The general theory of public (spatial) planning

the social technique for creating the future


This short discussion paper is a cross section or a thematic summary of a considerably longer work. The limited scope of the Discussion Papers series does not allow lengthy, detailed explanations or extensive references, only the presentation of mainly summarizing statements. In spite of the ensuing vulnerability, I did not refrain from the publication of my ideas in this form, hoping that they will become accessible to a wider readership in this way and the positive of negative feedback received will help me improve or further elaborate my theory. Hungary abandoned the practice of the former 'socialist' type planning in the early 1990s and even wound up the institutions related to it, but the development of a new planning system seems to take a longer time than expected. I believe that in a situation like this the best thing we can do to assist practice is to offer a sound theoretical foundation. A general theory can not only lead to a better understanding of the gist and possible forms of planning but can also serve as a basis for a continuously developing methodology of learning and rationalization. My purpose is to foster changes in attitudes to planning and to develop a new philosophy of planning with emphasis on teleology. I also intend to raise awareness concerning the limitations we have to face in the exploration of a given situation ...
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