Schermafbeelding 2015 10 27 om 15.26.35


Leonard Machler and Dan Milz

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50 pages

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There are a number of questions that seem to nag almost every planning student: Why are some plans successful, while others are not? What makes a plan meaningful and, therefore, useful to the people it affects? How can we design processes that help ensure that plans become meaningful and, therefore, actually used? In other words, how can we help create plans that will make a difference? Every planning student ought to be familiar with the work of Judith Innes because she has devoted her career to exploring these questions.

Judith Innes is Professor Emerita of City & Regional Planning at University of California, Berkley. She holds a Ph.D. from MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning and an undergraduate degree in English from Harvard University. Innes is one of the proponents and main contributors towards communicative planning. As the authors mention in the booklet, she built communicative planning up from a concept into a practicable craft.

This booklet is organized as follows: we begin by underscoring the importance of understanding position and perspective when reading any text. This neatly segues into an introduction of how Innes first became interested in planning questions, and how we, as young planners, first encountered Judith Innes' work. The bulk of this booklet is devoted to describing the three periods in Innes' professional career, putting them into perspective by examining the academic thought and events that were prevalent at the time, and looking at the research projects Innes embarked on. Throughout this booklet, we include excerpts from interviews we conducted with planning theorists who have known and worked closely with Innes. As much as possible, we have tried to interweave the interviews with the relevant era of Innes' work that we discuss; the interviews thus flow in parallel to the main text and can be read simultaneously. We end the booklet by presenting some of the typical critiques of Innes' theories and also by suggesting where Innes' theories can be applied in planning practice.

Table of contents

  1. Introduction, page 8
  2. Position and Perspective: Reading, Interpreting and Appreciating Innes' Works, page 10
  3. In the Beginning, page 12
  4. The Social Construction of Knowledge Period (1975-1980s), page 14
  5. Communicative Planning Theory is Born (1980s-1990s), page 17
  6. Collaborative Rationality and DIAD: Communicative Planning as a Craft (late 1990s – present), page 24
  7. Responding to the Critics, page 32
  8. Where can Innes' Theories be Applied? page 37
  9. Conclusion, page 40
  10. Important works of Judith Innes, page 41
  11. Works Cited, page 42
  12. Appendix, page 46

About the authors

Leonard Machler

› School of Community and Regional Planning, The University of British Columbia, Canada

Leonard Machler is a PhD candidate in Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia. His research focuses on housing, transportation and residential preferences for Smart Growth communities.

Dan Milz

› College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs University of Illinois, Chicago

Dan Milz is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Planning at Center for Earth and Environmental Science, SUNY Plattsburgh. He recently completed his PhD in Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He studies collaborative environmental planning, with a special emphasis on water resources. He will join the Centre for Earth and Environmental Science at SUNY at Plattsburgh from Fall 2015.

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