Urban Planning’s Philosophical Entanglements : The Rugged, Dialectical Path from Knowledge to Action book cover
1st Edition

Urban Planning’s Philosophical Entanglements
The Rugged, Dialectical Path from Knowledge to Action

ISBN 9781138233591
Published April 14, 2017 by Routledge
292 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $160.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Urban Planning’s Philosophical Entanglements explores the long-held idea that urban planning is the link in moving from knowledge to action. Observing that the knowledge domain of the planning profession is constantly expanding, the approach is a deep philosophical analysis of what is the quality and character of understanding that urban planners need for expert engagement in urban planning episodes. This book philosophically analyses the problems in understanding the nature of action — both individual and social action. Included in the analysis are the philosophical concerns regarding space/place and the institution of private property. The final chapter extensively explores the linkage between knowledge and action. This emerges as the process of design in seeking better urban communities — design processes that go beyond buildings, tools, or fashions but are focused on bettering human urban relationships.

Urban Planning’s Philosophical Entanglements provides rich analysis and understanding of the theory and history of planning and what it means for planning practitioners on the ground.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Knowledge and Action: Can We Urban Planners Really Connect Them?

Part I. Knowledge and Expertise

Chapter 2. The Knowledge-Action Problem

Chapter 3. What Does It Mean to "Know"

Chapter 4. Certainty and Uncertainty in Science

Chapter 5. The Inescapable in Cultural Knowledge

Chapter 6. Self- Knowledge and Self-Transformation

Part II. Knowledge and Action

Chapter 7. Theory of Action

Chapter 8. Social Action

Part III. The Nature of Professional Action in Urban Planning

Chapter 9. A Final Philosophical Entanglement – Space/Place

Chapter 10. What is to be done?


View More



Richard Bolan has a 60-year career in urban planning. Graduating from Yale, MIT and NYU, he was a practitioner for ten years before joining the faculty at Boston College. Since 1985 he has been a faculty member in the Humphrey School at the University of Minnesota. His focus has been teaching and research in planning theory.