A Decision-centred View of Environmental Planning by A. Faludi

By A. Faludi

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After having taught planning theory jointly, Tugwell's and Banfield's interests diverged. Banfield took over the course and turned it into a rigorous testing ground of the intellectual stamina of students. Next to his method of teaching, what Perloff (Burns and Friedmann, 1985) describes as Banfield's idiosyncratic attitude to planning was responsible for this. Still, Friedmann has fond memories of this course: Banfield's early flirtations with planning eventually gave way to a deep pessimism about man's condition and the ability of society to deal with its problems through purposeful intervention by central authorities.

Lack of techniques and of willingness often holds back urban planners in this realm (p. 16). Under planning characteristics, Davidoff and Reiner consider the overlap between planning, operational research, decision-making, and problemsolving. They distinguish planning by its orientation towards the achievement of ends, the exercise of choice, the future, to action and by its comprehensiveness. In view of many muddled ideas about the two, it is interesting to note how future-orientation and comprehensiveness are related to the rational planning model: High Points and Diversions 37 Estimates of future states are ...

111). This is an indictment of any narrow concern with physical planning. "Comprehensiveness" in the title of his paper means therefore that planning concerns more than physical arrangements. Critics of comprehensiveness sometimes lose sight of the context in which it has been put forward: the struggle for a more inclusive definition of the planner's professional role. A few years later, similar discussions concerning the role of the planner took place in the United Kingdom (see The Royal T o w n Planning Institute, 1976).

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