Policy Cycle Model In Designing Residential Density Policy

In planning for residential density, it is crucial that the chosen policy is developed appropriately, analysed thoroughly and successfully put it in place. Without a suitable policy being put in place to cater for residential density, there would be countless adverse economic, environmental and social repercussions. Pertaining to this, the purpose of this essay is to be able to decide on an appropriate model as a framework for understanding and designing policy; regarding residential density in an established suburb. This will be carried out by meticulously discussing each stage and process of Bridgman & Davis’ version of the ‘Policy Cycle’ model for designing a policy concerning residential density and thoroughly examine & evaluating its strengths and limitations for residential density.

When using Bridgman & Davis’ version ‘Policy Cycle’ model as a framework for designing a policy concerning residential density, it is essential to know & understand exactly what it is. In general, the ‘Policy Cycle’ ‘is an idealised process that explains how policy should be drafted and assessed’. Based on Bridgman & Davis’ version ‘A policy cycle starts with a problem, seeks evidence, tests proposals and puts recommendations before Cabinet. Its outcomes are subject to evaluation and the cycle begins again”. This indicates that the ’Policy Cycle’ model is useful in breaking up complicated circumstances or occurrences into manageable steps and providing a versatile and modest framework for policy-makers.

Based on Bridgman & Davis’ version of ‘The Policy Cycle’, there are 8 stages that include; Identification of issues, policy analysis, policy instruments, consultation, coordination, decision making, implementation and evaluation. For the first stage of ‘Identification of issues’, it is quite self-explanatory as it discovers existing ineffective policies or underlying issues. Regarding residential planning in an established suburb, this first step can be used to identify current issues such as New Zealand’s’ current matters of housing, land ownership, affordability and appropriate use of environmental space etc. The second and third stages of policy analysis & policy instruments refer to the examination of current policies and the need to consider a new range of possible responses to the issues. In relation to the development of a policy regarding residential density, these two stages would consist of conducting both discourse and content analysis of current policies of low, medium & high-density and better prioritisation of budgets. The third stage of consultation is a crucial aspect of designing a policy especially regarding residential density in an established suburb. This is due to the crucial attaining of input from both private sector and the public including from the existing residents and native peoples. Coordination works as a key role in designing a policy regarding residential density. Which is due to it allowing for cohesion to occur between various agencies & stakeholders and ensures that any issues between institutions such as the ministry for the environment and ministry of economy are solved. The sixth and seventh stages of Decision-making and Implementation is made through the government or cabinet. It allows for the identification & analysis of issues & current policies and involvement of all parties to form an appropriate policy regarding residential density. The final stage of evaluation is essential as the government or local councils can observe and measure the effects of the developed policy for residential density and can rethink or adjust any aspects accordingly. Overall, these 8 stages Bridgman & Davis’ policy cycle completely aid as an appropriate framework for understanding and designing policy.

Having thoroughly discussed each stage of Bridgman and Davis policy cycle, it is essential to examine and evaluate its strengths and limitations for residential density. In accordance with this, there are numerous strengths of the policy cycles which include; ‘It helps break complex policy issues down into manageable chunks. The policy process is busy, uncertain, and vigorous, and generates masses of information. It encourages consideration of the connections between what might otherwise appear to be discrete events. It is sufficiently general to accommodate the broad pattern of most policy development, and detailed enough to allow analyses of developments in specific policy instances. The model can enhance understanding of the practical aspects of policy-making. As importantly, it can also draw attention to what may not have been done in a given instance. The cycle emphasises the purposive, dynamic nature of public policy’. These reveal that if utilised efficiently and appropriately, it is a beneficial in developing a policy for residential density in an established suburb.

Limitations of the policy cycle comprise of; an illusion of linearity being created as complex phenomena is disaggregated, it might ‘impose too great a neatness on policy making which is renowned for complexity and discontinuity rather than the logical unfolding implied in most stagiest and cycle thinking’ and every stage being ‘discrete and self-contained. These limitations disclose that there are risks associated with the policy cycle, yet as seen within the strengths listed – the policy cycle can be indisputably valuable when operated adequately.

Consequently, having meticulously discussed each stage & process of the ‘Policy Cycle’ model and thoroughly examined & evaluated its strengths and limitations regarding designing a policy for residential density in an established suburb, it undeniably validates that Bridgman & Davis ‘Policy Cycle’ model is an appropriate framework for understanding and designing policy. 

09 March 2021
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