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Chapter 6

GGR361H5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Alternative 3, New Urbanism, Economic Impact Analysis

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Alan Walks

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GGR361 Readings
Chapter 6: Components of Community Plan-Making
Planning Theory: Plans and Plan-Making
‘Planning’ means the scientific, aesthetic and orderly disposition of land,
resources, facilities and services with a view to securing the physical, economic
and social efficiency, health and well-being of urban and rural communities
The Rational Model of Plan-Making and Its Limitations
Little evidence over theoretical concern over what planners do and how they do
The mid-1950’s study of the Chicago housing authorities efforts to build new
housing projects was one of the first to consider how planners went about
The rational-comprehensive approach contended that a planner would be acting
rationally by following three general steps:
1. Considering all the possible alternative courses of action in making a plan
2. Identifying and evaluating all of the consequences following from the
adoption of each alternative
3. Selecting the alternative that would most likely achieve the community’s
most valued objectives
Shifts in Plan-Making Theories
The 1990’s saw theorists focus primarily on two modes of plan making
The first is the critical pragmatic
According to this perspective, the power differentials between local politicians
and planning staff as well as between local politicians and outside interests, such
as the business sector, inevitably intrude on goal-setting and the viability of
alternative courses of planning action
The term “critical” alludes to the planner being prepared to examine critically
the political context for plan-making that prevails
The appendage “pragmatism” refers to the pragmatist philosophy approach of
working with existing relations that the planner encounters while also
considering the potentialities for human betterment
The second theoretical perspective on plan-making developed during the 1990’s
was the communicative model, sometimes called the collaborative model
It differentiates from the critical model in that it looks at community plan-making
as a set of deliberations with the community and its various interests
It emphasizes the need for planners to mediate among stakeholders to arrive at
an agreement on planning actions that will further their mutual interests
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Like the critical model, it focuses on the role of the planner and asks what he or
she should be doing to achieve more rational or more defensible outcomes in
The Plan and Its Substance
The critical pragmatic and communicative model offer little on what should be
done about cities and regions
They give little guidance on the spatial and social substance of a community plan
ex. Buildings, roadways, watercourses, playgrounds etc.
This is an essential aspect of the substance of a community’s intentions and
aspirations that is represented in its plan
The second aspect comprises the people of the community whose daily-lives,
economic well-being, environmental concerns, aesthetic values and social
inclusion are modeled by the built and natural environments that are given
shape in a plan
Overview on Plans and Plan-Making
The plan for a community should include both of the following substantive
1. A representation of the spatial and locational disposition of the physical
objects comprising the built and natural environments that are intended
to achieve planning goals through verbal, graphical and visual means
2. A commitment in verbal and other means of the intention to achieve
specified and distributional nature through the planning of physical
objects that comprise the current and future community
Plan-making should incorporate two constituent processes related to the
community’s social and political context:
1. Engagement of community members so that they are afforded the
opportunity to deliberate the intentions and the substance of all aspects
of the plan
2. Assessment of the socio-political context within which the planner works
to assure a common commitment to the plan’s intentions
The Flow of Community Plan-Making
Its beginnings is the adoption by the municipal council of an official motion to
prepare a plan
The course of plan-making is true whether the plan is entirely new or is being
amended and applies also to the making of supplementary plans such as for
zoning, creating special districts, or protecting wetlands
The formal record of a council’s proceedings would confirm this delineation of
plan-making for a community
This planning process raises two broad questions: (1) what occurs between its
beginning and its end (2) how is the intention to make a plan arrived at?
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