Learning and Governance Culture in Planning PracticeThe Case of Otaniemi

Authored by: Raine Mäntysalo , Kaisa Schmidt-Thomé , Simo Syrman

The Routledge Handbook of Institutions and Planning in Action

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138085732
eBook ISBN: 9781315111230
Adobe ISBN:


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The chapter presents a theoretical outline of organizational learning in the planning context, utilizing Gregory Bateson’s learning theory and its application in the Cultural-Historical Activity Theory. This systemic three-level approach to learning incorporates both lower levels of learning corresponding with pragmatist reflection-in-action and a higher level of learning addressing institutionalist reflection. Situated reflection-in-action needs to be transgressed by institutional reflectivity when dealing with historically developed double binds in planning practice. To illustrate the theoretical discussion, the chapter examines a recent participatory urban planning process in the district of Otaniemi, in the city of Espoo, Finland.

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