Shadows of Power: An Allegory of Prudence in Land-Use Planning, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Shadows of Power

An Allegory of Prudence in Land-Use Planning, 1st Edition

By Jean Hillier


368 pages

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pub: 2002-10-10
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Shadows of Power examines public policy and in particular, the communicative processes of policy and decision-making. It explore the important who, how and why issues of policy decisions. Who really takes the decisions? How are they arrived at and why were such processes used? What relations of power may be revealed between the various participants?

Using stories from planning practices, this book shows that local planning decisions, particularly those which involve consideration of issues of 'public space' cannot be understood separately from the socially constructed, subjective territorial identities, meanings and values of the local people and the planners concerned. Nor can it be fully represented as a linear planning process concentrating on traditional planning policy-making and decision-making ideas of survey analysis-plan or officer recommendation-council decision-implementation.

Such notions assume that policy-and decision-making proceed in a relatively technocratic and value neutral, unidirectional, step-wise process towards a finite end point. In this book Jean Hiller explores ways in which different values and mind-sets may affect planning outcomes and relate to systemic power structures. By unpacking these and bring them together as influences on participants' communication, she reveals influences at work in decision-making processes that were previously invisible.

If planning theory is to be of real use to practitioners, it needs to address practice as it is actually encountered in the worlds of planning officers and elected representatives. Hillier shed light on the shadows so that practitioners may be better able to understand the circumstances in which they find themselves and act more effectively in what is in reality a messy, highly politicised decision-making process.

Table of Contents

Part One: Into the Shadows. Part Two: The Last Character: Shadow Talk: Conversations with Habermas and Foucault. Part Three: Chiaroscuro Practice: Part Four: Show Negotiations. Part Five: Out From the Shadows. Part Six: Shadow Play.

About the Author

Jean Hillier is Professor of Urban and Regional Studies at Curtin University of Technology, Perth and Director of the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (WA).

About the Series

RTPI Library Series

Published in conjunction with the Royal Town Planning Institute [], this series of leading edge texts is intended for academics, educators, students and practitioners in planning and related fields. Written by globally renowned authors the series looks at all aspects of spatial planning theory and practice from a comparative and international perspective.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Urban & Land Use Planning