Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Planning Ideas That Matter

Planning Ideas That Matter: Livability, Territoriality, Governance, and Reflective Practice

Bishwapriya Sanyal
Lawrence J. Vale
Christina D. Rosan
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: MIT Press
Pages: 432
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Planning Ideas That Matter
    Book Description:

    Over the past hundred years of urbanization and suburbanization, four key themes have shaped urban and regional planning in both theory and practice: livability, territoriality, governance, and reflective professional practice. Planning Ideas That Matter charts the trajectories of these powerful planning ideas in an increasingly interconnected world. The contributors, leading theorists and practitioners, discuss livability in terms of such issues as urban density, land use, and the relationship between the built environment and natural systems; examine levels of territorial organization, drawing on literature on regionalism, metropolitanism, and territorial competition; describe the ways planning connects to policy making and implementation in a variety of political contexts; and consider how planners conceive of their work and learn from practice. Throughout, the emphasis is on how individuals and institutions--including government, business, professional organizations, and universities--have framed planning problems and ideas. The focus is less on techniques and programs than on the underlying concepts that have animated professional discourse over the years. The book is recommended for classroom use, as a reference for scholars and practitioners, and as a history of planning for those interested in the development of the field.The hardcover edition does not include a dust jacket.

    eISBN: 978-0-262-30572-3
    Subjects: Architecture and Architectural History, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. List of Contributors
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. 1 Four Planning Conversations
    (pp. 1-30)
    Bishwapriya Sanyal, Lawrence J. Vale and Christina D. Rosan

    This book was crafted as an effort to understand the core sentiments and sensibilities that undergird the field of urban and regional planning, and to spark discussions about the evolution of the field over the last one hundred years. We conceptualize these discussions as “planning conversations,” building on a style of scholarly inquiry initiated by the urban historian Robert Fishman’s writing on “urban conversations” (Fishman 2000). The conversations in this book are a form of professional discourse and are presented by academics who have participated in discussions on four key questions that have shaped the evolving intellectual identity of the...

  6. I Ideas about Livability

    • 2 Shaping Urban Form
      (pp. 33-64)
      Gary Hack

      Shaping the form of cities has been a central preoccupation of city building from the dawn of civilization. The purposes and values of settlements have varied considerably over the centuries, as have theories of good urban form, but the importance of designing settlements has never flagged. Even in current times, heralded as an era when place and location matter little, decisions about urban form remain critically important, and hotly contested.

      The termurban formencompasses the location, shape, geometry, and spatial relationships between and among streets, buildings, occupied spaces, and open land; the pattern of infrastructure that allows urbanized places...

    • 3 New Urbanism
      (pp. 65-90)
      Robert Fishman

      In the genealogy of planning ideas, New Urbanism might best be defined as the unexpected synthesis of Jane Jacobs and Ebenezer Howard. New Urbanism learned from Jacobs the fundamental importance of “close-grained diversity,” the energizing density that unites a full range of people and functions in lively public spaces. From Howard and his successors in the Garden City/New Town movement, New Urbanism took the idea that urbanism could not be limited to a single central city within a metropolitan region. The real challenge to planning lies in creating diversity, walkability, and sustainability throughout the metropolitan region in a network of...

    • 4 Sustainability in Planning: The Arc and Trajectory of a Movement, and New Directions for the Twenty-First-Century City
      (pp. 91-124)
      Timothy Beatley

      There has been a remarkable global emergence of new commitments to sustainability since 2000, with sustainability taking center stage as a major new paradigm in planning. Andrés Edwards in his recent book calls it the “sustainability revolution,” or “a pervasive and permanent shift in consciousness and worldview affecting all facets of society” (Edwards 2005, 2). He notes the similarities between the sustainability revolution and the Industrial Revolution, including the emergence of support for sustainability across diverse sectors of society and the involvement of a fast-growing set of organizations, interest groups, individuals working on behalf of sustainability under a decentralized leadership....

  7. II Ideas about Territoriality

    • 5 Regional Development Planning
      (pp. 127-152)
      Michael B. Teitz

      The genealogy of ideas in regional planning is long and tortuous, its exploration taking us on a twisting path.¹ Yet its origins are firmly planted in the ideas of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment in Europe and North America, that astonishing period when thinkers, inspired by the scientific advances of earlier scholars, dared to consider the proposition that human societies could be redesigned for the better on the basis of reason. That is our starting point. Although regional planning is often conflated with city planning, as in the names of many academic departments and in the standard histories of the field (the...

    • 6 Metropolitanism: How Metropolitan Planning Has Been Shaped by and Reflected in the Plans of the Regional Plan Association
      (pp. 153-178)
      Robert D. Yaro

      This chapter examines the origins and development of the idea of metropolitanism and the reality of metropolitan planning in the United States. It describes how powerful intellectual and political traditions have impeded the growth and effectiveness of metropolitanism and how these have been overcome to produce the robust planning initiatives now under way in many areas of the country. Metropolitanism has been both shaped by and reflected in the work of the Regional Plan Association (RPA), the nation’s oldest independent metropolitan planning, research, and advocacy organization, and its ad hoc predecessor group, the Committee on the Regional Plan of New...

