Development, Planning, and Implementation: The Dialectic of Theory and Practice

This is an advanced seminar which will analyze the effectiveness of developmental and planning theories from the perspective of practitioners who implement projects and policies based on such theories. The course will be organized around twelve implementation puzzles which should be considered for re-theorizing both developmental and planning processes. The course will begin with a review of conventional theories of Development, Urbanization and Planning to set the stage for critical reviews of how such theories actually unfolded in practice.

Then, drawing on the implementation experiences of projects and policies, the conventional theories will be revised particularly to fit organizational constraints which influence implementation outcomes. The ultimate goal is to create new planning sensibilities which theorize from practice, not the other way around. Students will be required to focus on any one of the twelve implementation puzzles discussed in the class and write a paper probing in detail the multiple facets of such a puzzle and how such an understanding can lead to re-conceptualiziation of the developmental process as nations develop, cites grow, and planning is practiced both at "the top", "the bottom" and also "in between".