Governing Compact Cities: How to Connect Planning, Design and Transport

Governing Compact Cities investigates how governments and other critical actors organise to enable compact urban growth, combining higher urban densities, mixed use and urban design quality with more walkable and public transport-oriented urban development. Philipp Rode draws on empirical evidence from London and Berlin to examine how urban policymakers, professionals and stakeholders have worked across disciplinary silos, geographic scales and different time horizons since the early 1990s.

The key mechanisms for integrated urban governance which enable more compact growth are identified by focusing on the underlying institutional arrangements that have connected strategic urban planning, city design and transport policy in the two case study cities. These include a hybrid model of hierarchical and network governance, the effectiveness of continuous adjustment over disruptive, one-off ‘integration fixes’ and the prioritisation of certain links between sectoral policy and geographic scales over others.

With an interdisciplinary approach connecting urban studies and planning with political science, public administration and organisational studies, this book will be of interest to academics and students in those disciplines, as well as urban practitioners and the applied/policy research community.

‘Governing Compact Cities is a prime example of what could be called the new Urban Studies: not beholden to disciplinary and professional silos, but working across them; less focused on one particular city or problem, but comparative in focus and with a keen emphasis on the institutions and processes that make up for integrated city governance over time. Philipp Rode´s book on Berlin and London is a must read for students of cities, governance and policy studies alike, as it is for professionals in the field.’
– Helmut K. Anheier, Hertie School of Governance, Germany

‘Demonstrating an encyclopaedic grasp of the planning and policy complexities that surround efforts to advance urban sustainability, this extensively referenced and empirically grounded book reveals the multiple pathways that cities can take to achieve the aims of urban compactness. Philipp Rode unpacks the urban governance agenda with a sharp eye to bureaucratically thorny organisational dynamics as well as to the constraints imposed by those who prefer market to state solutions in cities, while also sharing his deep knowledge of how difficult it is to coordinate transport and land use in such conditions. I have yet to decide whether this book’s greatest value is its profound grasp of the literature and current debates on policy, planning, land use and transport, or its well-researched and informative account of the steps taken by governing officials in Berlin and London to enhance densification through cross-sector coordination of urban development policies. Both aspects of the book are absolutely invaluable, yet it is the carefully crafted mix of these subjects and sensibilities that makes the book an indispensable resource for scholars and practitioners seeking to discover the holy grail of sustainable urban development.’
– Diane E. Davis, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, US