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AICP Planning Theory

Major Planning Theories

1. Synoptic Rationalism In philosophy in general, rationalism is the foundation and embodiment of the scientific method. It serves the same role in planning theory.
2. Incrementalism • Was espoused by Charles Lindbloom in "The Science of Muddling Through." • This theory is a practical response to rationalism. Planning is seen as less of a scientific technique and more of a mixture of intuition and experience. • Major policy changes are best made in little increments over long periods of time. • Incrementalism very accurately describes what actually occurs in most planning offices on a daily basis.
3. Transactive Planning • Like incrementalism, transactivism does not view planning purely as a scientific technique. • Transactivism espouses planning as a decentralized function based on face-to-face contacts, interpersonal dialogues, and mutual learning. • Transactivism is roughly behavioralist-style planning.
4. Advocacy Planning • Advocacism abandons the objective, non-political view of planning contained in rationalism. Planners become like lawyers: they advocate and defend the interests of a particular client or group (which is preferably economically disadvantaged and /or politically unorganized or underrepresented).
5. Radical Planning • In a sense, radicalism takes transactivism to its logical extreme. • Radicalism hates hierarchical bureaucracies, centralized planning, and domineering professional planners. • It argues that planning is most effective when it is performed by non-professional neighborhood planning committees that empower common citizens to experiment with solving their own problems. • The ideal outcomes of this process are collective actions that promote self-reliance.
6. Utopianism • Utopianism believes that planning is most effective when it proposes sweeping changes that capture the public imagination. • Daniel Burnham’s Plan of Chicago, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City, and Le Corbusier’s La Ville Contemporaine are often cited as utopian works.
7. Methodism • Methodism addresses situations in which the planning techniques that should be used are known, but the ends that should be achieved by these techniques are not. Such a situation would be making a population projection just to have it handy when it is needed. Methodism views planning techniques as ends into themselves.
Created by: bbmoshe
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