chapter  6
14 Pages

Planning and Politics

ByJohn M. Levy

Planners are basically advisors. Alone, the planner does not have the power to do many of the things that cause change within the community: to commit public funds, to enact laws, to enter into contracts, or to exercise the power of eminent domain. A more modern view is that good plans spring from the community itself. Planners exercise little or no power directly but rather affect events to the extent that they affect the political processes of the community. In the last several decades, the idea of planning as a nonpolitical process has given way to a more realistic view of the planner as one of a number of participants in the political process. Depending on the community and the personality and ideology of the planner(s), a variety of planning styles can be identified: the planner as neutral public servant, the planner as entrepreneur, the planner as advocate, and the planner as agent of radical change.