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How relevant is 'planning by neighbourhoods' today?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ali MadanipourORCiD


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Half a century ago in this journal, Lewis Mumford argued in favour of the notion of 'planning by neighbourhoods'. Despite many waves of criticism, this notion and the promotion of communities are back on the agenda of urban planners, designers, architects and social scientists alike. This paper sets out to find out the reasons for this recurrence and asks whether it is relevant today. It argues that the development of small-scale, distinctive urban areas has been embedded in political, economic and cultural frameworks of contemporary societies, portrayed as and/or playing the role of a means of urban management, a sustainable urban form, a vehicle of market operation, a means of differentiation, a refuge from the unknown and a framework for social integration. For these reasons planning by neighbourhoods keeps coming back to the urban agenda, despite its many shortcomings.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Madanipour A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Town Planning Review

Year: 2001

Volume: 72

Issue: 2

Pages: 171-192

ISSN (print): 0041-0020

ISSN (electronic): 1478-341X

Publisher: Liverpool University Press