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Emily Talen

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190907495

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190907495.001.0001

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The Planning Problem

The Planning Problem

(p.122) 6 The Planning Problem

Emily Talen

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews the debate over predetermination, that is, whether neighborhoods should and can be planned into existence. The planned neighborhood is the result of deliberative action, either through a physical plan or as a set of orchestrated actions, in contrast to spontaneous neighborhood formation. The emphasis here is on the contrast between planning for a specified end state and “neighborhood planning” as a process with no predetermined outcome, especially in physical terms. A common narrative is that top-down neighborhood planning has been harmful, for example when it was used to motivate wholesale destruction of existing neighborhoods in the urban renewal period. The resolution of this debate proposes merging the best of both worlds: neighborhoods that do not ignore the importance of bottom-up generation but are still open to the possibility of a planned physical ideal.

Keywords:   neighborhood plans, urban renewal, placelessness, social diversity, social detachment, authentic neighborhoods, bottom-up planning

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