Planning Behavior: Theories and Experiments
While ordinary people tend to make myopic, independent decisions, planners deal with linked decisions intentionally and act accordingly in space and time. Little has been said, however, about how these linked decisions should be made. This collection of essays extends the concepts derived from decision theory in order to explain planning phenomena, particularly planning behavior. The book contains work gathered over a period thirty years that covers micro-decision making and macro-plan making processes in the context of urban planning. It answers the questions of why urban containment policies fail in stopping urban sprawl, how land development decisions are analyzed, and, more fundamentally, why cities need plans. Through the lens of decision theory, this book provides a fresh look at how planners do and should behave in making and using plans in the face of urban complexity.
Shih-Kung Lai received his PhD in Regional Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, and taught in the Department of Real Estate and Built Environment at National Taipei University, Taiwan, for more than 20 years. He is now affiliated with the College of Architecture and Urban Planning at Tongji University, China. As an active follower of the “Illinois School” synthesized and labelled by Lewis Hopkins, he has published extensively on planning behavior and urban complexity. He is currently the founding Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed Journal of Urban Management.
“The way people plan and how they produce ‘good’ plans is an area we know relatively little about but how we plan is critical to producing more sustainable, equitable, and efficient cities. In this short but intense book, Shih-Kung Lai outlines how we might formally begin to understand how we might make rational decisions building on recent advances in decision theory. His focus builds particularly on the theories developed in rational choice theory by Tversky and Kahneman and the application of these ideas and their merger with other forms of rationality in what has come to be called ‘The Illinois School of Thinking about Plans’. This is essential reading for all those interested in planning methodologies and the way these methods might enable us to tackle effectively some of the most urgent problems that our cities face in the 21st century.”
Bartlett School of Planning, University College London
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