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      A Utopic Method for English Place-Shaping Visions

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          Abstract

          It has long been accepted practice that plans and strategies for the management of change in communities should be shaped around a ‘vision’ of the future of the place. Indeed, in England from 2000 to 2015 such practice was a requirement for statutory community strategies and development plans. Some academics have, however, questioned the practice as being poorly defined, and lacking a theoretical basis or evidence of efficacy. Government-sponsored studies of English practice have confirmed that the meaning of ‘vision’ in this context, and its intended purpose, are poorly understood. Drawing on the historical relationship between utopian practice and town planning, this article identifies from literature relating to utopian studies, framed within Henri Lefebvre’s dialectical and experimental form of utopianism, a cyclical utopic method that could be applied to place-shaping practice. The Lefebvrian method focuses on a purpose for visions that is more about social learning and consensus building as outcomes of the vision process – similar to the role of utopias in the ‘education of desire’ – rather than implementing a vision as if it were a blueprint. This article moves towards addressing these criticisms, identifying utopianism as a source of a potential theoretical understanding of the use of visions in place-shaping. It also serves to provide a practical context within which to test the idea of an experimental and dialectical (Lefebvrian) form of utopianism.

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          Most cited references 22

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          Metagovernance

           Eva Sørensen (2016)
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            Utopian prospect of Henri Lefebvre

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              To Stand with Dreamers: On the Use Value of Utopia

               T. MOYLAN,  T Moylan (2006)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2056-6700
                Open Library of Humanities
                Open Library of Humanities
                2056-6700
                02 November 2018
                2018
                : 4
                : 2
                Affiliations
                [1 ]School of the Built Environment, Oxford Brookes University, UK
                Article
                10.16995/olh.117
                Copyright: © 2018 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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                Self URI (journal-page): https://olh.openlibhums.org/
                Categories
                Imaginaries of the future 02: politics, poetics, place

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