By: Fainstein, S (2009)
The traditional argument for spatial planning is that it incorporates the public interest into the development of land by suppressing selfish actions and coordinating multiple activities (Klosterman 2003, p. 93). This justification has long elicited criticism for its vagueness (Lucy 2003), a problem that perhaps afflicts any higher-order norm and which will not be elaborated. Instead the document examines its interpretation in contemporary planning practice. The author proceed by first discussing the currently dominant direction in planning theory that stresses public participation and deliberation. Next she compares it to the just city approach and elaborate on the latter, evaluating planning in New York City, London, and Amsterdam. In conclusion, Fainstein lists criteria of justice by which to formulate and judge planning initiatives at the urban level. It is assumed that social justice is a desired goal, and no argument is presented to justify its precedence.