DOI link for Biographical Method
Biographical Method book
The interrelations between planning, history, and methodology can be disentangled along at least two major dimensions: histories of planning methodology and methodologies in planning history. This chapter examines the state of the art, through focuses on post-1980 texts, English-language works, and books. Biography in planning history has proven particularly appealing in part because it "personalizes" the historical experience. The turn to biography in popular nonfiction and professional historical studies has been matched by a rising interest in "life writing" embracing personal memoirs, diaries, and interviews alongside traditional autobiography. Biographical content can enliven an often rote form of teaching planning history which too often defaults to a tired linear narrative and cliched understandings. The chapter discusses four main types of planning history biography studies, dealing in turn with the global tracks of cosmopolitan planners, the contribution of female planners, intellectual and practitioner groupings, and an even more bespoke category that can be identified: the pairing of some planning figures.