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Rethinking Planning Theory And Practice: A Glimmer Of Light For Prospects Of Integrated Planning To Combat Complex Urban Realities


  • Ahmed Baha' El-Deen ABUKHATER

    () (University of Texas at Austin United States of America)


Throughout the past half century, there has been a growing and persisting demand towards developing more integrated approaches to planning as a way to combat the notoriously complex and chronic urban problems. Cognizant of this need, this paper, while offering justification for such a planning approach, discusses problematic aspects of current planning practice and highlights key lessons and parallels from past experiences regarding the idea of planning comprehension, rationality in planning, and the role of power and politics in plan-making and plan implementation. Drawing upon recent debates in planning theory, this paper further presents an agenda for building a new integrative approach to planning, discusses major issues that planning theorists need to address in terms of functional integration, decision-making processes in planning, and political and institutional challenges to such integrated planning approaches, and offers a series of propositions to remedy these challenges. The adaptive sustainable planning model is suggested and amply delineated as an effective overarching normative framework for the development of an integrated planning approach that provides organization to the field and guides practitioners towards realizing their role as effective decision makers. The key contribution of this paper is not its reliance on the typical notion of sustainability per se but rather its unique and thorny approach of how it ought to be used as a way of moving forward with planning and policy-making to ultimately enhance a better urbanism.

Suggested Citation

  • Ahmed Baha' El-Deen ABUKHATER, 2009. "Rethinking Planning Theory And Practice: A Glimmer Of Light For Prospects Of Integrated Planning To Combat Complex Urban Realities," Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management, Research Centre in Public Administration and Public Services, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 4(2(11)), pages 64-79, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:rom:terumm:v:4:y:2009:i:11:p:64-79

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Meppem, Tony & Gill, Roderic, 1998. "Planning for sustainability as a learning concept," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 121-137, August.
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    More about this item


    integrated planning; sustainability; comprehension; rationality; power.;

    JEL classification:

    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R52 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Land Use and Other Regulations
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • L52 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods


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