Planning, power and ethics

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ISSN: 0032-0544

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Gerecke, Kent; Reid, Barton
Canadian Institute of Planners; Vancouver Island University - Royal Roads University
Corporate state; City planning--Canada; Planners--Canada
article description
The integrity of planning as a profession is under challenge. The retreat from rational comprehensive planning in the 1960s has not produced an adequate substitute. Into the breach, a number of competing perspectives have emerged. While a plurality of views now exist, planning still remains firmly enmeshed in a corporatist practice. Of greater concern is the crowding out of useful alternative views by a new brand of opportunism. The rise of laissez-faire corporatism and the displacement o of liberal corporatism have moved the planning agenda decisively to the Right. Values and ethics have been sacrifice in the service of powerful private interests. As a result planning has lost much of its capacity to conceptualize a legitimate notion of the public interest. This seriously undermines the professional status of planning practice, because all professions which hope to be taken seriously must somehow profess some notion of the public interest. For planning to recover its purpose and sense of direction and a sound ethical purpose and sense of direction, and a sound ethical base for action, a six-point agenda, centred around empowerment and ecology, is suggested.