Policy, Planning, and People: Promoting Justice in Urban Development

Policy, Planning, and People: Promoting Justice in Urban Development

Policy, Planning, and People: Promoting Justice in Urban Development

Policy, Planning, and People: Promoting Justice in Urban Development


The contributors of Policy, Planning, and People argue for the promotion of social equity and quality of life by designing and evaluating urban policies and plans. Edited by Naomi Carmon and Susan S. Fainstein, the volume features original essays by leading authorities in the field of urban planning and policy, mainly from the United States, but also from Canada, Hungary, Italy, and Israel. The contributors discuss goal setting and ethics in planning, illuminate paradigm shifts, make policy recommendations, and arrive at best practices for future planning.

Policy, Planning, and People includes theoretical as well as practice-based essays on a wide range of planning issues: housing and neighborhood, transportation, surveillance and safety, the network society, regional development and community development. Several essays are devoted to disadvantaged and excluded groups such as senior citizens, the poor, and migrant workers. The unifying themes of this volume are the values of equity, diversity, and democratic participation. The contributors discuss and draw conclusions related to the planning process and its outcomes. They demonstrate the need to look beyond efficiency to determine who benefits from urban policies and plans.

Contributors: Alberta Andreotti, Tridib Banerjee, Rachel G. Bratt, Naomi Carmon, Karen Chapple, Norman Fainstein, Susan Fainstein, Eran Feitelson, Amnon Frenkel, George Galster, Penny Gurstein, Deborah Howe, Norman Krumholz, Jonathan Levine, Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Enzo Mingione, Kenneth Reardon, Izhak Schnell, Daniel Shefer, Michael Teitz, Iván Tosics, Lawrence Vale, Martin Wachs.


This collection of invited essays, especially written for this book, provides the readers with the state of the art of urban studies and planning oriented to the theme of planning for people. They all cope with the challenge of enhancing quality of life for all in the built environment.

Our first goal in initiating this book was to provide a stage for wellknown authors who do not accept that there must be a “tradeoff between equality and efficiency” (Okun 1975), saying instead that economic efficiency without consideration of social equity is unacceptable for both moral and practical reasons. The second goal was to emphasize the importance of both process and outcomes in making urban policy and planning in general, and especially in producing more equitable results. The third goal was to show how research that examines planning in action can inform future policy and plans.

We initially talked with our colleagues about this book in 2007 at the height of the neoliberal era. At that time much urban policy and planning focused on increasing the competitiveness of cities. Embedded in the ideology of neoliberalism—a belief that markets offer the best approach to improving the human condition—the focus on competitiveness by urban governments essentially made an analogy between the efforts by businesses to gain a lion’s share of their market and by cities to capture productive enterprises. This approach presents at least two serious problems to those concerned with the well-being of urban residents. First, we cannot simply write off the places that do not prevail in the contest, as we would for businesses that are obsolete; second, if success in the battle for investment depends on winning the race . . .

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