John Forester

How Much do We Care about Progressive and Radical Practice?

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The paper deals with how we might think about, imagine, strategize, or develop a progressive planning practice that makes some day to day, pragmatic and not only utopian sense. The perpetual rediscovery of politics and power is not new, as this issue emerged clearly yet in the 1970's. The job of progressive planners is not just to keep pointing out the obvious, but to show how any of them, with allies, in movements, in coalitions, in communities or regions or broader networks, might actually do the work not just to talk about rosy ideas of equity or justice - but to achieve or at least move toward those outcomes and to defend and protect and maintain those outcomes as well. Arguing for "the idea of justice" is a waste of time if planners can't say anything about how to achieve more just outcomes and how to defend them. Process without outcome is pointless; outcome without process is defenseless - if not a pious hope then gone tomorrow if no-one will organize to defend it.

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