A Review of the Network Society: A New Context for Planning

By Gerrits, Lasse | Emergence: Complexity and Organization, January 1, 2009 | Go to article overview

A Review of the Network Society: A New Context for Planning


Gerrits, Lasse, Emergence: Complexity and Organization


A Review of The Network Society: A New Context For Planning edited by Louis Albrechts and Seymour J. Mandelbaum reviewed by Lasse Gerrits published by Routledge ISBN 9780415701518 (2005)

Introduction

It is very hard to overestimate the impact of Manuel Castells's seminal The Information Age on the social sciences. Since this trilogy was published during the 1990s, with a revised edition in 2000, many scholars have adopted the network paradigm to base their work on, and have sought to tease out the implications of networks for their own particular research. This resulted in a plethora of books and articles that use the ideas of networks to understand a certain empirical phenomenon. While some may lament that this has contaminated the network concept, it actually shows that one of the great strengths of Castells's work is that it invites further exploration and experimentation with different ways to understand social and physical reality.

From the onset, it was clear that The Information Age would have major consequences for the way we understand the intersection between the physical environment and the social environment. This edited volume is another attempt to use the network paradigm in order to investigate a vast range of topics in planning. It brings together a number of papers that were written for the Third Joint Conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and Association of European Schools of Planning (2003). The bookis part ofthe Networked Cities Series. The editors cite Castells's work as their main motive for putting this book together. However, stories about the network society and the implications for planning abound, so one should critically examine what this book has on offer.

Goal and Structure of the Book

The main goal of this book is to investigate whether the network society provides a new context for planning. The initial conference in 2003 resulted in a large number of papers, and the editors made a selection of those papers to feature in this book. After selection, the contributions were revised in order to fit the book. The editors admit that there were no initial guidelines for the papers. Regardless of the editing, there are still major differences between the various papers in terms of topics, focus and style. Some authors offer novel research, other authors offer essays and the empirical focus varies with each paper.

In order to structure this wide variety, the editors have distributed the papers over three parts, each concluded by a commentary by a well-known researcher. The parts are named "The Network Society: A New Paradigm?" (commentary by Judith E. Innes), "Organization of Space and Time" (commentaries by Gabriel Dupuy and Leonie Sandercock) and "Policy Networks and Governance" (commentaries by Susan S. Fainstein and Patsy Healy). Some parts of the book have multiple subsections. There is an introductory chapter by the editors that describes the goal ofthe book and presents a research agenda. There is no concluding chapter.

Impression

The first overall impression is two-fold. The editors brought together an impressive collection of well-known researchers in planning and related studies, and many of the contributions discuss many of the current issues in planning. There is a large variety of perspectives. The term 'network' provides an opportunity to understand the dynamics of physical networks (e.g., the contribution by Bertolini), the dynamics of information networks (e.g., the contribution by Drewe), the dynamics of social networks (e.g., the contribution by de Souza Briggs) and the dynamics of governance networks (e.g., the contribution by Van Ark and Edelenbos). Obviously, there is no neat separation between all types of networks. Many ofthe authors address the multiplicity ofthe network concept and point at how the built environment, social dynamics and governance respond to each other. While some contributions are very conceptual, most of them (also) present case studies from many parts ofthe world. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Review of the Network Society: A New Context for Planning
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.