The Green Belt is one of the most widely known and popular regional growth management policies having been adopted around the world. Drawing upon the regional spatial imaginary and historical institutionalist literature alongside a case study of the West Midlands, this paper conceptualizes the Green Belt as an enduring, regionalizing concept in the spatial vision of planners and professional campaigners. It underscores the continuing importance of planning history and critical junctures in ‘framing’ the perspectives and aspirations of practicing planners regarding strategic planning. The paper charts the emergence, embedding, and adaptability of the Green Belt as an institution before exploring how strategic vision has continued to be vitally important to planners and campaigners despite the abolition of statutory strategic planning in England in 2010.
- Strategic/regional planning
- rural–urban fringe
- Green Belt/urban growth boundary
- historical institutionalism