Applying regional planning schemes in East Jutland, Denmark: examples from Copenhagen, Montpellier and Portland

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In the eastern part of Jutland, Denmark, a polycentric urban region is emerging. Besides Århus, the second biggest city of Denmark, several medium-sized cities are located in the area. The region is expected to experience further urbanisation which might result in urban sprawl and threaten valuable landscapes. A common regional planning scheme is discussed for a while, but nothing is agreed on yet. Our objective is to apply three interesting spatial schemes to our case study region.

The three planning schemes are well known for their simple and clear approach: The Fingerplan of Copenhagen urban region, the SCoT (Territorial Coherence Scheme) of Montpellier Agglomeration and the Urban Growth Boundary of Portland. By the way of an ex post thought experiment we apply the three approaches to the situation in the year 2000 and discuss hypothetical effects of them regarding actual land use changes between 2000 and 2006, documented by CORINE.

The Fingerplan was elaborated in 1947 but became first in 2007 a legal planning document. However, its simple principles of development along the commuter rail lines and the protection of green wedges in between them guided spatial development in Copenhagen since then. For East Jutland we copied the “development close-to-station” principle and instead of green wedges, we identified important green areas. The application shows that only around one third of all urban development happen within the area dedicated for urban growth. The Fingerplan would foster a development aligned along mass-transport corridors.

In the Montpellier case, the planning scheme has the particularity of having a “sight inversion”. Thus, the landscape is presented as an integrated part of the reflection on regional development. In other words, it protects natural and agricultural areas of any changes; in parallel the overall spatial strategy also privileges urban containment by limiting new urban development within existing urban area, at its direct proximity or along main urban transport corridors. In East Jutland, the concept of “valuable landscapes” is used in our study to apply the “sight inversion” approach made in Montpellier. As a result, 14% of the land cover changes of agricultural and natural areas into artificial areas in East Jutland between 2000 and 2006 happened in “valuable landscapes” areas.

In 1979 the newly created Metropolitan council of Portland (Metro) established a first urban growth boundary (UGB) around Portland, following the adoption of the Senate Bill 100 in 1973 and new state wide planning goals. Metro is required to maintain a 20-year inventory of developable land within the UGB, to be revised every 7 years. With population projections from 2000 for Eastern Jutland we calculated a future land use demand for 2020.The necessary area was allocated as close as possible to existing urban area, but outside important green areas. Only 20 % of the growth between 2000 and 2006 happened inside this fictive UGB. The UGB would foster compact city development in the region.

The three approaches shown here can however not illustrate an ideal planning scheme for the region. A focus on mass-transit corridors like the Fingerplan excludes many areas in East Jutland, as the rail-network is not that dense as in Copenhagen. The SCoT approach is limited by the fact that no official delimitation of “valuable landscape” has been done; and the urban growth boundaries seem rather fragmented for a regional scheme which should also communicated a common vision.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of abstracts : Managing the Urban Rural Interface: PLUREL Conference 2010
Number of pages1
Publication date2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventManaging the Urban Rural Interface - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 19 Oct 201022 Oct 2010


ConferenceManaging the Urban Rural Interface

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