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Multiscaled interpretations of urban change: The federal, the state, and the local in the Western Area Strategy of Adelaide

Journal Article


Abstract


  • My aim is to question the concept of an indisputable hierarchy of scales - global, national, regional, and local - in which processes, outcomes, and responses can be categorised as originating at distinct and discrete levels. Such a concept has allowed regional and local influence to be presented as the context in which the operation of global processes is fine-tuned, rather than as being a formative part of those processes. I aim to apply nonhierarchical modes of thinking about scale to an empirical example by examining a federally funded urban development programme in Adelaide: the Western Area Strategy, a federal initiative, administered in a local setting by a state administration. The relations between processes, institutions, sociocultural, economic, and political conditions at a variety of scales are shown to operate simultaneously and multidirectionally in defining the local outcomes of the programme. These relations are constitutive of scale itself. The 'local' outcomes of policy are shown to be formulated at a variety of scales and to be mutually constitutive of outcomes at other, 'higher', scales. Accepting the notion that scales are mutually constitutive and questioning the production of scale and interscale relations opens new paths of explanation for the spectrum of economic, sociocultural, and political processes determining the nature of contemporary society and determining their concrete expression in political and social interactions within nation-states and localities.

Publication Date


  • 1997

Citation


  • McGuirk, P. M. (1997). Multiscaled interpretations of urban change: The federal, the state, and the local in the Western Area Strategy of Adelaide. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 15(4), 481-498. doi:10.1068/d150481

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-0031466680

Start Page


  • 481

End Page


  • 498

Volume


  • 15

Issue


  • 4

Abstract


  • My aim is to question the concept of an indisputable hierarchy of scales - global, national, regional, and local - in which processes, outcomes, and responses can be categorised as originating at distinct and discrete levels. Such a concept has allowed regional and local influence to be presented as the context in which the operation of global processes is fine-tuned, rather than as being a formative part of those processes. I aim to apply nonhierarchical modes of thinking about scale to an empirical example by examining a federally funded urban development programme in Adelaide: the Western Area Strategy, a federal initiative, administered in a local setting by a state administration. The relations between processes, institutions, sociocultural, economic, and political conditions at a variety of scales are shown to operate simultaneously and multidirectionally in defining the local outcomes of the programme. These relations are constitutive of scale itself. The 'local' outcomes of policy are shown to be formulated at a variety of scales and to be mutually constitutive of outcomes at other, 'higher', scales. Accepting the notion that scales are mutually constitutive and questioning the production of scale and interscale relations opens new paths of explanation for the spectrum of economic, sociocultural, and political processes determining the nature of contemporary society and determining their concrete expression in political and social interactions within nation-states and localities.

Publication Date


  • 1997

Citation


  • McGuirk, P. M. (1997). Multiscaled interpretations of urban change: The federal, the state, and the local in the Western Area Strategy of Adelaide. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 15(4), 481-498. doi:10.1068/d150481

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-0031466680

Start Page


  • 481

End Page


  • 498

Volume


  • 15

Issue


  • 4