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ALAN BEWELL Introduction When John Dakin submitted to UTQ the 'Inhumanities of Planning Revisited ,' an essay that returns to a topic he previously addressed in 1966, it seemed an ideal opportunity to organize a group of essays, along the lines of a forum, on the relationship between contemporary planning and the humanities. Over the past two decades, enormous changes have taken place in the humanities. Attitudes and-values that once had seemed to be universal ideals have undergone successive challenges from a diversity of perspectives - scientific, economic, deconstructionist, ethnic, and feminist. One result of these challenges has been that writing in the humanities has increasingly become less concerned with imparting a set of values that were believed to be enduring and commonly held than with reflecting on the ways in which human values are produced and function in society. Values, meanings, and interpretations have correspondingly become the subjects of heated debate. Though many planners regularly avoid the kinds of questions that have become an ongoing feature in the humanities, planning cannot remove itself from these concerns. As an activity fundamentally concerned with creating and organizing social spaces, one that defines how and where people (and groups of people) are to live and how they will move through those spaces, planning is increasingly facing the same pressures that are currently shaping the humanities. The same questions that are being raised concerning the authority of writers and canons are being raised in regard to urban plans and the authority of planners, municipalities, ministries, and developers who design them. The essays in this forum provide different perspectives and display differing degrees of pessimism or optimism concerning the ways in which the theoretical revolutions shaping the humanities and planning relate to one another. In the diversity of approaches to the question of the humanities and planning, it is hoped, the reader will gain a deeper insight into how these fields relate to one another within contemporary culture. The final essay by Manfred Mackenzie, on ~Colonization and Decolonization in The Blithedale Romance,' was not originally a part of the forum, but it provides a fitting means for rounding off the concerns of this issue. UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY, VOLUME 62, NUMBER 4, SUMMER 1993 ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
p. 403
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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