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204 Book Reviews
Planning in Europe, R.H. Williams (ed.), 1984, George Alien & Unwin, London, £20.00
Planning in Europe is a rather misleading title for this collection of essays for it could refer to anything from the physical design and lay-out of individual housing estates to national macro-economic planning in a variety of capitalist and socialist societies. In fact it deals with the town and country planning systems in the 'developed nations of Western Europe' (p. 4) that have been established in response to the common experience of urbanisation, industrialisation and associated pressures on land - - although in fact it does not deal with the 'developed nations of Western Europe' but rather a sub-set of these (the current members of the European Communities) and the book's sub-title refers to 'urban and regional planning in the EEC', not town and country planning. One could be forgiven for believing that a certain amount of confusion exists as to precisely what the book is about.
The aim of the book is to describe the planning systems in each of these ten countries, together with three further chapters by the editor dealing with European Com- munities' policies that impinge on planning issues, an introduction and a final chapter attempting to draw out links and comparisons. As to the individual country chapters, Williams suggests that 'as a matter of deliberate editorial policy each of the chapters of this book that relates to a specific country is written by an expert contributor native to that country' (p, xi) - - of the ten, excluding Williams himself, the work of Professor Dr Kunzmann and Professor Dr Lagopoulous was previously
known to this reviewer. The policy of seeking national expertise remains one to be applauded, however. To a degree, a common structure of themes runs through the individual chapters, although the variation between national planning systems limits the extent to which such a structure can meaningfully be imposed, and this results in an institutional emphasis (p. 166). As Williams stresses "it is beyond the scope of this book to develop a systematic cross-national analysis of the planning systems described above' (p. 167) so those who seek a theoretical inter- pretation of why planning develops as a specific form of state activity and why there are differences and similarities in planning systems in different capitalist states will need to look elsewhere.
For those who seek an up-to-date description of national planning systems it could perform a useful function, however. The intended audience is 'students on degree and diploma courses in town planning, architecture, geography and European Studies, especially for those whose courses include a study visit abroad, and for planners and urban affairs specialists who need to under- stand planning practice in other EEC countries' (front flap). This is certainly a wide ranging potential audience. It is a book that I can see being added to many reading lists as supplementary material, to be dipped into in a library to check specific points of information, but not a book that undergraduates - - or other readers - - will devour from cover to cover.
RAY HUDSON Durham University
If you would like your name to be added to the book review roster for Journal of Rural Studies please write to the Editor providing your name, address and a resume of your fields of interest.
The following books have been received in the Editorial Office:
Office Development, M. Bateman, 1985, Croom Helm, London, ,£17.95 A Short History of Geomorphology~ K. Tinkler, 1985, Croom Helm, London, £19.95 Themes in Geomorphology, A. Pitty, 1985. Croom Helm, London, £25.00