Do I Really Need Planning Theory?

I’ve never had a student ask me this, but it’s something that I always wondered when I was in school – do I really need Planning theory?

In both my undergraduate and graduate degree, I took multiple theory courses. As a grad student I TA’d twice for a first year Planning Theory course. So its safe to say, I know about Rationale Comprehensive Planning and Incrementalism, the Garden City and the Radiant City, Robert Moses vs. Jane Jacobs, Planning ethics, etc. etc.

The question is, do I use any of this knowledge as a practicing Planner? The short, snarky, “I told you so” answer is… no!

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