The Politics of Planning

J. Phillip Thompson

in The Oxford Handbook of Urban Planning

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780195374995
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Politics of Planning


This article examines the political aspect of urban planning. It discusses Robert Beauregard's opinion that planning should not reject modernism entirely or unconditionally embrace postmodernism, and that planners should instead maintain a focus on the city and the built environment as a way of retaining relevancy and coherence, and should maintain modernism's commitment to political reform and to planning's meditative role within the state, labor, and capital. The article suggests that planners should also advocate utopian social justice visions for cities which are not so far-fetched as to be unrealizable so that planning can then attach itself to widespread values such as democracy, the common good, or equality.

Keywords: urban planning; Robert Beauregard; modernism; built environment; political reform; social justice; democracy; common good; equality

Article.  9183 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Public Policy

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