The Garden Guide

Book: Landscape Planning and Environmental Impact Design: from EIA to EID
Chapter: Chapter 2 Landscape plans for public goods

Implementation of landscape plans

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The implementation of landscape plans

Statutory plans should be guided by non-statutory plans A remarkable feature of the landscape plans which have been discussed in this chapter is that the likliehood of their being implemented may be improved if the plans do not have the force of law. This is because, in guiding human behaviour, carrots are more effective than sticks. An analysis of open space planning in London from 1925-1992 certainly support s this theory (Turner 1992). The statutory open space plans were painfully unimaginative and received the neglect they so richly deserved. In this group, we must place the preposterous idea that each London Borough should have a prescribed area of open space for each 1,000 inhabitants. This would have required mass demolition in the central business district and building on parkland in leafy suburbs. The 1976 GLC park hierarchy was also a statutory plan. It became ridiculous and ineffectual not only because it was bad planning, but also because it had to go through a Kafka-esque system of bureaucratic modification and approval. London 's non-statutory open space plan of 1943-4, the work of an inspired individual, attracted the willing support of innumerable people and is being implemented. It proposed a web of interconnected open space extending throughout the London region, to a radius of 70 km. Public, private, local and national bodies have worked together on its implementation. If it had been statutory, it would have been a less visionary document and may well have attracted less support and less action. Building a lighthouse is more useful than passing a law against shipwrecks.