After the Planners by Robert Goodman

By Robert Goodman

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Its development as part of the Welfare State apparatus has been supported by every post-war government. * As part of the consensus, the issue of whether or not to plan can be taken out of politics, and discussion of the nature of planning becomes depoliticized at the same time. *Ch. VI, p. 201. 40 INTRODUCTION TO THE BRITISH EDITION It is not surprising, therefore, that the planning pro­ fession has found it easy to be 'apolitical’. Since most are government servants, they have picked up the conservative traditions of the civil service as good functionaries to successive political groupings.

A professional group, personified by its institute, which was formed less than fifty years previously, was already failing to develop with the changing nature of its own professional practice. Yet it did not attempt to justify its position collectively in terms of theory or general propositions about the nature of planning, which would justify its exclusion of certain groups. Those individuals who did make the attempt were not agreed whether planning was a field of activity or a distinct professional skill.

In this case the residents weren’t even accorded the traditional subterfuge of “participation” in the plan. The renewal agency had simply prepared relocation plans to disperse them in a shotgun pattern to various parts of the city. ” But we were describing a process for planning, we explained, not personnel changes. ” A local community should simply be able to hire or fire their own planners and not have to accept them just because they were provided by the city—whether or not it made the right choice of people was the community’s problem.

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