University of Cambridge > > Land Economy Departmental Seminar Series > Neoliberal trajectories of urban planning and development: the case of Poland

Neoliberal trajectories of urban planning and development: the case of Poland

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Neoliberalism has recently become a topic of vivid interest within planning theory. The theory of accounts of neoliberalization of urban policymaking and planning highlights the temporal and spatial variegation of neoliberalism focusing upon the evolutionary processes of a plurality of Western capitalisms. Eastern Europe has recently become a subject of in-depth comparative studies into the diversity of capitalism (Jasiecki 2013). This paper presents how the concept of neoliberalism shaped trajectories of urban planning and development in Poland. Several factors that define the ‘new’ capitalism in Poland will be used in an analysis of planning and urban development. Among them special attention will be paid to paths of leaving the idea of communism and manifestations of its heritage, the state as a regulator of institutional changes, a deficit of capital (investment capital, social capital, etc.), the main actors creating the new system, the influence of internationalization of the economy on changes of the system (including the role of foreign investors and the membership in the EU). The influence of the doctrine of the ‘property rights’ school will also be discussed. The subject will be analysed in context of a balance between public and private rights to land, their relation to value capture and compensation, the right to develop and restitution of property rights.


Barbara Havel is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Spatial Management and Environmental Sciences, Warsaw University of Technology, Poland and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway. Prior to that she was Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Climate Change, Property and Sustainability at the University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economy and teaching researcher at Aalto University, Finland. She holds a PhD degree in the research field of real estate economics from Aalto University and MSc in architecture and urban planning/design from Warsaw University of Technology. Her current research projects contain neoliberal trajectories of urban planning and development in Poland after 1989, urban planning as a tool to deliver public policy objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy and comparative research on the scope of rights and liabilities in urban development processes and planning systems – value capture and compensation, the right to develop.

This talk is part of the Land Economy Departmental Seminar Series series.

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