Patsy Healy

DOI code


This essay attempts to stimulate debate among planners in academia and practice, particularly in the context of the Arab World, about the range of knowledge required to develop the profession of planning in the region. It thus discusses the developmentof planning knowledge between the specificity of contingent practice with a particulargeography and history, and the globally, more universal resources. Subsequently, the paper challenges the global planning intellectual community to bring more attentiveness towards locally situated planning practices in a way that allows the growth of planningknowledge beyond importing foreign 'concepts and practices', through 'reflexive' criticalthinking. This challenge does not involve developing 'canons' of knowledge transfer that expects a 'universal' planning practice, but rather a critical questioning of the assumptions underpinning planning. This paper kindles such debate through six sets of questions: the idea, and tools of planning, dynamics of development, the wider context, planning expertise, and education. In conclusion, it promotes this exercise of 'questioning', experimenting with planning knowledge and knowledge transfer, rather than awkwardly applying general concepts to the particularities of diverse planning practices.