Planning is usually conflated with collective action, collective choice, communication, centralisation and coordination. It is also common to conflate planning theory with urban theory. In this course, we explore how these concepts inform planning, however, are neither necessary for plans, nor the issues they raise are ameliorated by planning. We will explore various normative as well as positive theories of plans, institutions, ethics and governance at sufficient depth to provide grounds for understanding the nature and dilemmas of urban planning.
John Friedman, an influential planning academic, argued, “One of the ways to introduce students to what [planners] do, and to socialize them to the mysteries of our field, is to give them a strong dose of theory and history, along the way". Thus, the point of the course is to provide concepts and reasonings that will help you make sense of practice. To this end, the learning objectives of the class is not to write ‘theory papers’ but to apply theoretical concepts in evaluating plans, planning processes and attendant issues.
To sum up, the question we will attempt to answer in this course is, “What are good plans, planning practices and planners?" “What is a good place?" is left for other courses.
This is a graduate class and, therefore, I won't belabor on proper in-class and out-of-class etiquette and academic integrity. You are expected to be aware of these issues. If in doubt, please refer to university policies and ask permission, rather than forgiveness.
I use powerpoint slides sparingly, so please be prepared to take notes in the discussion and lecture section.
There are no prerequisites for this class. However, this class will quickly cover ground and use concepts that you may not be familiar with. It is your responsibility to seek out additional background material to keep up.
We will read many classic readings from various fields as well as some case studies in planning. Thus, you may encounter novelties in both style and substance. Most of the readings have generated a lengthy trail of secondary literature. Use the resources on the World Wide Web as well as the library for secondary literature. It is your responsibility to seek clarifications for unfamiliar concepts and ideas.
The second part of the class (usually) consists of alternating lectures and discussion sections. Every student is expected to read all the readings for the particular week before the lecture. You can, at times are expected to, disagree with the opinions and arguments presented in the class and in the readings. Your participation and papers will be evaluated on your competence in coherently and comprehensively framing your counterpoints to the issues raised by the lectures, readings and discussions. You are to blog about your readings for every class. These blogs will be evaluated and form the basis for your online participation. These blogs need not be long, but should succinctly capture the essence of the readings, your critique and connections to specific use cases you came across.
Randomly chosen pair of students will lead each week's discussion section (if there is one and is noted on the schedule). I will post the leads for the discussion on the wiki. I will post some discussion questions that may frame your readings.
Any email should include subject line that contains``PLAN704", so as to enable automatic filtering by email clients. An email group is set up for your convenience, email@example.com. It is your responsibility to make sure that you are subscribed to this group and are receiving timely messages.
The course calendar rather than the tentative schedule should be considered more definitive and up to date. You can subscribe to it in your calendar programs. The course calendar not only lists the topics for the week, but also due dates for various assignments and any other extra guest lectures that fall outside the class schedule. I strongly urge you to keep an eye on it.
I strongly urge the leads to meet with me and/or Augustus, the previous week to get some guidance and clarification on the real and hypothetical cases that might be used in the discussion. You can use my calendar to setup appointments for slots that are open and are mutually convenient. Augustus is not usually on site as he is away doing field work for his dissertation. Nevertheless, he is available via Skype (augustus.anderson), if you wish to speak with him about the class.
This class is set up so that you will learn lot more from your peers than from lectures. Therefore, vigorous participation is not only encouraged, but also required. Initiative and creativity in articulating the main points are especially prized. You should bring in materials, concepts and cases from your professional experience and other classes. As an example, footnotes are provide in the schedule for readings, where some of the topics are either encountered in or are relevant to other courses in the department.
I will monitor in-class discussion, out of class participation, throughout the semester. Since participation is substantial portion of the grade (25%), students are advised to take it very seriously.
Philip McDaniel has kindly created this library website dedicated to the course. This website is a repository of resources such as film clips, recommended books about cities, current planning news that should inform your Please check back frequently, as we will be adding background materials that are publicly available. This page is also linked from Sakai course website.
In addition to the regular class and discussion schedule, I will arrange guest lectures on various techniques, such as archival research, participant observation and interview methods. The speakers and dates are yet to be determined and are likely to fall outside the class schedule. They will be posted on class calendar. You should make every effort to attend these lectures.
Grading and Assignments
Performance will be evaluated on four assignments as well as participation exemplified by email postings, in-class participation and contribution to discussions. This participation includes asking questions about unfamiliar concepts, challenging arguments and in general making the classroom experience lively. Participation, including the wiki postings, comments and in-class discussion will account for 25 percent (15% for in-class , 10% online) of the grade.
The four assignments are short papers that tightly argue a particular case or a point drawn from readings and other ancillary materials. You are advised to refer to Strunk and White’s Elements of Style.
