The Role of Planning in a Professional Context Essay


There is a consensus in literature that the term ‘planning’ is an highly equivocal word to specify. The ground for this ambiguity is rather simple. Planners think they know the significance of the term since it refers to what they do but the world is they do all kinds of different things and this normally result in be aftering intending different things to different people ( Hall & A ; Tewdwr-Jones, 2011 ; Parker & A ; Doak, 2012 ) . In its simplistic signifier, planning is a manner of set uping alteration. This alteration finally tend to ensue in better topographic points for life, working or animating. This is the primary aim of planning as laid out by the early male parents of be aftering theory and pattern.

Planing as a profession is rather different from other related professions. This is because it entails more than merely metropolis edifice and the physical environment of metropoliss. Planing multidisciplinary and is branched into political relations, economic sciences, civilization, engineering and other complex subjects that creates the urban society model and its physical presence. ( Rydin 2003, 2011 ) .

This essays hopes to critically discourse the what and why of planning. It examines some selected definitions of planning as it relates to a modern context. The planning procedure and the function of planning is addressed. This basically relates to the ‘why’ , ‘who’ and ‘whom’ of planning, the range of which addresses the struggle of involvements in planning and the issue of be aftering into the hereafter is addressed.

Specifying Planing

To get down with, Keeble ( 1969 ) defined planning as, “the act and scientific discipline of telling the usage of land and the character, locating of edifices and communicating paths, so as to procure the maximal operable grade of economic system, convenience and beauty” . This definition came in at a clip when the ‘profession’ of planning was get downing to derive premiss. Keeble, through his definition, situated the profession of planning as an “act and science” devising be aftering a relevant subject in the field of scientific discipline. The “professionalism” and relevancy of planning has been argued in the plants of Reade ( 1987 ) and Evans ( 1993 ) . While the former argues that be aftering there is a deficiency of theoretical underpinnings to efficaciously name be aftering an “act and science” , the latter claims that there is really small grounds to back up the professionalism position of planning and hereby inquiries the demand for the profession. Another point of involvement in this definition relates to the cardinal position of planning as specifically a land usage allowing activity.

This brings us to the 2nd definition of planning examined. Cullingworth & A ; Nadin ( 2006 ) defined planning as, “a procedure concerned with the finding of land utilizations, the general aims of which are set out in statute law or in some papers of legal or acceptable standing…to modulate the development and usage of land in the public interest…and to lend to the accomplishment of sustainable development” . This definition was from the writers observation of planning in the UK. It clearly shows that the subject of planning was ‘land use” planning oriented with a concern determining these utilizations in an appreciable mode to the general populace, an issue we would come to subsequently. The writers besides noted that since 2004, be aftering in the UK has incorporated the preserving for future coevals subject.

With be aftering be givening towards sustainable development, there has been a displacement from ‘land usage planning’ to ‘spatial planning’ . The ODPM ( 2005 ) study observed that planning is about doing development more sustainable. This includes guaranting that the usage and development of land takes history of the demands of younger and older people, hapless every bit good as more flush families, the less nomadic and those who are nomadic, work forces and adult females, and the people of the many different civilizations and religions that co-exist…today.

This displacement from ‘land usage planning’ to ‘spatial planning’ is the chief subject of Hall & A ; Tewdwr-Jones ( 2011 ) definition of be aftering when they opined that be aftering refers to, “planning with a spacial or geographical constituent in which the general aim is to supply for a spacial constructions of activities ( or of land utilizations ) which in some manner is better than the form bing without planning” . This gave the feeling of a more specific and precise purpose of planning and a witting attempt at topographic point doing affecting both land utilizations and activities in other to better what is, what was, what would hold been, what will be.

Planing Role and Planning Process

Rydin ( 2011 ) observed that metropoliss grow organically on their ain, adding on spots and spots to the general urban cloth. This organic growing of metropoliss have resulted in a state of affairs whereby most urban countries have no overall masterplan mostly because of the uncoordinated actions of different persons and administrations. As metropoliss grow, they tend to exhibit marks of diminution and diminishing urban values in some countries. This diminution can be gradual in some instances, or rapid in other casese, rendering big countries of metropoliss seamy. The overal unwanted effects of urban growings and diminution are the grounds why planning is necessary.

From the definitions earlier and the aforesaid treatments, there is an grounds of the omni-present nature of planning procedures and the demand for contrivers. Planning, whether land usage planning or spacial planning has been controlled by professional contrivers, utilizing specializer inputs and their specialised accomplishment sets to better the overal criterion of the planning procedure. Healey & A ; Underwood ( 1978 ) had observed that contrivers possess more of ‘general management’ and ‘interpersonal skills’and possess really small precise accomplishments. They were besides of the sentiment that fiscal and occupational position of contrivers can be attributed to a assortment of ideals and non expertise. Basically, the preparation of public policies and the planning procedure require some step of accomplishments and these may be unconditioned or acquired through acquisition or instruction. The RTPI ( 2014 ) study list the accomplishments and competences needed by contrivers as ; originative vision ; project direction ; job resolution ; leading ; collaborative and multidisciplinary working ; communicating ; and stakeholder direction & A ; conflict declaration.

