I have included a range of what I termed indigenous planning theories in this book that represent distinct but related ‘clusters’ of ideas. The relationships between these different sets of theories can be analysed in a number of ways. I have chosen to draw upon post-positivist ideas concerning socially embedded and contingent foundations to theory and an emphasis on time and space, in particular, as being significant in understanding the origin, use and evolution of theory. While this understanding has a number of advantages and fits in with the zeitgeist of planning theory and social theory generally (see Dear, 2000; Flyvbjerg, 2001), it does have a number of drawbacks. There are three issues that are worthy of mention. The first is the lack of an awareness of cross-cutting themes that are pertinent and significant in each of the schools of thought. The second drawback is the lack of discussion of the ways in which different kinds of theory that do not belong to any particular school (i.e. what I have termed exogenous, framing and social theories) are used by planners. Finally, there is the oversimplistic representation of theory driven by the typology I have employed. I discuss these three issues in more detail below. One of the main problems of this approach is that in drawing together collections of theories it misses a number of recurrent themes, theories and ideas. One theme that I have tried to emphasize is that of relativism, particularly in the collaborative, postmodern and pragmatic approaches and, to a lesser extent, some post-structuralist understandings of space.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number