Bob Lake at UW-T: Justice as Subject and Object of Planning 6/2/16

Urban Studies Annual Lecture Series

Justice as Subject and Object of Planning

Featuring Dr. Robert Lake, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University

Thursday, June 2/5:30-7:00PM

UW Tacoma/Carwein Auditorium 

About this Lecture

Considerations of justice have moved to a central place in planning theory following Susan Fainstein’s (2010) eloquent plea to elevate justice as the principal criterion for the evaluation of planning practice. Justice on this understanding is the object of planning, the normative end that planning practice should strive to achieve. Dr. Robert Lake explores the implications for planning theory and practice of making justice the subject rather than the object of planning. This formulation places justice at the center rather than the outcome of practice: of concern is planning as the practice of justice rather than the justice of planning practice. The question for planning in this mode shifts from “Is this a just outcome?” to “What is justice in this situation?” Drawing from John Dewey’s pragmatist philosophy, this question transcends the dualisms between subject and object, and process and outcome, by understanding outcomes as already formulated (what Dewey called ends-in-view) in the process of their production. A planning process that takes justice as its subject is anti-foundational and contextual rather than universal, anticipatory rather than retrospective, generative of solutions rather than evaluative of outcomes, culturally encompassing rather than project-delimited, and inclusively democratic rather than expert-driven. Examples from a variety of sources illustrate the practice of justice as the subject of planning.

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About brandenborn

I'm a faculty member in Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington. I'm interested in how societies plan, who is involved and who isn't, and the differential impacts of decision making on communities. I particularly like to think about food systems, and democracy or participation in social life. I also have this thing for school buses in general, and one in particular. Vamanos!

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