- Assignment 1 . A short paper on historical process, planning cultures or frameworks. (10%)
- Assignment 2. Critically evaluate a plan. Also, concurrently write an individual plan. (20%)
- Assignment 3 Analyse a planning legal case using theoretical concepts.(20%)
- Assignment 4 Critically analyse an ongoing or a recent planning process. Account for whether and how the information generated in the process is being used in public and private decision making. This is a 2 person group project(25%)
These assignments have to be submitted via Sakai site. For instructions on how to use the Sakai site assignment tool to submit documents, refer to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAAHf8PUApQ. Interim submissions for assignment 4 are to be posted on the wiki on the sakai site. For help with the wiki, refer to video tutorial on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwiO47CbXBw.
As with any document, remember that the submission may be printed in B&W. Be aware that, illustrations that look good in colour and on the screen, do not translate well into this format. It is a good habit, to use high contrast illustrations. Also, never refer to colors of an illustration, in the text.
All verbatim text and illustrations from other sources appearing in the assignments and weekly analyses are to be properly cited and documented. All help from websites, individuals, and other materials should be properly acknowledged. There is no penalty for collaborative endeavours; however, severe penalties are imposed for non-attribution.
Writing well, is a necessary skill to develop. Your term papers and emails will be graded, not merely on their substantive merits, but also on style. You should take advantage of the excellent resources at UNC writing center. Please refer to the grading rubric handout as a guide.
All citations should follow the guidelines set forth by the Chicago Manual of Style. A quick and ready guide is available for the author-date citation format. . The course library webpage also has information on citation formats.
Page limits mentioned in the assignments are guides, and are not binding. Double spacing is an anachronism. Presumably, you have moved on from the fixed font era of typewriters.
Textbooks and Readings
The following textbook is required for this class:
L. D Hopkins. Urban Development: The logic of making plans. Island Press, Washington, DC, 2001
The textbook is available at the University Bookstore and is on reserve at the undergraduate library.
Most of the other readings are derived from journal articles and book chapters. A binder that comprises of the all the readings excluding the chapters from the textbook is available in the reading room. This binder is not monitored. As a class you are expected to setup mechanism of mutual monitoring, if you plan to borrow it.
The reading list is posted on Sakai website. Some of the books, whose chapters are mentioned in the schedule, are on physical reserve at the Undergraduate library. Additionally, electronic versions of the some of the articles and books can be found through the library website through various article databases and e-book collections.
Schedule (Subject to revision)
Introduction & History
Why do we need to plan? Who plans? For what purpose?
- T. Moore. Why allow planners to do what they do? A justification from economic theory. Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 44(4):387–398, 1978
- L. D Hopkins. Urban Development: The logic of making plans. Island Press, Washington, DC, 2001 (Chapter 1)
A Bit of History1
- J. A Peterson. The impact of sanitary reform upon American urban planning, 1840 - 1890. Journal of Social History, 13(1):83–103, 1979. also reprinted in Introduction to Planning History in the United States, edited by Donald Krueckeberg
- L. Sandercock. Introduction: Framing the insurgent historiographies for planning. In L. Sandercock, editor, Making the invisible visible: A multicultural planning history, pages 1–35. Univ of California Press, Berkeley, CA, 1998
- K. T. Jackson. Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of United States. Oxford University Press, New York, 1985 (Chapters 11 & 12)
Globalisation & the City
What is global? What is local? Is globalization a novel concept that explains the spatial structure of cities?
- J. Friedman. The many cultures of planning. In Insurgencies: Essays in Planning Theory, chapter 9, pages 164–204. Routledge, New York, NY, 2011
- Jan Nijman. Mumbai as a global city: A theoretical essay. In Ben Derudder, Michael Hoyler, Peter J. Taylor, and Frank Witlox, editors, International Handbook of Globalization and World Cities. Edward Elgar Publishing, February 2012
- Robert A. Beauregard and Anne Haila. The Unavoidable Continuities of the City. In Peter Marcuse and Ronald van Kempen, editors, Globalizing Cities, pages 22–36. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2008
Short presentations and discussions about planning norms, practices, and watershed moments
Vignettes by each student on various planning cultures that come to define the field of planning. The topics range from historical processes of different places, institutional settings, important events, planning disasters and the like.
Decision Making & Plans
Logic of Individual Action
I will argue for planning as a method of thinking before acting. As such plans are made by various entities including private groups, to convince larger public. It is in this cacophony of intersecting plans, intentions and goals, we must individually act.
