Collaborative governance and production of residential spaces – Two case studies from the West Midlands, England


  • U. Perera University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka
  • P. Lee University of Birmingham, United Kingdom


The study explores the effects of collaborative governance in urban planning processes on residential space production in England. Following the Habermasian communicative rationality, collaborative governance is to search the shared space that all stakeholders can agree on concerning a given phenomenon or concept. Although a plethora of literature is available on collaborative governance, limited research exists which has looked into the effects of it in shaping living places. Over the past two decades, England has enforced several key pieces of legislation and initiatives that promote collaborative governance within the urban planning process. Thus, the two case studies from West Midlands are representative of residential places that have gone through a significant level of collaborative governance exercises within planning and development stages. Sixty in-depth interviews were held with residents, developers, strategic promoters, master planners and local authority planners to investigate their exercise of collaborative governance and how those ultimately influenced residential space production decision making. The findings highlighted that collaborative governance exercises had less effect on the conceptual stages while substantial effects accrued at the mature design stages, improving neighbourhood design and services of residential places. These are useful insights for both theory and practice to improve the operationalization of the collaborative governance concept.
Keywords: Collaborative governance, residential spaces, urban planning, England