This course is required for all students enrolled in the Master's degree program in Community and Regional Planning. The goal of this course is to help you understand the evolution of urban and regional planning, especially in Europe and North America and the changing concepts that have guided this evolution.
In Western democratic societies, planners are duty bound to serve the "public interest," be concerned with long-range consequences of current actions, and understand the complex interconnections among economics, transportation, environment, land use, social equity, infrastructure, etc. At the same time, other powerful political and market processes often obstruct these duties for good or ill. Planners have been often criticized throughout the history of their profession, and yet the need for planning has been consistently recognized. In studying the history of planning, students will understand the development of the dynamic tension between planning and democracy, the various responses proposed, and planning failures and successes. Within this historical context, we will explore the development of theories about how we ought to plan. Despite apparent changes in approach over time, we will identify consistent tensions and debates surrounding the role of planning and planners, and the ethical obligations of planners. We will focus primarily on North American planning history, but will incorporate the influence of planning from some other countries.