The planning procedure has come a long manner from the ‘survey, analysis, and plan’ of Patrick Geddes in the early 20th century. In the UK, the planning system has in the past been termed ‘trend planning’ , which was associated with a top-down prediction theoretical account focussed on foretelling future issues and proffering solutions to these issues ( Brindley, et al. , 2005 ) . Parker & A ; Doak ( 2012 ) noticed this has to a modified ‘plan, proctor, manage’ attack as a consequence of the continuously altering nature reflecting the dynamic universe programs and be aftering exist in. The general procedure of planning as identified by Lakshmanan ( 2014 ) include ; job designation and definition ; objectives definition ; study and initial survey ; informations analysis and survey maps readying ; prediction ; design ; mapping out precedences and options ; execution ; reappraisal, rating and feedback. The component of a procedural or rational attack ( be aftering seen as a agency to an terminal ) is apparent here. The writer besides noted that the planning procedure should constantly tie in with the geographical, socio-economic and political factors necessary for accomplishing it. This is indispensable because external factors such as authorities policies, available resources and bing legal or procedural models all shape the planning procedure.

Revisiting the ‘why’ of planning, Healey ( 2007 ) raised some grounds by placing three traditions of planning. The first and most popular is Physical Planning which involves development direction, the reinforced physical signifier and its inter-relationships of map. Planning’s chief map here is the administration of land utilizations and activities in a mode that they are ‘functionally efficient, convenient and aesthetically planning’ . The 2nd, Economic Planning -though non originally associated with planners- is concerned with the distribution of the available scarce resources among assorted groups. Planning’s chief aim here is bring forthing a theoretical account for societal equality and equity to hike economic public presentation as it has been argued that the planning procedure oft-times produces inequality ( Forester, 1982 ; Healey, et al. , 1988 ; Krumholz & A ; Forester, 2011 ) . The 3rd ground for planning by Healey ( 2007 ) is Policy Planning. In this regard planning performs an of import function in the fashioning and execution of public policy. Meanss by which policies impacting the populace are sought in a democratic mode, taking into consideration as many positions as possible is the focal point here. This function of be aftering roots from the economic planning tradition outlined above.

Klosterman ( 1985 ) proposes four maps of planning, which in some ways, relates to the thought of policy planning outlined above. The first relates to the publicity of community ( corporate ) involvements. It raises an statement for the planning orocess to reolve conflicting issues and supply public corporate goods which are non normally adequately provided for by the bing market system. The 2nd is the consideration and provison of bettering steps to battle inauspicious negative outwardnesss. These outwardnesss can be societal costs, production and ingestion costs which are non reflected in the market system. Bettering the information base for policy execution and determination devising is the 3rd planning function. This advocates the demand for improved cognition base and information in accomplishing an informed planning procedure as it affects public and private involvements. The 4th is the consideration of the effects policy determinations have on both public and private involvements and the mode in which these are distributed. This boundary lines along the portion of the economic planning function highlighted earlier and is concerned with the protection of the undermined group involvements, or as some would state, the ‘hidden voices’ .

Planing seeks to make a balance among multiple conflicting force per unit areas. Pressures forcing for and against policy implenmentation due to the autumn out impact holding changing effects on the parties involved. Issues such as what should be done if a development is at the hurt of a group and benefits another? ; are at that place tradeoffs to be considered? ; make some impacts count more than others and as such do some groups benefit compensation in this respect? ( Rydin, 2011 ) . In most practical state of affairss, the replies to these arguments prevarications on who and who are involved. Rydin ( 2011 ) agrees that this comes down to the fact that planning is finally about make up one’s minding whose voice is to be heard and whose voice should number! This has given rise to the increased demand among bookmans for local communities, minority, disadvantaged or marginalised groups be given a voice in be aftering determination devising ( Sandercock, 1998 ; Healey, 2003 ; Rydin, 2011 ; Klosterman, 2013 ) . Planing has ever advocated that the procedure of planning is in consideration of the populace or corporate involvements but what is deemed ‘public interest’ is associated with a batch of indistinctness.

