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Theory and practice
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Planning is central to economic, social and environmental life but its practice is frequently criticised by all who engage in it. Seen as too restrictive by those who promote development and too weak by those opposing it, planners who advise on proposals cannot sit on the fence. Is it the planning system that is problematic or is it the planners who work within it? This valuable book examines these issues at the continuing professional development level and discusses the ways in which management theories, tools and techniques can be applied to planning practice and used by all who engage in it.

Written by an experienced author and widely respected academic, the book includes case studies and question and answer sections, and will be valuable through both initial and continuous professional education, helping candidates prepare for examinations and subsequent management.

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Practitioners in the neoliberal age

Since the turn of the 21st century, there has been a greater pace of reform to planning in Britain than at any other time. As a public sector activity, planning has also been impacted heavily by the wider changes in the way we are governed. Yet whilst such reform has been extensively commented upon within academia, few have empirically explored how these changes are manifesting themselves in planning practice.

This new book aims to understand how both specific planning and broader public sector reforms have been experienced and understood by chartered town planners working in local authorities across Great Britain.

After setting out the reform context, successive chapters then map responses across the profession to the implementation of spatial planning, to targets, to public participation and to the idea of a ‘customer-focused’ planning, and to attempts to change the culture of the planning. Each chapter outlines the reaction by the profession to reforms promoted by successive central and devolved governments over the last decade, before considering the broader issues of what this tells us about how modernisation is rolled-out by frontline public servants.

This accessible book fills a gap in the market and makes ideal reading for students and researchers interested in the UK planning system.

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