The polarity field concept: A New Approach for Integrated Regional Planning and Sustainability Processes

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


Regional planning processes are traditionally structured along administrative sectors, where development issues are mostly discussed in disciplinary groups. This often inhibits innovations beyond sectoral limits. In the polarity field approach, the development challenges of a region are identified in a participatory process and grouped according to underlying polarities that form the thematic focus of workgroups. In this process seemingly isolated topics can be placed into a common viewing frame. In Leben 2014, a comprehensive transdisciplinary case study conducted in the Austrian region of Oberpinzgau, Salzburg, six polarity fields (i.e., "wilderness and culture", "single and together", "inside and outside", "tradition and innovation", "fast and slow", "young and old") were identified as thematic frames for structuring the planning process. Working on polarity fields rather than sectoral topics stimulated innovative outcomes, as it brought together actors who had not communicated much before. The polarity field concept seems to be a promising framework in particular for informal planning and sustainability processes at a regional level.

Seiten (von - bis)200-205
Anzahl der Seiten6
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.09.2006