This is the classic Catch-22 – cities are made and designed by people who studied the past (existing cities) to arrive at their planning methods etc. for people who are living now and in the future when the means of livelihood and lifestyle will have changed in ways which are unlikely if not impossible to foresee!
As Berger and Luckmann picturesquely illustrate in their book The Social Construction of Reality (1966), culture can be understood as the interpretation and its manifestations of a perceived reality. Interpretation refers to micro-level knowledge about realities; manifestations refer to prevailing macro-level structures like values, norms or institutions. One example for an institution could be a planning department or the planning system itself with its laws and spatial priorities. Culture and Society is dialectical in the way that institutions shape, reproduce or alter society and behaviour. Yet institutions are also a product of culture and society, as described by James S. Coleman 1986 or Anthony Giddens (1984: The Constitution of Society).
Hence, the planning system shapes reality and culture through the transformation of the built environment and obeys to culture at the same time. In such a way, it could be argued that the planning system is contested, in the…
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