Australian Urban Planning: New Challenges, New Agendas

By Brendan Gleeson; Nicholas Low | Go to book overview

11
Revaluing planning

Justice… is the great pillar that up holds the whole edifice. If it is removed, the great, the immensefabric of human society … must in a moment crumble into atoms.

Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments 1759 (1976 edn: 86)

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.

Martin Luther King, letter from Birmingham Jail 1963

This book has analysed Australian planning and its many critics. As we state in the introduction, our work has been coloured by a strong sense of crisis that has beset Australian planning as it has struggled to deal with its progressive critics—Marxists, radical democrats and environmentalists—as well as the fundamental challenge to its existence posed by neoliberalism. Our review reflects the values that we have strongly espoused—justice, freedom, democracy and ecological sustainability. Earlier, we went to considerable lengths to recover the historical justification for postwar planning in Australia, so that its strengths and defects might be clearly appraised. Now it is time to look forward, towards the type of values and practices that we think are necessary if planning—reflecting a revitalised democracy—is to be renewed in Australia. Part III presents our vision for planning.

We have pointed out that there always have been, and still are, alternatives to the neoliberal vision—a vision that includes planning but subordinates democracy to the market, the antithesis of the values we espouse. In contemporary Australia, ‘globalisation’ appears as the

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