Integrated planning and partnerships

What do we actually mean when we talk about integrated planning and 4P approaches?

Public–Private–People partnership (4P) is a new concept in urban planning, establishing new ways to improve the inclusion of various public sector actors, private actors, residents, NGOs and other civil-society actors in planning processes. The approach is part of a wider transformation in the way that our cities are planned and governed whereby the importance of actors outside the public planning authorities is increasing in planning.

The inclusion of variety actors with differing interests in the same process is a challenge but implementing 4P approaches in urban planning brings many benefits:

  • Helps to reach planning goals in an efficient manner, by pooling resources and sharing risks.
  • Ensures that various aspects and sectoral issues are taken into account in the planning process
  • Improved economic and time efficiencies by e.g. involving developers early to shorten the temporal gap between planning and implementation but also to ensure openness and public input e.g., by including citizens in generating planning visions together with planning officials, landowners and developers.
  • A way of responding to the challenges of public–private partnerships by strengthening the position of the general public in planning to address the lack of transparency and legitimacy of planning
  • Bridges the gap between partnerships and participation bringing the processes of including private actors and “people” closer together
  • Increased mutual understanding on the interests, roles and responsibilities of different parties in the planning process

Helping Central Baltic cities to apply integrated approach to urban development

It is not very common yet for cities in the Central Baltic region to work in a very co-ordinated way with approaches following the 4P principles. Central Baltic cities are often lacking of structured, integrated planning and partnership models that would help to ensure the active participation of all relevant stakeholder groups in formulation of common goals and plans, making sure that all available knowledge and resources will directed to common goals.

Baltic Urban Lab tackles this challenge by testing new planning methods and solutions for Public-Private-People partnerships in real life environments but also studying and capitalizing existing knowledge and case examples.

The project promotes more integrated approach to urban regeneration

  A) On local level

  • By supporting local authorities and planners in the project cities to establish new ways to work together with the land and real estate owners, developers, local companies and other parties to prepare Integrated Plans and Development Strategies integrating different visions and ideas for the four brownfield sites and suggesting next steps for the development
  • To increase the participation of end-users; the citizens, NGOs, local businesses and other interest groups in the urban planning process and to respond to their needs with the help of a variety of participatory tools will be developed and tested in cities
  • To help cities to prepare concrete operational PPP-partnerships models and principles to be integrated as part of the city planning practices and used for the development of other city districts based on the learning process around the City Pilot
    B) On Central Baltic level
  • Identifying the potentials of Public-Private-People-partnerships in urban planning
  • Increasing local authorities and planners knowledge on well-proved 4P approaches tested in the project cities and beyond
  • Improving the capacity of local authorities to deal with the regeneration of brownfields and lead through multi-stakeholder development processes by providing Guidelines for applying Integrated Planning and Partnership models for Brownfield Regeneration (e-book available in 5 languages).  

Integrated Planning and Partnership Model for Brownfield Regeneration

Urban regeneration projects are complex with many actors involved with sometimes conflicting interests and aims. Comprehensive and long term planning of city districts requires well co-ordinated cooperation between different parties in all phases from the first initiatives to the building and maintaining of new city districts. Many times the involvement – especially the participation of end-users - takes place only in the land-use planning phase when the vision and directions for the development have already been set.

Stakeholder involvement and cooperation should be started already in the preparation and planning phases of urban revitalization projects to include also the ideas of citizens in the process. The Urban Planning pyramid (figure 1) illustrates new way of thinking emphasizing the importance of the first phases of process when the dialogue is started, commitment and trust created and first visions and ideas discussed establishing a solid base for the land-use planning and implementation phases.

Guidelines for applying Integrated Planning and Partnership models for Brownfield Regeneration will help cities to organize cooperation with stakeholders in a more structured way. It sets the steps and actions to be taken from the early initiative to the planning and implementation phases.

The model does not function as a stand-alone guide for regeneration processes but sets out important issues to consider to be able to cooperate effectively with private actors and citizens. It helps to define for each phase with whom and when to cooperate, what methods to use and what input to expect without forgetting communication.

The model support cities to cooperate with stakeholder in a more efficient way in the framework of redevelopment projects and ensure that local knowledge, resources and capacities of both private sector and citizens will be incorporated in planning alongside expert knowledge to create high-quality living environment and sustainable solutions. Structured approach is especially important in relation to complex brownfield regeneration cases when there are variety of stakeholders involved, the land-ownership structure is fragmented and soil remediation measures are needed.

The focus of the model will be in the early visioning phase that lays the basis for the later steps since many cities have legally binding frameworks for the land-use planning and implementation phase (see figure 2).  The guidelines showcase practical examples of successful brownfield regeneration cases and gives examples of tested and well-working 4P approaches.

Cross-border dialogue and exchange between project cities, other cities in the region, experts and other stakeholders on the common challenges and solutions on brownfield regeneration, concrete piloting of integrated planning approaches and PPP-partnerships in real life conditions in Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Sweden and analysis of existing good examples will help to formulate a common approach for brownfield regeneration that will be transferable and beneficial to all Central Baltic cities.