussing the problems with decentralisation.

Listen to Patsy Healey discussing the 'Planning Project'.

Listen to Robin Hambleton discussing place based leadership.