Planning, Interests and Public Interests

This impression, particularly the public involvements, have for a long clip been used to warrant programs and general planning determination devising. Planning pattern, when it comes to public and private involvements, is characterized by struggles of involvements between personal involvements, as it relates to persons, households, administrations, and corporate involvements of the community or society. This term has over clip generated a batch of contention frequently ensuing in assorted sides of an statement saying their positions as the public involvement. Campbell & A ; Marshall ( 2000 ) observed that the term has frequently been used to ‘mystify’ instead than ‘clarify’ . This has resulted in a demand for an extended argument on what public involvement truly is as used in be aftering system ( Booth, 2002 ) . Cullingworth & A ; Nadin ( 2006 ) observed the flexibleness in the UK planning context on the reading of the term ‘public interests’ . This flexibleness is as a consequence of ‘the unusual extent to which be aftering embracings discretion’ . This is a dramatic characteristic that diffrentiates be aftering in the UK from be aftering elsewhere.

Planing determinations and policies based on corporate involvements can be achieved through ‘transparency, answerability, and fairness’ of the methods by which these determinations and policies are pursued ( Rydin, 2011 ) . As discussed earlier, since planning is about whose voice is heard, it hence follows that the planning procedure adopted by be aftering governments will finally find the voices that are heard the most. Although most times, the side that comes up with the most convincing statement about a public good and garner the most support tend to represent the ‘public interest’ , contrivers have advocated for a planning procedure that is focussed on diverseness, cultural & A ; racial tolerance, and equity, advancing the involvements of undermined groups whose voices are frequently stifled ( Davidoff, 1965 ; Sandercock, 1998 ) .

The public involvement issue is rather interesting but to contract it down, it borders on the undermentioned constructs and functions highlighted below ;

  • It should seek to move on the involvements of the greater good and the actions taken should be protected from being hijacked by persons and corporations. Basically, it is an matter-of-fact position that avoids moral opinion and discriminatory intervention of single or sectional involvements and serves the bulk or recognizable and preferable involvements ;
  • It should function as a footing by which contrivers and the general pattern of be aftering seeks to recognize and purely adhere to rules and patterns that further the ‘public interest’ ;
  • It should seek to do certain that there is equity and societal equality in be aftering execution and determination doing ensuing in an inclusive and just to all procedure ;
  • It should seek to finally function as a step of results and measure the general public presentation of planning. In this respects, it should supply an reply to the inquiry of “what is value is be aftering to the society” ( Campbell & A ; Marshall, 2000 ; Alexander, 2002 ; Parker & A ; Doak, 2012 ) .

Future Roles of Planning?

Recent surveies and literatures have emerged foregrounding the displacement of be aftering functions from the more traditional functions to more complex, somewhat ‘unorthodox’ functions. The ground for these added functions of planning may be due to the fact the in the face of increased force per unit areas and urban alterations, diverse jobs have arisen. Through the convulsion of these jobs, planning has frequently been seen as the Panacea. Since the mid 2000s, the general planning subject in the UK has orientated towards sustainable urban development ( Cullingworth & A ; Nadin, 2006 ) . New subjects such as Climate Change Planning, Environmental & A ; Biodiversity Planning heve emerged ( Wheeler, 2013 ) . These has increased the force per unit area on contrivers in be aftering for an urban environment that would profit the society now, and coevalss yets unborn. Another new function for planning is Complexity and Diversity Planning. Patsy Healey, Leonie Sandercock, Susan Fainstein, amongst others, are some of the names associated with this planning function. Although non basically a ‘new’ planning function, it has nevertheless gained more popularity due to the turning diverseness of present twenty-four hours urban metropolis morphology. A 3rd function to be considered is in relation to Health and Obesity. Recent surveies has indicated the turning fleshiness rate particularly among striplings and immature grownups ( Jackson, et al. , 2005 ; Pretty, et al. , 2007 ) . The burden now rests on contrivers to integrate into urban design measures that increases physical activities and improves healthy livestyles. Possibly a last function, Crime/Terrorism Planning could be added. In the aftermath of increased offense and terrorist act, contrivers have been called to assist ‘design out’ terrorist act from metropoliss. These includes step to look into and command offense and terorist Acts of the Apostless particularly in public unfastened infinites and topographic points of corporate involvements and activities.


This essay has critically examined the definitions, procedures and functions of be aftering with the purpose of supplying an reply to the ‘what’ and ‘why’ inquiry of planning. It sought to interrupt down the ambiguity in the word ‘planning’ , and assess the grounds for planning. An effort is made to foreground possible ‘new’ grounds why planning remains a profession and contrivers remain relevant particularly in the modern twenty-four hours context. “If be aftering were judged by consequences, that is, whether life followed the dictates of the program, so be aftering has failed everyplace it has been tried. No 1 it turns out, has the cognition to foretell sequences of actions and reactions across the kingdom of public policy and no 1 has the power to oblige obedience” ( Wildavsky, 1987 ) ; be aftering and contrivers merely attempt to do metropoliss better topographic points to populate in.