- J. K Friend and A. Hickling. Planning under Pressure: The Strategic Choice Approach. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, UK, third edition, 2005 (Chapters 1)
- A. Etzioni. Mixed-Scanning: A ‘Third’ Approach to Decision-Making. Public Administration Review, 27(5):385–392, December 1967
- L. D Hopkins. Urban Development: The logic of making plans. Island Press, Washington, DC, 2001(Chapters 4 & 5)
Logic of Collective Action & Collective Choice3
Collective action and Collective choice are central to ‘public’ planning in large societies. Collective action is the action that needs to be taken as a group, about goals agreed upon by a group. Collective choice are mechanisms through which groups decide. These two are rather distinct from, though related to, one another and from planning. I will discuss these notions in detail and argue about when and why, wide participation in planning process, makes sense and when it does not. We will return to these topics in the communicative action class.
- L. D Hopkins. Urban Development: The logic of making plans. Island Press, Washington, DC, 2001(Chapter 7 & 8)
- N. Kaza and L. D Hopkins. In what circumstances should we plan in public? Journal of Planning Education and Research, 10(4):491–502, 2009
How can we make plans that will be used? How to make them well?
- L. D Hopkins. Urban Development: The logic of making plans. Island Press, Washington, DC, 2001(Chapters 2, 3 &9)
- M. E. Pollack and J. F. Horty. There’s more to life than making plans: Plan management in dynamic, Multi-Agent environments. AI Magazine, 20(4):71–84, 1999
Once plans are constructed, they have to be used in decision-making. We will explore how they might be used and what kinds of arguments are generally made about both rational and rhetorical function of plans as well as planning.
- L. D Hopkins. Urban Development: The logic of making plans. Island Press, Washington, DC, 2001(Chapters 10)
- D. A. Schon. The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think In Action. Basic Books, 1 edition, September 1984 (Chapter 7)
Property Rights, Governance & Institutions
Planning & Markets: A False Dichotomy6
Central to many arguments about justification for planning, are that markets fail either because of externalities or because they cannot provide common goods and planning is meant to remedy them. I will dissect these notions and show that fallacy of conflating government with planning. I will also argue that planning is not limited to governments; firms, individuals and voluntary groups plan within markets and without.
- R. E Klosterman. Arguments for and against planning. Town Planning Review, 56(1):5–20, 1985
- E. R Alexander. Why planning vs. markets is an oxymoron?: Asking the right question. Planning and Markets, 4(1):1–8, 2001
- N. Kaza and G.J. Knaap. Principles of planning for economists. In N. Brooks, G.J. Knaap, and K.P. Donaghy, editors, Oxford Handbook of Urban Economics and Planning, chapter 2, pages 29–50. Oxford University Press, New York NY, 2011 (selected non-technical sections)
Rights & Regulations7
For markets to function, a well-defined, and an evolving system of property rights need to be established. I will argue for a social construction of bundles of rights that account for changing circumstances. Construction of de facto and de jure rights are contingent on transaction costs, peoples and historical practises and are backed by the police power of the state.
- L. D Hopkins. Urban Development: The logic of making plans. Island Press, Washington, DC, 2001(Chapter 6)
- A. Bancroft. ‘No interest in land’: Legal and spatial enclosure of Gypsy-Travellers in Britain. Space & Polity, 4(1), 2000
- R. H. Coase. The problem of social cost. The journal of Law and Economics, 3(1):1–44, 1960
Common Pool Resources & Institutional Responses8
Hardin’s classic article on how common pool resources are degraded when no well defined system of property rights exist. However, as Ostrom forcefully argues private property rights are only one type of institutional response and there could be many other. These rights are also negotiated over time and are in constant flux, contrary to popular perception.
- G. Hardin. The tragedy of the commons. Science, 162:1243–1248, 1968
- M. A. Heller. The Tragedy of the Anticommons: Property in the Transition from Marx to Markets. Harvard Law Review, 111(3):621–688, January 1998
- E. Ostrom. Beyond Markets and States: Polycentric Governance of Complex Economic Systems. American Economic Review, 100(3):641–672, 2010
Social Contracts & Justifications for State
State is one of the most visible actors engaged in planning. Justifications for the State need to be critically examined. However, the justifications for planning are different from that of the State and we will explore the conflations and distinctions. We will also consider the arguments of abuses of authoritarianism that is ever present in the notion of the State and how it shaped cities over time.
- S. M Stein and T. L Harper. Rawls’s “justice as fairness”: A moral basis for contemporary planning theory. Planning Theory, 4(2):147, 2005
- S. S. Fainstein. Planning and the just city. In Conference on searching for the just city, New York, NY, 2006. Columbia Univeristy
- J. C Scott. Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. Yale Agrarian Studies/Yale ISPS. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 1998(Chapter 2)
Normative Planning Methods and their Justifications
Comprehensive Rational Planning Model
Traditional comprehensive planning, has been the hallmark of planning in many countries, including welfare states, statist regimes, and neo populist states. We will identify the rational model of comprehensive planning and argue about its strengths and limitations.
