These are the words of Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas – perhaps the most influential thinker in architecture today. His statement questions the need to develop new concepts that stand in opposition to those that guided the previous generation of designers. However, a rationalist and materialist approach to planning has dominated urban design to its detriment. And, as the landscape theorist James Corner has pointed out: ‘The failing of twentieth century planning can be attributed to the absolute impoverishment of the imagination with regard to the optimized rationalization of development practices and capital accumulation.’ (Corner 2006: 32). In other words, urban design has been dominated by economic concerns. Moreover, all too often transformation is conceptualized by comparing start and endpoint by deducing the set of differences between them. In philosopher Deleuze’s understanding, this is highly limited and problematic. Before proceeding to Deleuze’s aesthetics of becoming and process as an imaginative approach embedded within

the urban, a short outline of the two main contemporary approaches within planning will set the scene.