Savivaldybių strateginės plėtros planavimas užsienio šalių pavyzdžiu
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The article discusses the problems of self-government institutions and the notion of spatial planning, analyzing the examples of the development plans of local governments and legal regulation of planning in various countries. The author presents the structure of the development plans of Oxford, Nova Scotia, Auckland, and Warsaw and analyses Lithuanian local governments’ development planning based on regional planning and revision methodology. The analysis of the countries that have old strategic planning traditions shows that the issues of local government strategic planning are regulated by law in many cases. In Canada and New Zealand, strategic planning is governed by laws, and in the United Kingdom there is a separate law that regulates the whole planning system. In Lithuania and Poland, local government development planning is not defined by laws. The most important feature of the UK strategic planning system is that local development documents reflect government policies, which are associated with area development and utilisation. Strategic planning policy supports spatial area development and is a combination of a general area plan and strategic development plan. The main normative limitations are related to the development of respective areas (protected areas, regional parks, etc). Local development plans are coordinated with regional strategic plans. Various interest groups are involved in local development planning. Besides spatial strategic planning documents, unified community strategies are prepared in the UK. Local government acts as one of interest groups in preparation of these strategies. Unified community strategies presents city vision and covers such areas as housing, health, social integration, climate change, tourism and public spaces. The strategy provides general information, goals, and an action plan for these areas. Although unified community strategy is approved by the board of the local government, it is a recommendation only.In Canada, both functional and spatial strategic plans are equally important. Province planning laws regulate local government planning issues. The provisions relating to strategic planning specified in the province of Nova Scotia’s self-government law obligate local governments to implement strategic planning; general components of the plan are specified in the law, but there are no strict requirements stated. The strategy planning methodology of Nova Scotia does not cover local governments of other provinces. In New Zealand, a focus of local government development planning is communities. The plan has to be based on the needs of a community. The law specifies ways to consult a community and make the information public. Much attention is devoted to foreseeing future scenarios and financial forecasts. Income and finance policy, relating to a long-term plan, allows local governments developing long-term tax policy and evaluating credit opportunities and an external environment. The new laws enacted in Poland obligate local governments to prepare development plans, although there is no related methodology approved by law. Every local government prepares development plans according to different methodology. Functional strategy development method is utilized more often than spatial method in local government development planning. Various interest groups, experts, and consultants are involved in development planning and public surveys are conducted. Warsaw long-term strategy is barely related to the country’s political, economic, social, and cultural harmony. In Lithuania, both strategic development planning methods—functional and spatial planning—are currently observed, but the process of planning is not regulated by law. Regional development planning and revision methodology is used in local government strategic development planning, and the Republic of Lithuania approved strategic planning methodology is used in strategic planning, although this methodology is not adapted to local governments. The two methodologies are not compatible and do not reflect special features of local governments. It is advisable to utilize the structure of Oxford local plan for 2001-16 in preparing the methodology for Lithuanian local governments’ development planning. The main components of Lithuanian local governments’ development plan could be main policies, such as the strategic goals of the plan and analysis areas that correspond to the programs implemented in local governments’ three-year plans. In this way, compatibility of development and action plans could be achieved in local governments. It is recommended to develop a unified community strategy in local governments, which would be integral part of the development system. Unified development strategy should be prepared not by local governments, but based on local partnerships. This strategy may be primarily used for establishing goals and visions, not for implementation. The analysis areas in unified community strategy may vary across local governments and depend on each local government specifics. If unified community strategies are not developed in Lithuania, an alternative solution is to specify the provisions of community involvement and strategic document availability to the public in the law.
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