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Innovation in planning: creating and securing public value

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Geoff Vigar, Dr Paul CowieORCiD, Emeritus Professor Patsy Healey OBE



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Routledge, 2020.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Innovation is a much hyped term and yet is difficult to define. In planning, this difficulty is partly explained by the ‘wicked’ nature of many planning problems and the complexities of evaluating diverse, often long-term cultural, social and environmental outcomes; but also because innovation is often associated with the economic. Explicitly expanding the concept of innovation to foreground non-financial outcomes helps the planning discipline understand the complex ways planning actions make novel, positive contributions to societal goals. An idea of public value helps evaluate how innovation in spatial planning provides benefits beyond private individuals. The concept is mobilised to test a framework of innovation in planning that underpins an empirical review. The framework and the wider review highlights five features present in innovative planning that delivers public value.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Vigar G, Cowie P, Healey P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Planning Studies

Year: 2020

Volume: 28

Issue: 3

Pages: 521-540

Online publication date: 17/07/2019

Acceptance date: 31/01/2019

Date deposited: 31/01/2019

ISSN (print): 0965-4313

ISSN (electronic): 1469-5944

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2019.1639400


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