Although this chapter is entitled ‘Planners as advocates’, it covers more diverse and fundamental issues concerning planning. In planning theory, advocacy is normally associated with the work of Paul Davidoff (1930–84), who argued for a deeply personal and highly political view of planning and planners. Such a view is usually contrasted with the more apolitical, technical and bureaucratic perspective and approach of, for example, the systems and rational approaches (see Chapter 3). The division between these two worldviews represented a cleavage that reflected attitudes in society towards the role of the state and what it was attempting to do with the machinery it had established to control development. Thus, this chapter is also about some fundamental questions concerning what planning is and how to go about it. It also raises questions concerning who the planner is planning for – their employee (e.g. a local authority), a wider interest, or a set of values upon which a professional layer of skills and values is added. The systems and rational approaches to planning detailed in Chapter 3 saw it as a technical and not particularly democratic exercise. Planners were experts who could model and predict cities and regions and through the tools of planning control ensure that they worked efficiently and effectively.
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