Faced with issues such as climate change, financial crises, social upheaval and political ruptures, individual practitioners would likely agree in theory with Louis Albrechts (2010, p. 4) that ‘places are faced by problems and challenges that cannot be tackled and managed adequately with the old intellectual apparatus and mindset’. Nevertheless, it would appear in practice, in Australia at least (Searle, this volume; Maginn et al., this volume), that moves towards rethinking spatial planning as a dynamic and complex set of processes often revert towards standardisation and predictability. This may be due as much to ontological conditions of cultural doxa and inertia – with planners clinging to clichés such as ‘certainty’ – as to the power of entrenched economically-oriented interests demanding guaranteed private property rights and returns on their investments (see also Abbott and DeMarco, this volume).