Explorations in Planning Theory / Edition 1

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What is this thing called planning? What is its domain? What do planners do? How do they talk? What are the limits and possibilities for planning imposed by power, politics, knowledge, technology, interpretation, ethics, and institutional design? In this comprehensive volume, the foremost voices in planning explore the foundational ideas and issues of the profession.

Explorations in Planning Theory is an extended inquiry into the practice of the profession. As such, it is a landmark text that defines the field for today’s planners and the next generation. As Seymour J. Mandelbaum notes in the introduction, "the shared framework of these essays captures a pervasive interest in the behavior, values, character, and experience of professional planners at work." All of the chapters in this volume are written to address arguments that are important in the community of planning theoreticians and are crafted in the language of that community. While many of the contributors included here differ in their styles, the editors note that students, experienced practitioners, and scholars of city and regional planning will find this work illuminating and helpful in their research.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“All of these essays address planning theory and are aimed primarily at academics or practitioners who wish to reflect on approaches to the practice of planning… The book originated as a conference publication… [and] while the book may suffer from the somewhat disjointed feel of a conference, it nonetheless gives the reader a good sense of the current concerns of planning theorists—what sparks their interest and what areas of the field are promising for further development… [T]his book demonstrates that there is much to be gained when planning theorists take on the questions of representation, discourse, and power.” —Katherine T. Jones, Annals of the Association of American Geographers “In the English-speaking world, ‘planning theory’ over the past decade has come to be dominated by a new way of understanding planning which , broadly, views town planning as a ‘communicative practice’… Mandelbaum, Mazza and Burchell’s Explorations in Planning Theory brings together a set of readings which, overall, give expression to this latest ‘paradigm’ of planning thought… One of the things which refreshes this book, and makes it a good volume from which to choose readings which introduce students to debates about planning theory is the fact that it includes contributions from theorists still wedded to the ‘rationalist’ tradition of planning thought.” —Nigel Taylor, Urban Studies “This is a big book, with twenty-four chapters, written originally for two planning conferences, by academics from three continents. It is organized into six sections, each beginning with a critical overview by one of the editors, followed by three or four essays (almost all of which include a balanced discussion of academic approach and detailed planning practice), and concluding with a critical and engaging commentary from a reviewer selected by the editors. This consistently lively and balanced order makes each section worth reading… [It] embod[ies] well the pragmatice and processal, albeit somewhat narrowed, sociopolitical focus of contemporary planning. It should emerge as a signature collection for the “communicative practice” school.” —David C. Perry, Journal of the American Planning Association “Over the years a somewhat uneasy relationship has existed between planning theory and the rest of the discipline… [A]s planning emerges from a period of challenge to its legitimacy there seems to be growing curiosity as to what theorists can contribute to the development of the discipline… The editors of Explorations in Planning Theory argue in the preface that while the volume is written in the language of the planning theory community they, “… are confident that students, experience practitioners, and friends of city and regional planning, wherever they are, will find that these essays illuminate their various enterprises and help them (in John Forester’s phrase) ‘when they are stuck’”.” —Heather Campbell, International Planning Studies "[S]hould see wide use and stimulate further discourse among planning theorists and educators." —L. Dalton, Journal of Planning Education and Research "Particularly useful in tracing and documenting recent discussions of communicative action and practice in planning theory.... Useful in tracing and documenting discussions of communicative action and practice in planning theory... [O]ffers a wide variety of approaches to linking theory and practice." —Journal of Planning Education and Research
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780882851549
  • Publisher: CUPR/Transaction
  • Publication date: 1/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 543
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Seymour J. Mandelbaum is professor emeritus of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania. An abiding interest in the cultivation of communities informs his diverse work in planning theory, urban and communications policy, and the links between the construction of pasts and futures. He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Planning Education, Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, The Responsive Community, Journal of Planning Literature, and Town Planning Review.

Luigi Mazza is professor of planning in the faculty of architecture at the Politecnico of Milan, Italy. As a physical planner, Mazza consulted to local and central governments in Italy and abroad. He is engaged in a research study on the nature of physical plans and planning systems. He is also the founding editor of the journal Planning Theory.

Robert W. Burchell is professor II at Rutgers University and co-director at the Center for Urban Policy Research, Rutgers University. An expert on fiscal impact analysis, land-use development and regulation, and housing policy, Burchell co-authored the Development Impact Assessment Handbook for the Urban Land Institute. His other publications include The Fiscal Impact Handbook, The Practitioner’s Guide to Fiscal Impact Analysis, The Adaptive Reuse Handbook, and the Environmental Impact Handbook.

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Table of Contents

The Talk of the Community
1 Two Centuries of Planning Theory: An Overview 10
2 A Pragmatic Inquiry about Planning and Power 30
3 After Rationality: Towards a Contingency Theory for Planning 45
4 Rationality, Critical Rationalism, and Planning Doctrine 65
5 Open Moral Communities 83
Advocating Preeminence: Anthologies as Politics 105
6 Planning and Political Power: Toward a Strategy for Coping 116
7 Meaning, Not Interest: Motivation for Progressive Planning 134
8 Thatcherism and the Swedish "Model": Center/Local Relationships in Urban Planning 151
9 Group Processes and the Social Construction of Growth Management: Florida, Vermont, and New Jersey 164
The Latitude of Planners 188
10 The Rationality of Listening, Emotional Sensitivity, and Moral Vision 204
11 What Do Planners Do in the United States? 225
12 Argument, Power, and Passion in Planning Practice 241
13 The Communicative Work of Development Plans 263
14 Deconstructing the Discourse of Planning 289
Examining the Planning Practice Conscious(ness) 299
15 Plannings as Creative Interpretation 312
16 Our Town: Foucault and Knowledge-based Politics in London 328
17 "Impeaching" Research: Planning as Persuasive and Constitutive Discourse 345
18 Practicing Planning Theory in a Political World 365
The Dark Side of Planning: Rationality and "Realrationalitat" 383
19 On the Use of Models in Planning Ethics 400
20 Postmodernist Planning Theory: The Incommensurability Premise 414
21 Ethical Mandates and the Virtue of Prudence 430
The Systemic Nature of Professional Ethics 448
22 Planning and the Design and Use of Forums, Arenas, and Courts 462
23 Planning Technologies and Planning Theories 483
24 Planning and Institutional Design 497
Designing Planning Processes 514
Contributors 523
Index 527
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