Power relationships, citizens participation and persistence of rational paradigm in spatial planning: the Tuscan experience
Since 2005, several reforms in the spatial planning legal framework have taken place in Italy and in some contexts, such as in Tuscany, the joint action of a spatial planning act and a law on citizen participation has established a planning model which is open, collaborative and communicative. Nevertheless, we can observe a re-emergence of a rational comprehensive attitude to spatial planning, useful for a strict top-down control, which limits the possibility to insert measures to rebalance power relations in a normative planning system.
Observing some practical experiences of spatial planning and citizen participation, the article tries to reflect on the different reasons that encourage planners and policy-makers to constantly revert to technical rationality as a supposed ethical guarantee or as a power management tool. In the conclusions it proposes some considerations regarding the connection between rationality, power and social control and concerning a possible regulatory side in a counter-hegemonic planning framework.
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