February 1, 2002
Spatial and environmental planning has long been an essential feature of all but the simplest societies. It’s form, role and the principles on which it should be based, however, have become increasingly contested and controversial issues. This partly stems from growing concern with global and local environments. It also reflects the fact that most planning systems were originally designed to cope with urban expansion in regions and cities conceived as relatively self-contained, not the open, diverse and globally reaching relationships which characterize most localities today. The figure of ‘the planner’ has become both an object of blame and hostility, and also the subject of our hopes for effective community regulation. Planners are loaded with new responsibilities and are at the receiving end of criticism whether for allowing something to happen or for stopping it.
In this classic text in planning theory, Patsy Healey draws on a very wide range of developments in social, political and spatial thought to propose a new framework for planning which is rooted in the institutional realities of the contemporary world. International in scope and comprehensive in its range, it points a way forward for spatial planning activity from a narrow technical and procedural focus towards a communicative and collaborative model for achieving common purposes in the shared spaces of our fragmented societies.
This new second edition includes a new update chapter considering key developments and debates in collaborative planning and refining and clarifying some of the arguments of the original version.
Patsy Healey is Professor Emeritus, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.