URBAN PLANNING IS UNDERTAKEN BY A HOST OF ACTORS-businesspeople, politicians, bureaucrats, citizens, and, of course, planners. In this complex and sometimes confusing process, the exact nature, role and potential of planning institutions are often underestimated or misunderstood. Planning institutions, especially public sector organizations, wield considerable influence on planning outcomes. While most of the literature focuses on the manner in which planning is carried out by individual actors such as planners, it is also necessary to examine the role of institutional actors, particularly public sector organizations. Public sector planning, in particular, is an important function of the institutional apparatus, mediating between private interests and social choices (Sager 1999b, 130). Thus, an institutional perspective on planning is highly significant.