|- Possibilities, Probabilities and Prospects: Some Idea[l]s on finding the Future in Planning 35 kb|
|by Meyer, Engela | email@example.com |
|Planning has lost its ability to inspire and it could be ascribed to a lack of focus on the future and a skewed relationship with change. Planners should provide a bridge between the present and the future by developing their future-seeking and future-shaping theoretical base as well as skills and techniques. The field of futures studies has a great deal to offer planning as there is an essential symbiosis between planning and futures studies. Areas of interface and shared traits are explored. |
|Anticipating the future: do planners/planning/plans have the necessary theories and tools? |
Department of Town and Regional Planning
University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
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¡§Planning is, if anything, about linking anticipation of the future to present-day action¡K¡¨ (Ravetz 2000: 72).
The impact of globalization, the advent of postmodernity (or post-postmodernity?), the incredible incidence of the halflife of knowledge and other similar phenomena inform the claim that is often made that we live in times of rapid change. Planning/planners/plans are also subject to change. Global forces dictate trends and the public sector lost its claim on representing the will of the people. The end of ideology is advocated and so is the demise of an expert system. Planning is acknowledging the challenging circumstances it finds itself in and even ponders on the origins and reasons for this - be that the identity of planning, its history, the roleplayers involved or the process and method employed. But according to Indovena (in Cecchini 1999: 164) ¡§(a) reason for concern and a sign of crisis may be the fact that the discipline of a fundamentally practical orientation, such as town and regional planning, should devote such excessive attention to epistemological questions¡¨. How does planning respond to these challenges? Is planning only accommodating change or is it choosing to effect it?
Isserman (1985: 484) is of the opinion that planners willingly relinquish one of their most important claims for legitimacy ¡V that they can tell about the future and impact on how change takes place. The argument is supported by using examples from case studies of Integrated Development Plans drafted in Gauteng Province from 1996 to 2002. Planners should through their management of change over time (Strategic Marketing Committee of the ACSP 1997: 223) provide a bridge between the present and the future (Isserman 1985: 484). Courage, pragmatism, knowledge and skill (Hyde 2000: 19) must complement idealism. The premise of this paper is that planning/plans/planners should develop their future-seeking and future-shaping theoretical base as well as skills and techniques.
The paper further proposes that the field of futures studies has a great deal to offer planning. It argues that there is an essential symbiosis between planning and futures studies as fields of scientific research. In the first instance the areas of interface and shared traits will be discussed and then the complementary relationship will be explored.
Ü Hyde, D. 2000. Idealism should be at the heart of planning. Planning.
Ü Isserman, A. 1985. Dare to Plan. Town Planning Review. 483-491.
Ü Ravetz, J. 2000. Predict and provide, or imagine and invent? Town and City Planning, March 2000: 72-75.
Strategic Marketing Committee, ACSP. 1997. Anchor Points for Planning¡¦s Identification.
Case Study presented on the ISOCARP Congress 2002: The Pulsar Effect
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