Town Planning Review

Planning: an idea of value

Town Planning Review (2002), 73, (3), 271–288.

Abstract

The development of the intellectual basis for planning activity has been a slow and problematic process. This paper seeks to build on existing intellectual understanding to argue that future developments in planning thought must take questions of ethical value as their starting point. The paper is essentially divided into three parts. The first makes the important distinction between planning as a narrow set of regulatory practices and planning as an idea, or more particularly a long-enduring societal activity. It is the latter concept of planning that frames the discussion in the remainder of the paper. The second, in which the core of the argument is developed, explores the nature of planning as an activity; an activity that is centrally concerned with making ethical judgements about better and worse, with and for others, in just institutions. It is about an idea of value. The third section examines the implications of this perspective for planning as a subject of academic endeavour. The argument is illustrated throughout with examples drawn from the author's research.

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Campbell, Heather