Planning Theory for Practitioners

By Michael Brooks

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This book is recommended reading for planners preparing to take the AICP exam.

In this book, Michael Brooks bridges the gap between theory and practice. He describes an original approach — Feedback Strategy — that builds on the strengths of previous planning theories with one big difference: it not only acknowledges but welcomes politics — the bogeyman of real-world plannin...

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Product Details

Page Count
Date Published
March 1, 2002
APA Planners Press

About the Authors

Michael Brooks

Table of Contents

1. Planning practice and political power
Public planning • Planning and political power

2. Planning practice and planning theory
The uses of theory in planning • Is there a theory-practice gap? • Planning theory today

3. Running the gauntlet of planning critics
Planning is perilous • Planning is impossible • Planning is impotent • Planning is malevolent • Planning is unconstitutional • Planning is ...alive and well

4. Rationales for public planning
The search for planning's bedrock • The public interest:real or illulsory? • Conclusions

5. The critical role of values and ethics
Values • Ethics • Conclusions

6. Centralized rationality:The planners as applied scientist
The nature of rationality • Rationality based planning strategies • The latest contender:Strategic planning • Current status of the rationality concept

7. Centralized nonrationality:The planner confronts politics
Simon says "satisfice" • Incrementalism • Current status of incrementalism

8. Decentralized rationality:The planner as political activist
Advocacy planning • Current status of advocacy planning

9. Decentralized nonrationality:the planner as communicator
Postmodernism • Planning as communicative action

10. Setting the stage:Ideas, feedback, goals and trail balloons
Where do planning ideas come from? • The critical role of feedback • Formulating workable goals:easier said than done • The benefits of creative trail ballooning

11. The feedback strategy of public planning
Planning as social experimentation • The habits of effective planners • The feedback strategy • How the feedback strategy relates to other paradigms • Potential shortcomings of the feedback strategy

12. The politically savvy planner
The nature of political savvy • The elements of political savvy

13. Vision
The importantance of vision • How to be a visionary and keep your job