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RESEARCH BRIEFING Planning Theory: Reconstruction or Requiem for Planning?

By Franco Archibugi


In spite of the geometric progression in the quantity of scholars who have devoted them-selves—more or less totally—to theoretical reflections about planning, both as a practice and as an academic discipline (to the point of founding a new strand or discipline of study, Planning Theory), 1 I think that a diffuse, creeping uneasiness has pervaded all the participants of this discipline. This uneasiness concerns not only the role, the sense, and the boundaries of Planning Theory, but also of planning tout court. I would even be tempted to say, that—para-doxically—this wide reflection and debate about planning (called Planning Theory) has been made worse instead of better, the uncertainties and ‘derangement ’ of planning itself, both as practice and profession. How can this have been? Utilizing a metaphor (which has been perhaps abused, and is perhaps abusive), it is as if, confronted with a dark pond (planning) in which objects at the bottom can only be seen in an obscure, deformed way, people would throw stones (planning theory) into the pond, in th

Year: 2016
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