WIT Press

Predicting The Outcome Of Plans: Retrospect And Prospects Of The Use Of Models In Planning


Free (open access)





Page Range

83 - 93




344 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


G. Pozoukidou


A planner who claims the quality and assets of his or her plans must be able to justify or even prove their anticipated outcomes. In the midst of the conflicting and sometimes contrasting views of how planning should be done, it seems that the use of models might be the most productive approach. Information technology and urban models entered planning around the 1950s, in a very dynamic but also unilateral way. This in fact created two large groups of planning oriented professionals with regard to the use of models in planning. On the one hand there were the planners that argued that sophisticated analytical tools could provide the foundation for the new science of planning. On the other, there were the more imaginative, creative and wilful planners that viewed the rationalization and mathematical nature of analysis (maybe even the role of analysis itself), with much distrust. Today there is still diversity in the way planners think about models and their role in plan-making. This probably results from the implicit assumption that models would somehow not aid but replace planners’ control over the process of planning. If someone seeks the reason for this misperception he will come to the conclusion that it results from planners’ limited understanding of what models as planning tools represent and that there has been little research for an appropriate role of information technology in planning. After 60 years of computers first entering planning profession, it won’t be an overstatement to say that despite their unambiguous significance in planning and plan-making, there has been little or no use of them in professional planning practice. This paper is an attempt to define or better redefine the role of models in planning and plan making. For that there is a review of information technology and its use in planning over the last fifty years followed by, a parallel exploration of the emerging philosophical needs and theories in planning discipline. The


planning theory, urban models, land use modelling, planning support systems