The reading this week of Anglo-American town planning theory since 1945: three significant developments but no paradigm shifts was written by Nigel Taylor. Nigel Taylor focuses on three aspects of the shift in planning theory since 1945 and this is the main feature of the reading. The first of these was the shift in the 1960s from the view of town planning as an exercise in physical planning and urban design to the systems and rational process views of planning. The second, the shift from the view of town planning as an activity requiring some technique enterprise to the view of planning as a political process of making value-judgements about environmental change in which the planner acts as a manager and facilitator of that process; and the third, the shift from 'modernist' to 'postmodernist' planning theory. Modernist and postmodernist planning has been the planning theory really followed over the past 15 years.
National Museum of Australia - Modernist Design
Kingston Foreshore Development - Modernist Planning
The reading also focuses on paradigm shifts. A paradigm shift is defined as a fundamental change in the underlying approaches and assumptions and that is really what the reading is looking at its looking at the paradigm shifts in planning theory since 1945. These shifts are things like architects not being used as planners because design isn’t the most important aspect, planners have to be able to understand the social and science aspects, what implications are for the community, economy and environment not just the design. The conclusion this reading draws is really that planning is constantly subjected to paradigm shifts and it’s not an exact science or 1 type of planning which is accepted as the best. Planning is constantly changing and decisions need to always be made as to where we want planning to head, what direction planning will head in whether it will focus on environmental stewardship, economic development or community structures. I think regardless of which way planning heads there will be a much increased emphasis on sustainability