Michael Mehaffy: What Can a 'Science of Cities' Offer Planners?

Source: „Research across a range of fields is beginning to offer useful new guidance for planning policy and practice—and pointing the way to more effective "bottom-up" strategies.
The urbanist Jane Jacobs was famous for her withering 1961 criticism of modern urban planning: it was, she said, a "pseudoscience" that was "almost neurotic in its obsession to imitate empiric failure and ignore empiric success." Since then, by some accounts, planners and urban designers have not fared much better. In 2012, a Scientific American article highlighted the similarly damning work of Stephen Marshall of University College London. Writing in the journal Urban Design International, Marshall presented evidence that in spite of lip service to work by Jacobs and others, urban planning remains burdened by a pseudo-scientific approach. The press coverage provoked considerable debate and soul-searching on discussion lists and blogs.”

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