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Michael P. Brooks' Planning Theory For Practitioners

1556 words - 7 pages

Planning Theory for Practitioners
Planning Theory for practitioners by Michael P. Brooks, FAICP, Brooks argues about some of the flaws in past planning theories. communicative in the early 1980s, advocacy emerged in mid-1960s to 1970s, rational dominated the post- World War II years and incrementalism late 1950s to early 1960s. In the book Brooks proposes policies and ideas to try to close the bridge between planning theories and planning practice. Brooks presents a great deal of arguments and policies that support his argument of planning. Planning theory for practitioners is divided into five parts the introduction, foundation of planning, alternative paradigms for public planning, towards a more practical strategy, and effective planning in the political milieu.
In the introduction, Brooks writes about political power and planning Theory and its connection to the practice of planning. He argues planning and politics are connected which is also connected residents, politicians, and developers. Planners have an external influence that shape their roles and responsibility. In the U.S., planners lack the institutional authorities support, which handicaps planners’ professional. Because of this, planners are always between private enterprises and public good. Planning and politics are not separate they are professionally connected. Using positive and normative theories; “positive attempt to explain how things operate while normative tell us how they should operate" (pg. 22). Are one way to bridge the gap between theory and practice and this should not be unique to the planning profession. However, planning theory is less important, but planers still prescript to it because of the “wicked” contemporary problems.
In the foundation of public planning, Brooks writes planning is “perilous, impossible, impotent, malevolent or unconstitutional” (pg. 35). He argues planning is unconstitutional to some extent because of the government’s involvement in regulating laws, which sometime imposes laws on citizen’s private property rights. Laws such as zoning and zoning ordinance control what citizens can and cannot build on this own private land. In addition, governments have the right to take a citizens land away using police power in the good and the interest of the public.
On the rational models and incrementalism theories of planning, Brooks’ argues the rational models used as a tool to resolve inequalities of services and goods that have very little effect on the planning process. Rotational models do not deal with or take into account the political interfaces because politics and planning are synonymous to each other. He argues in the incrementalism model, because change is gradual, it does not deal with changes that occur rapidly. Incrementalism sometimes has a negative impact on the people with little political power and helps the people in power whom are able to adapt to these rapid changes.
He writes advocacy planning involves political...

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