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Using Actor-Network Theory to understand planning practice: exploring relationships between actants in regulating low carbon commercial development

Rydin, YJ; (2013) Using Actor-Network Theory to understand planning practice: exploring relationships between actants in regulating low carbon commercial development. Planning Theory , 12 (1) 23 - 45. 10.1177/1473095212455494. Green open access

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Abstract

There has been a recent growth in interest within planning theory in Actor–Network Theory. This article explores the potential for Actor–Network Theory to deliver a distinctive perspective on planning practice. Using a case study of commercial office development and the discussion of its carbon performance within the regulatory planning process, an Actor–Network Theory–based analysis is provided. The analysis points to the role of planning policy documents as intermediaries, the planning consent process as an obligatory passage point and energy-modelling exercises as potentially black-boxing low-carbon development. It also emphasises how materiality of the development embodies compliance with policy through the construction and warranting of evidence claims. In all these ways, the relationships between actants within networks are shaped. The practice-based conclusions draw attention to the importance of planners devising highly detailed and carefully worded plan policies, and understanding and being able to challenge the knowledge derived from energy-modelling tools as ways of developing agency to influence the outcomes of planning practice. Such agency is revealed by an Actor–Network Theory analysis to be small work in local sites of practice but set against the backdrop of regulatory regimes.

Type: Article
Title: Using Actor-Network Theory to understand planning practice: exploring relationships between actants in regulating low carbon commercial development
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1473095212455494
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1473095212455494
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2012. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (http://www.uk.sagepub.com/aboutus/openaccess.htm).
Keywords: Actor–Network Theory; carbon; office development; planning; regulation;
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Planning
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1356405
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