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Dalia Mukhtar-Landgren

Dalia Mukhtar-Landgren

Senior lecturer

Dalia Mukhtar-Landgren

Planering för framsteg och gemenskap : Om den kommunala utvecklingsplaneringens idémässiga förutsättningar

Author

  • Dalia Mukhtar-Landgren

Summary, in English

What are the discursive pre-conditions for planning? In this dissertation the author analyzes and critically assesses the assumptions which underlie our thinking about planning. This is done in an analysis of firstly, how planning is legitimized, and secondly, what consequences these forms of legitimation have for planning theory as well as for planning as a political practice.

The author describes the public interest as a central legitimizing basis for planning. The public interest is analytically divided into two parts, process and substance. The procedural dimensions, democracy and rationality, are often discussed in planning theory and practice, but the public interest as a principle of substantive content is rarely adressed. Through an extensive literature review two possible substantive criteria in planning theory are presented. These are progress and community respectively. To specify, planning on the one hand requires an assumption that society can constantly improve, here expressed as an assumption of continuous progress. On the other hand the notion of planning in terms of public interest, also requires a form of "common public", or a community with common interests. These two legitimizing factors are described as two underlying assumptions in planning theory, albeit contested and conflict-ridden.

In a next step the author analysis the consequences of these assumptions for planning theory. In terms of the idea of continuous progress, the author argues that planning in essence concerns the relationship between what we have today and what we want tomorrow. This presupposes that the future can be different, and that it can be improved by design. This combination of ideas are expressed in the notion that knowledge can be used to improve society - an assumption which also characterizes the planning idea. As a political practice planning has approached an assumption of progress in two different ways, on the one hand through the notion that planning can generate progress, on the other hand in the notion that progress "happens to the city", where planning is reduced to managing this development. The two possible interpretations have very different implications in political terms: If the role is to generate progress, planning is construed as a highly politicized practice. If the role is instead reduced to managing progress, planning will in contrast be understood as a re-active rather than active political practice.

In the notion of community lies inherent tensions, in the study these are descibed as a tension between heterogenity and community, which take different forms and evolve over time. A dominating notion is the perception that cities is the place where strangers, and with that different lifestyles and traditions, meet. The diversity that comes with these meetings has been interpreted in different ways in planning theory. On the one hand, it has been seen as the core of the city's cosmopolitan and exciting nature. On the other hand, diversity has been seen as a source of conflict between different groups. In planning practice strangers have been handled in different ways, ranging from an ambition to incorporate and manage strangers to different efforts to exclude them. This can be seen as a broad spectra of attempts to plan for homogenity and heterogenity respectively.

Using the ongoing urban renewal of post-industrial Malmö as an empirical example, the author finally analyzes the consequences of both these assumptions in political practice.

Department/s

  • Department of Political Science

Publishing year

2012

Language

Swedish

Publication/Series

Lund Political Studies

Issue

167

Document type

Dissertation

Publisher

Lund University

Topic

  • Political Science

Keywords

  • Planning
  • legitimacy
  • municipality
  • Sweden
  • development
  • progress
  • community
  • rationality
  • homogenity
  • heterogenity
  • place marketing
  • urban renewal

Status

Published

Supervisor

  • Anders Sannerstedt
  • Ylva Stubbergaard

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 0460-0037
  • ISBN: 978-91-88306-84-5

Defence date

4 June 2012

Defence time

10:15

Defence place

Palaestra, Paradisgatan 4, Lund

Opponent

  • Ingemar Elander (Professor)