    • 7 Territorial Competitiveness: Lineages, Practices, Ideologies
      (pp. 179-204)
      Neil Brenner and David Wachsmuth

      Since the 1980s, the notion ofterritorial competitivenesshas become one of the foundations of mainstream, “entrepreneurial” approaches to local economic development (Harvey 1989a). This concept is premised on the assumption that subnational territories—cities and metropolitan regions, in particular—must compete with one another for economic survival by attracting transnationally mobile capital investment. Concomitantly, the invocation of territorial competitiveness is generally accompanied by the assertion that various types of national, regional, or local institutional transformation and policy reorientation are required in order to enhance locationally specific socioeconomic assets. Such assumptions—and, more generally, a widespread sense of panic among...

  8. III Ideas about Governance

    • 8 Urban Development
      (pp. 207-232)
      Mohammad A. Qadeer

      This chapter is essentially a historical survey of ideas about urban development as they evolved in the twentieth century, particularly after World War II. Which ideas about urban development guided city planners and developers at various times in both the First World and the Third World? How do concepts and models of urban development travel between the two worlds? Where do the ideas come from, and how do they evolve over time? These questions are probed in this chapter.

      Urban development is the process of organized growth and restructuring of human settlements. It occurs in two ways. First, at the...

    • 9 Public-Private Engagement: Promise and Practice
      (pp. 233-258)
      Lynne B. Sagalyn

      Government officials, policy analysts, practitioners, and academics from diverse contexts across the globe have enthusiastically endorsed the promise of public-private (PP) engagement to solve pressing problems of public policy. The endorsement often is a rallying cry for a change in policy or reform of a prevailing policy regime, as is evident in typical PP slogans such as “partnerships for progress,” “a new framework for infrastructure,” “a tool for economic modernization,” “helping to address the urban environmental crisis,” and “meeting the investment challenge.” Not infrequently, the actual meaning of the PP label is ambiguous, its use a rhetorical tactic to expand...

    • 10 Good Governance: The Inflation of an Idea
      (pp. 259-282)
      Merilee Grindle

      Good governance is a good idea. We would all be better off, and citizens of many developing countries would be much better off, if public life were conducted through fair, judicious, transparent, accountable, participatory, responsive, well-managed, and efficient institutions. For the millions of people throughout the world who live in conditions of public insecurity and instability, corruption, abuse of law, public service failure, poverty, and inequality, good governance is a mighty beacon of what ought to be.

      Because of this intuitive appeal, good governance has rapidly become a major ingredient in analyses of what’s missing in countries struggling for economic...

    • 11 Self-Help Housing Ideas and Practice in the Americas
      (pp. 283-310)
      Peter M. Ward

      An important paradigm shift in development planning was under way by the late 1960s, as some researchers began to notice the unintended negative consequences of large-scale, modernized city-building schemes. Lisa Peattie’sThe View from the Barrio(1968), a critique of the Ciudad Guayana experience in Venezuela, led the way.¹ There were others, too, at MIT and elsewhere, who by then had started to advocate for an alternative, bottom-up approach to city building. In architecture, John Turner’s graduate classes at MIT introduced students to the nature of urban settlement, and during 1968–1972 he developed the framework for a comparative analysis...

  9. IV Ideas about Professional Reflection

    • 12 Reflective Practice
      (pp. 313-332)
      Raphaël Fischler

      The words of William Heard Kilpatrick, professor of education and disciple of John Dewey, encapsulate much of what we understand by reflective practice.¹ Educators have understood for a long time that professional behavior evolves as individuals learn from experience, especially from confrontation with novelty. Although the general idea of reflective practice can be found in writings from as far back as the first decades of the twentieth century, the expression “reflective practice” itself is a fairly new one; it appeared in the scholarly and professional literature only in the 1980s. The emergence of this concept and its diffusion in the...

    • 13 Communicative Planning: Practices, Concepts, and Rhetorics
      (pp. 333-358)
      Patsy Healey

      The idea of communicative planning is by now well recognized in the planning field.¹ The claim that underlies it centers on the importance of attention to the social microdynamics of practices in all their performative dimensions. It is through such microdynamics that planning ideas and strategies are accomplished. It is within such practices that what is at stake, and what and who gets to count, is established, given concrete form, and converted into effects on material outcomes and evolving modes of thinking and acting. The development of the ideas that have come to be associated with communicative planning within the...

    • 14 Social Justice as Responsible Practice: Influence of Race, Ethnicity, and the Civil Rights Era
      (pp. 359-386)
      June Manning Thomas

      Social justice, an important concept in planning thought, is a principle that professional, certified planners in the United States are supposed to uphold, and yet it is difficult to fully support a principle without understanding its rationale. This chapter explores the historical context in an effort to explain U.S. planners’ readiness to adopt specific language regarding social justice, first in 1972 and then in succeeding versions of the American Institute of Certified Planners’ (AICP’s) Code of Ethics. A person who examines the main social justice provision in the U.S. code could very well question why such language is enshrined as...

  10. Index
    (pp. 387-422)