Flexibility versus certainty: Unsettling the land-use planning shibboleth in Australia

Wendy Steele*, Kristian J. Ruming

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Within the planning literature, the distinction between regulatory planning and strategic spatial planning has exposed a recurring dichotomy that exists between the idea of 'conforming' (regulative certainty) and 'performing' (strategic flexibility) plans and planning systems. This paper critically examines the divergent trajectories of land-use policy and regulation in two Australian states, Queensland and New South Wales. This paper concludes by arguing that the flexibility/certainty dilemma is something of an artifice-a land-use planning shibboleth-that serves to distract professional and scholarly attention away from substantive issues such as how planning might better engender more sustainable urban settlements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-176
Number of pages22
JournalPlanning Practice and Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Flexibility versus certainty: Unsettling the land-use planning shibboleth in Australia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this