A Value-Oriented Approach to Discursive Analysis of Urban and Regional Planning

Authored by: W.W. Buunk , L.M.C. van der Weide

The Routledge Handbook of Planning Research Methods

Print publication date:  November  2014
Online publication date:  August  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415727952
eBook ISBN: 9781315851884
Adobe ISBN: 9781317917038


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Spatial planning used to be defined as an instrument for making well-informed decisions about our physical environment (Friedman 1987). These ‘well-informed’ decisions accordingly were the result of careful preparation and consideration of various proposals, for which a logically argued preference was reached following a functional or technical-instrumental rationality that was laid down in plans (Nozick 1993). However, the practice of planning has changed considerably. Planning nowadays is a variety of process-oriented approaches, methods of analysis and design, often combined with participation of stakeholders, methods of negotiation and procedures for joint decision making (Healey 1997, 2003; de Roo & Silva 2010). In policy arenas around urban and regional development mutually interdependent actors need to make a joint effort to define the spatial development issue at stake and decide upon the preferred solution (Buunk 2003: 126–133). This often means that existing planning policies may need to be set aside in favour of new custom-made ways of working, which in the end require a new basic or political decision.

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