Short Article: Major Schools of Thought in Planning

The discipline of development planning has grown into what it is today thanks to the fundamental schools of thought whereby it is anchored upon. These have served as paradigms that guide on how planning is carried out, which in turn, paved the way on how this discipline makes itself felt with the everyday life of people and societies. This article gives an overview of some of the important schools of thought in planning while succeeding articles of this column describe each one of these in detail.

One of the classical schools is Instrumentalism. It posits that theories and frameworks are only relevant in coming up with predictions, but cannot act as the basis of truth or falsehood. It implies that theories are only good to be perceived as guides that could bring about successful actions and outputs. It signifies that it does not matter whether or not spatial analysis and concepts mirror accurately reality, but what count more are those ideas that give birth to positive results. In this sense that planning is perceived as something pragmatic.

The full article can be accessed at



Published originally on 10 April 2018 at Spaces and People

Spaces and People is a research, planning and innovations center committed to creating a high-impact contribution in the field of urban and regional development through research and knowledge building, urban planning and innovation, aligned with the principles of sustainable and inclusive development.

Photo from pixabay (no name indicated)

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