1st Edition

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

By Richard S Bolan Copyright 2017
    292 Pages
    by Routledge

    292 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.



    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.