Exploring the usefulness of structural–functional approaches to analyse governance of planning systems

Potts, Ruth, Vella, Karen, Dale, Allan, & Sipe, Neil (2016) Exploring the usefulness of structural–functional approaches to analyse governance of planning systems. Planning Theory, 15(2), pp. 162-189.

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Abstract

Existing planning theories tend to be limited in their analytical scope and often fail to account for the impact of many interactions between the multitudes of stakeholders involved in strategic planning processes. Although many theorists rejected structural–functional approaches from the 1970s, this article argues that many of structural–functional concepts remain relevant and useful to planning practitioners. In fact, structural–functional approaches are highly useful and practical when used as a foundation for systemic analysis of real-world, multi-layered, complex planning systems to support evidence-based governance reform. Such approaches provide a logical and systematic approach to the analysis of the wider governance of strategic planning systems that is grounded in systems theory and complementary to existing theories of complexity and planning. While we do not propose its use as a grand theory of planning, this article discusses how structural–functional concepts and approaches might be applied to underpin a practical analysis of the complex decision-making arrangements that drive planning practice, and to provide the evidence needed to target reform of poorly performing arrangements.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Scopus
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3 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 77760
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: analysis, complex systems, governance, planning, structural-functionalism
DOI: 10.1177/1473095214553519
ISSN: 1741-3052
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (120500)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (120500) > Land Use and Environmental Planning (120504)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Authors
Deposited On: 17 Oct 2014 01:04
Last Modified: 02 May 2016 12:19

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