chapter  6
The Principles of Planology
Pages 17

As the designation of a field of labour, stedebouw [‘town planning’]t2 is misleading and incorrect. One might at best tolerate it as a term for the activity sometimes known as urban extension. The misuse made of the word stedebouw and its derivatives stedebouwer [‘town planner’] and stedebouwkundig indicates, however, that much misunderstanding and its consequent disadvantages could be avoided if a more accurate term were chosen. The main disadvantage of stedebouw is the stress placed on the latter half of the term, from the verb bouwen [‘to build’]; owing to which the habit has arisen among laymen to describe every large-scale architectonic activity as stedebouw. The names given to this discipline in the French, English and German languages dis-

play similar imperfections to our stedebouw. The French aménagement des villes is no less unsatisfactory. The word urbanisme which is gradually supplanting aménagement des villes in France does indeed have a few advantages over the above-mentioned terms, but it retains the disadvantage of being derived from the Latin urbs, and it is exactly the connection with the ‘city’ that sits ill with modern ‘town planning’ practice. The English term ‘town planning’ is well chosen to the extent that the term ‘planning’

perfectly expresses the preparatory character of the activity. The connection with ‘town’ is, on the other hand, less accurate. Lanchester’s comment that ‘Neither town, nor planning, appropriately defines a matter that concerns much more than the town and a great deal that can hardly be called town planning’ is one I can wholly endorse. The need to find a term that better indicates the essence of the discipline than the

above is clear. It was therefore with great pleasure that I heard Georges Benoit-Lévy mention and defend the word Planologie at the town planning congress held in Paris in 1928. While this word may have its own defects, it is far superior to the horribly incorrect stedebouw. The reader will become familiar with the meaning of ‘planology’ and its derivatives in the discussion that follows. For the moment, suffice it to remark that this term places no spatial limitations on the work, and that it shares its ending with its sister science of sociology, which, due to the close relationship of the two sciences and the implications of the term logos, may be declared a particular advantage.