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?
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.