Pragmatic Apparatus – Responsibility, polity, value: The (un)changing norms of planning practices

Cited by Lee Sonogan

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Abstract by Federico Savini

To address the social, spatial and environmental problems of cities, planners often promote and engage with spatial practices that are intended to be experimental, innovative or transformative of existent processes. Yet, the actual nature of the novelty of these practices is often not explicit nor problematised by their proponents. This article develops an institutionalist framework to better appreciate the variegated nature of change in planning practices. It understands planning as embedded in, and simultaneously impacting on, three types of institutionalised norms: operational norms that define and allocate responsibilities among actors, collective norms that (re)produce planning polities and constitute the spatial-temporal context of their actions and constitutional norms that substantiate the idea of value defining the eligible stakeholders of a particular process. The article mobilises this framework and argues that contemporary planning practices convey a (a) shifting of responsibility towards individuals and households, (b) disaggregation of city regions through polycentric localism and (c) the reproduction of the process of accumulative valorisation of land. The article concludes reflecting on the complexity institutional change.

Publication: Planning Theory (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

Pub Date: May 10, 2018 Doi:

Keywords: institutions, polity, practices, responsibility, value (Plenty more sections and references in this research article)

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