As Taylor (1998) points out, there has been a tendency to conflate systems and rational planning into a broad category of Procedural Planning Theory (PPT). There are some overlaps between the two areas that allow us to consider them in the same chapter. Like rational theories of planning the systems approach is concerned with the generation and evaluation of alternatives prior to making a choice (Faludi, 1987, p. 43). Both, however, are also distinct in important respects. According to Faludi (1987) rational planning makes the crucial distinction between formal (means) and substantive (ends) rationality that systems planning fails to do. Nevertheless, PPT is the label given to both systems and rational planning approaches. Both the systems and rational views rose to prominence in the 1960s and early 1970s and saw planning as a general societal management process (Healey, McDougall and Thomas, 1982). These approaches contrasted sharply with the dominant ‘planning as design’ paradigm. As a reaction against PPT and for other reasons driven by wider social and economic change a number of other positions emerged that both built upon PPT and opposed it. Those that developed from PPT came from the policy sciences and focused on, for example, implementation. Those that opposed it included political economy perspectives such as Marxism (Healey, McDougall and Thomas, 1982).
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