Thursday, 21 November 2013

Seminar 7: New directions in planning theory by Susan S. Fainstein

In the paper ‘New Directions in Planning Theory’ written by Susan S Fainstein outlines the three major new directions of Urban and Regional planning these three new directions in planning theory are the communicative model, the new urbanism and the just city.

The Communicative Model
The communicative model is just that its communication, it’s the pragmatic model, knowledge is derived from experience; it involves rational communication and provides information to all participants so no one groups dominates and everyone can have a say and get a wide range of views out on the table and hopefully you end up with the best result for the community, social structures and economics for the area. This theory does have flaws though, it does not take in to account powerful groups being involved in the process, it doesn’t believe that bureaucratic model may produce a desirable result and this theory takes a long time to receive tangible results.

The New Urbanism
The new urbanism isn’t really a new planning theory      its old planning theory new urbanism is going back to the pre post world war era when sprawl began and cars and fuel were cheap, cities were polluted and rich people moved to the fringes to get a higher standard of living. Now we see issues with sprawl and that sort of planning it’s much better when a facilities, amenities, recreation, community, home and employment are within walking distances it cuts down pollution and congestion and increases the quality of community and economy and this essentially is ‘New Urbanism’ . New urbanism isn’t necessarily good if proper consultation with the community doesn’t take place people feel not involved and marginalised and as a result the crime rate may rise and they environment will worsen.

The Just City

The author of this paper Susan S Fainstein is a real advocate for just cities so this creates a bias in the writing of the paper but ‘the Just City’ is just that a just city. The just city is an ideology is a city of a utopia, it is heavily politicised and a radical plan. It’s essentially planners trying to create their image of a perfect city which on the face looks good but has many problems in practice. The positives of this city are it is a utopia, it has perfect equity of all people in the city, everyone has the same rights and participation is encouraged. The flaws in this planning theory is that an ideal city is subjective everyone has a different view so it’s hard to design and it has a definite focus on the upper and middle classes and does not affect the people its most important to the lower class.

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