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Planning for People: Integrating Social Issues and Processes into Planning Practice

  • Author(s): Hoernig, Heidi
  • Leahy, Danielle
  • Zhuang, Zhi Xi
  • Early, Robert
  • Randall, Lynn
  • Whitelaw, Graham
  • et al.
Abstract

This paper rejects the view that planners plan for use, not people. We observe that planners often see human needs and behavior to be peripheral to practice, focusing on financial, technical, material or environmental con- siderations. We argue that people — through social issues, social pro- cesses, and social organization — are fundamental to all planning activities. Therefore, all planners must more effectively integrate the social dimen- sions of planning into practice. The article first discusses several shifts in the social sciences, and second, examines three Canadian case studies: ecosystem planning and management in a UNESCO biosphere reserve; infrastructure planning in a northern resource town; and regional planning for homelessness in a medium-size metropolitan region. The paper con- cludes with a discussion of common strategies, successes, and challenges, highlighting the role of planners in the integration of social dimensions into planning practice.

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