Interdisciplinary Planning: A Perspective for the Future

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Critiques of traditional urban planning are numerous. The debate about direction within the profession and why urban planning seems to be in a state of despair continues. However, and as Milan J. Dluhy and Kan Chen note, the more critical issue is the future direction of planning, particularly interdisciplinary planning. In this regard, they note five principal areas of concern: planning is action research, planning is knowledge driven, planning is both process and technologically oriented, planning is interdisciplinary, and planning is adaptive to emerging concerns. Reviewing the literature and empirical studies on roles and attitudes, the editors note that planners seem committed to symbols and expressions of advocacy as well as traditional planning doctrine. This emphasizes rational planning and neutral policy roles for practitioners. Without a guiding theory to give a unified approach to practice, planners remain free to select the role most compatible with their personal background and training. This volume asserts that diversity need not be a drawback as long as careful analysis and open planning processes are used. This title will be an invaluable resource. Part I illustrates the critical dilemmas in planning, Part II focuses on planning skills and orientations, the third part focuses sharply on planning roles, while the final section answers a fundamental question: can interdisciplinary planning offer a more useful perspective than others on how to achieve more successful planning outcomes?