Categories of planning


Maruyama, Magorho (1974). Hierarchists, Individualists and Mutualists · Three paradigms among planners. Futures, April 1974. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science. S.103.

In planning which involves many disciplines, the failure to communicate often impedes progress from the outset. In this article the author exposes the fundamental cause of this failure: people use diverse paradigms without realising it and are often unwilling or unable to apply different kinds of logic to a problem. Three broad categories of paradigm are analysed : one-way causal, random process and mutual causal. The author illustrates that a situation has apparently contradictory implications according to the system of logic used.

In the process of urban planning, regional planning and planning of public works such as motorways and dams, there are several different paradigms used implicitly or explicitly. Often the parties involved in the planning process are unaware that they are using different paradigms, and as a result perceive one another to be illogical, unintelligent, insincere or even deceptive. This type of situation cannot be improved unless the parties involved become aware:

· that the differences between them are not superficial accidents but rather
stem from philosophical, epistemological and scientific roots of various origins which form the basis of these individuals’ perception, behavioural pattern and world view;
· of why it is difficult for some to understand others’ paradigms;
· of what methods would overcome this difficulty in the planning process.

The three paradigms I have chosen to discuss are: one-way causal paradigm; random process paradigm; and mutual causal paradigm. They correspond roughly to what we might loosely call „hierarchists”, „individualists” and „mutualists”. I would like to emphasise that these categories are meant to be neither mutually exclusive nor exhaustive: they may overlap, and they do not exhaust all possible paradigms.