New governance strategies
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Selected Examples of successful practices


A model for setting up informal advisory boards


Spatial Quality Teams (Q-teams) provide advice about enhancing the spatial quality of buildings, streets, neighbourhoods, cities, landscapes and regions. Q-teams do not design projects but rather use various design governance tools to stimulate and preserve spatial quality.


Spatial Quality Teams are set up by local, provincial or national authorities.


Q-teams are multidisciplinary teams of experts that provide independent advice on spatial developments and spatial policy. Assen et al (2018) defined two types of Q-teams: specific and generic. A specific Q-team operates within the framework of a specific planning or developmental area, within the physical boundaries of the spatial assignment, such as an urban development zone or an infrastructural or landscape development. Within this area, the team guides and assesses individual projects on their contribution to the quality of the whole and may last only for the duration of the assignment. A generic Q-team operates within given administrative boundaries (a municipality, a province or even a region) and has no defined end date. Within this framework, the Q-team has a more proactive role as it can bring up topics for discussion, and stimulate, investigate, supervise, assess and evaluate. This means that generic Q-teams are more proactive, have a longer-term duration and provide an advisory role between the spatial vision established for an area and the diverse planned and spontaneous initiatives of private and public actors (Assen et al 2018: 5).


Spatial Quality Teams provide knowledge and design capacity to the local, provincial or regional authority through formal and informal advisory practices developed by multidisciplinary teams of experts, intervening in the early stages of planning and design processes. Although some of the Q-teams focus on the design review functions of specific urban development plans, several Q-teams are charged with a more proactive role promoting and enabling spatial quality within a defined jurisdiction.




Expert Paper

Main photo caption : (c) College van Rijksadviseurs