National-level spatial planning in democratic countries has been all but ignored by researchers in urban and regional planning since the reconstruction years following World War II. Being synonymous for many with repressive regimes and coercive government practices, national-level planning also fell into some disrepute. A set of specially commissioned papers from leading researchers has produced this challenging and comprehensive study of current national-level planning in ten countries of the developed world. Challenging common assumptions, this comparative international study finds that there seems to be a modest trend whereby, on the threshold of the 21st century, national-level planning has grown in importance in democratic, advanced-economy countries.
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