Qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) in spatial planning research and related disciplines: A systematic literature review of applications

Qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) is a potentially interesting method for spatial planning researchers. Although increasingly used, its application in spatial planning research is lagging behind other disciplines. We conducted a systematic literature review of QCA applications in spatial planning and related disciplines (SPARD), addressing two questions: when, where, and how is QCA used in SPARD and what are the main advantages of QCA for spatial planning research? We found that the main reasons why QCA is used in SPARD are its sensitivity to context, its ability to use small-/medium-n cases, and its attention to causal complexity.

Publication | Verweij, S. & Trell, E.M. (2019). Qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) in spatial planning research and related disciplines: A systematic literature review of applications. Journal of Planning Literature, 34 (3), 300-317.

Implementing multiple intervention strategies in Dutch public health-related policy networks

Improving public health requires multiple intervention strategies. Implementing such an intervention mix is supposed to require a multisectoral policy network. As evidence to support this assumption is scarce, we examined under which conditions public health-related policy networks were able to implement an intervention mix. Data were collected (2009–14) from 29 Dutch public health policy networks. Surveys were used to identify the number of policy sectors, participation of actors, level of trust, networking by the project leader, and intervention strategies implemented. Conditions sufficient for an intervention mix (≥3 of 4 non-educational strategies present) were determined in a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis. A multisectoral policy network (≥7 of 14 sectors present) was neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition. In multisectoral networks, additionally required was either the active participation of network actors (≥50% actively involved) or active networking by the project leader (≥monthly contacts with network actors). In policy networks that included few sectors, a high level of trust (positive perceptions of each other’s intentions) was needed—in the absence though of any of the other conditions. If the network actors were also actively involved, an extra requirement was active networking by the project leader. We conclude that the multisectoral composition of policy networks can contribute to the implementation of a variety of intervention strategies, but not without additional efforts. However, policy networks that include only few sectors are also able to implement an intervention mix. Here, trust seems to be the most important condition.

Publication | Harting, J., Peters, D.T.J.M., Grêaux, K., Van Assema, P., Verweij, S., Stronks, K. & Klijn, E.H. (2019). Implementing multiple intervention strategies in Dutch public health-related policy networks. Health Promotion International, 34 (2), 193-203.

Functioneel sturen op renovatie en vervanging

Assetmanagers staan voor een grootschalige uitdaging: de renovatie of vervanging van kunstwerken in hun areaal. Deze uitdaging vraagt om een strategische benadering waarbij het beheer van kunstwerken en infrastructuur in de organisatie is ingeregeld en waarbij functionele overwegingen over renovatie, vervanging en inpassing van nieuwbouw gemaakt kunnen worden. Dit is vaak nog niet vanzelfsprekend. In deze bijdrage wordt een aanpak geschetst, waar technische én functionele sturing aan zou moeten voldoen. Daarna wordt deze aanpak kort toegelicht aan de hand van vijf stappen. Hiervoor zal een fictief voorbeeld van een brug worden gebruikt.

Publicatie | Zandvoort, M. & Verweij, S. (2019). Functioneel sturen op renovatie en vervanging. OTAR, 100 (1), 10-13.

To draw or to cross the line? The landscape architect as boundary spanner in Dutch river management

In many Western countries, flood policy is transitioning from a focus on technical flood defence measures towards more holistic and integrated flood risk management approaches. In this article, we explore the boundary spanning role of landscape architects in integrated flood risk management projects. The central research question is: what are the boundary spanning activities and roles that landscape architects perform and which factors are conditional to these activities? We have studied the boundary spanning behaviour of landscape architects in the Dutch ‘Room for the River’ programme. This programme had a dual objective of improving simultaneously the water safety and the spatial quality of the Dutch riverine areas. We conducted a comparative, in-depth case study of three ‘Room for the River’ projects, and investigated conditions that stimulated or frustrated the work of landscape architects in establishing safe solutions with spatial quality. We found that the landscape architects involved in these projects played various boundary spanning roles. We conclude that, depending on the conditional factors, their roles ranged from more traditional content-oriented domain expert/scout to the more innovative organisational expert/task coordinator. For successful boundary spanning, although cognitive capacities (e.g., knowledge about landscape) are important, landscape architects also need to have the appropriate social capacities (e.g., social-emotional competences, networking skills). That is, the work of the landscape architects essentially includes drawing lines that sketch the contours of future landscapes; but to do so, they must also cross the lines between the various actors, organizations, and disciplines involved.

Publication | Van den Brink, M., Edelenbos, J., Van den Brink, A., Verweij, S., Van Etteger, R. & Busscher, T. (2019). To draw or to cross the line? The landscape architect as boundary spanner in Dutch river management. Landscape and Urban Planning, 186, 13-23.

Strategies for integrating water management and spatial planning: Organising for spatial quality in the Dutch ‘Room for the River’ program

In response to extreme flood events and an increasing awareness that traditional flood control measures alone are inadequate to deal with growing flood risks, spatial flood risk management strategies have been introduced. These strategies do not only aim to reduce the probability and consequences of floods, they also aim to improve local and regional spatial qualities. To date, however, research has been largely ignorant as to how spatial quality, as part of spatial flood risk management strategies, can be successfully achieved in practice. Therefore, this research aims to illuminate how spatial quality is achieved in planning practice. This is done by evaluating the configurations of policy instruments that have been applied in the Dutch Room for the River policy program to successfully achieve spatial quality. This policy program is well known for its dual objective of accommodating higher flood levels as well as improving the spatial quality of the riverine areas. Based on a qualitative comparative analysis, we identified three successful configurations of policy instruments. These constitute three distinct management strategies: the “program‐as‐guardian”, the “project‐as‐driver,” and “going all‐in” strategies. These strategies provide important leads in furthering the development and implementation of spatial flood risk management, both in the Netherlands and abroad.

Publication | Busscher, T., Van den Brink, M. & Verweij, S. (2019). Strategies for integrating water management and spatial planning: Organizing for spatial quality in the Dutch ‘Room for the River’ program. Journal of Flood Risk Management, 12 (1), e12448.

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