Planning as Justification

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Title: Planning as Justification
Authors: Lennon, Mick
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Date: 1-Jun-2020
Online since: 2021-03-26T16:44:53Z
Abstract: Much theorising in our field is focused on what planning should do. Such work is generally informed by perspectives borrowed from social and political theory that are used as an analytical lens to examine where planning practice has gone wrong and as a platform to prescribe how planning should be corrected to deliver better ends. For example, the work of Dewey and Habermas has deeply influenced the communicative and collaborative approaches to planning by informing stances on how planning should be democratically orientated to provide an effective means to identify and provide for ends. Associated with these theories but differentiated by emphasis, is a strand of planning theory that combines social and political thinking to focus on the ends to which planning practice should be directed and specifying the means necessary to deliver such ends. This family of planning theory includes Just City, advocacy planning and phronetic planning approaches. Another prominent vein of planning theory is primarily occupied with critiquing consensus focused approaches, and is illustrated by neoliberal and post-political critiques, as well as work on the dark side of planning. Although different in their particularities, what all these approaches have in common is a concentration on what planning should or shouldn’t do, rather than what planning is. 1 Linking these approaches together is an implicit prioritisation of means over ends, such that democracy, participation, recognition, respect, (re)distribution and avoiding abuses of power become the focus through which the formulation and delivery of ends are evaluated. In this sense, a concern with means is implicitly privileged over, or even conflated with ends in theorising and interpreting practice. For example, a common theory-infused planning analysis would seek the provision of more affordable housing (ends) through greater state intervention in house building (means #1) and collaborative methods in decision-making (means #2), rather than seeking the provision of more affordable housing (ends #1), by relying primarily on a private sector dominated system of property companies acquiring and developing land banks in response to market dynamics (means), with the ultimate aim of maximising shareholder profit (ends #2).
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Journal: Planning Theory & Practice
Volume: 21
Issue: 5
Start page: 803
End page: 807
Copyright (published version): 2020 Taylor & Francis
Keywords: Urban planningPublic interestLogics of justification
DOI: 10.1080/14649357.2020.1769918
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 1464-9357
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License:
Appears in Collections:Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy Research Collection

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