The Role and Influence of Urban Planning

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The concept of the public interest is one that is debated by all scholars and theorist. Every theorist studied in class viewed the term public interest in their own unique way and their method used to arrive to their conclusions varied. In Bollen’s journal article, Urban Planning and Intergroup Conflict there appears to be three basic questions he asks: what is the role and influence of urban planning and policy amidst deep inter-group conflict, can bottom up urbanism contribute to top down peacemaking and efforts to democratize a multinational society, and what is the relationship between how governance is structured in metropolitan areas and the equity, inequality of opportunity across individuals and locations? Event though the Journal uses three different cities around the world a connection can be seen with the United States. In his Journal article he noted three cities in which planning strategies implemented by planners have contributed to the inadequacies of social equalities. Belfast, a city which is heavily populated with both Catholics and Protestant pragmatically dealt with their equality issues by using a neutral basis in which, “excluding from metropolitans, public housing allotment formulae utilize color-blind procedures, and town planning separates its spatial concerns from the broader social issues of housing, social services, and ethnic relations” ( Bollens, 36). Jerusalem, utilized a partisan approach in which ethnic criteria, being Jewish or Arab, determined the amount of public benefits which a person would receive. Johannesburg, the last city mentioned, the planners have focused on resolving issues of black empowerment and equity conflict do to past racial conflicts (Bollens, 36). Bollens would argue that all four approaches taken by each city’s planners are flawed in some manner. In Belfast planners are using a color blind approach which will not produce equitable outcomes in situations, instead Bollens argues that planners should be...
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