- J. S Hammond, R. L Keeney, and H. Raiffa. Smart choices: A practical guide to making better decisions. Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA, 1999 (Chapters 4,5&6)
- H.W.J. Rittel and M.M. Webber. Dilemmas in a general theory of planning. Policy sciences, 4(2):155–169, 1973
- A. R. Goetz and J. S. Szyliowicz. Revisiting transportation planning and decision making theory: The case of Denver International Airport. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 31(4):263 – 280, 1997
Continuing from the earlier week on how different groups are marginalised, this week explores how gender norms undergird assumptions about what constitutes good cities and the proper domain on planning. We will explore norms about gender, sexual orientation and other expectations
- S. Fainstein. Feminism and planning: Theoretical issues. In Gender and planning: A reader, chapter 7, pages 120–140. Rutgers University Press, 2005
- G. Valentine. (re)negotiating the heterosexual street: Lesbian productions of space. In BodySpace: Destabilising Geographies of Gender and Sexuality, pages 146–55. Routledge, September 1996
- M. Ritzdorf. Sex, lies, and urban life: How municipal planning marginalizes african american women and their families. In Kristine B. Miranne and Alma H. Young, editors, Gendering the city: women, boundaries, and visions of urban life, pages 169–81. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., Lanham, MD, 2000
Race & Multiculturalism9
One of the issues that defined the cultural, social and physical landscape of the US is race. We will examine this issue closely in how it relates to planning, and the construction of space and communities. We will also reexamine the readings from the Crabgrass Frontier.
- H. Baum. Smart growth and school reform: What if we talked seriously about race and took community seriously? Journal of the American Planning Association, 70:14–25, 2004
- H. J Gans. Deconstructing the underclass: the term’s dangers as a planning concept. Journal of the American Planning Association, 56:271–278, 1990
- C. Z Charles. The dynamics of racial residential segregation. Annual Review of Sociology, 29(1):167–207, 2003
It has been argued that as an instrument of the State, planning regimes are necessarily conservative, in that they entrench existing power structures and maintain status quo. Traditional critiques of this model of planning have relied on the fact that certain groups (either through class or gender etc.) are privileged over others, sometimes deliberately and at other times unintentionally. We will examine these claims and see if these critiques will still hold water when we move away from conflating planning with regulation.
- N. Blomley. Enclosure, Common Right and the Property of the Poor. Social & Legal Studies, 17(3):311–331, September 2008
- D. Harvey. Social justice, postmodernism and the city. International journal of urban and regional research, 16(4):588–601, 1992
- E. W. Soja. The socio-spatial dialectic. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 70(2):207–225, 1980
Advocacy & Activist Planning
The notion of ‘public interest’ is central to many arguments for planning and informs the ethical prescriptions of the profession. However, Davidoff famously argued that planners should act on the behalf of the marginalised groups because they do not have the capacity to plan for themselves. Taking this line of reasoning we will examine in this class as well as the next, whether planners should perform roles similar to lawyers. If so, who would the client be?
- • P. Davidoff. Advocacy and pluralism in planning. Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 31(4):331–338, 1965
- • N. Krumholz. A retrospective view of equity planning: Cleveland 1969-1979. Journal of the American Planning Association, 48(2):163–174, 1982
- • Comments by Jerome Kaufman, Paul Davidoff, and Lawrence Susskind, ibid 175-183
Communicative Action & Deliberative Democracy10
As a reaction to the rational model of planning, Healey, Innes and Forester argued for a more nuanced approach of public engagement as the main focus of planning. Their argument takes the form that community building and capacity building are central to the exercise of planning, not just making plans. We will critically examine these claims and the prescribed processes.
- J. Forester. Dealing with differences: dramas of mediating public disputes. Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 2009 (Introduction & Chapter 2)
- C. Tauxe. Marginalizing Public Participation in Local Planning: An Ethnographic Account. Journal of the American Planning Association, 61(4):471–481, December 1995
- J. E Innes. Planning through consensus building: A new view of the comprehensive planning ideal. Journal of the American Planning Association, 62(4):460–472, 1996
Every profession prescribes a set of professional ethics that it requires its practitioners to follow. We will engage the AICP code of ethics and see how your examination of the planning process (Assignment 4) had brought forth some ethical issues that need to be confronted.
- • W. Lucy. APA’s ethical principles include simplistic planning theories. Journal of the Amer- ican Planning Association, 54(2):147–148, 1988
- • H. J Rubin. The Danada farm: Land acquisition, planning, and politics in the suburbs. Journal of the American Planning Association, 54(1):79–90, 1988
- • M. M Feld. The Yonkers case and its implications for the teaching and practice of planning. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 8(3):169–175, 1989
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