Professionals and Urban Form

Edited by Judith R. Blau, Mark E. La Gory, and John S. Pipkin

Paperback : 9780873956765, 367 pages, June 1984
Hardcover : 9780873956758, 367 pages, June 1984

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Professionals and Urban Form departs from the usual way of studying the city to examine the chief professions responsible for designing urban places—planning and architecture. Not often treated together, they are here combined to highlight common problems and lines of convergence between the two.

The architects, planners, and social scientists who contributed to this book concern themselves with the interconnection between knowledge and practice in planning and architecture, paying particular attention to the issues of whether design knowledge and theory can or should be distinct from social science knowledge, and the effects of professionalization and institutionalization on the structuring of inquiry and theory. The main sections of the book deal with the history of the design professions; epistemological foundations; professions and practice; and controversies in practice. Many issues of contemporary interest to planners are dealt with, including the debates over normative, advocacy, and communicative planning; Marxist perspectives; supply and demand in the job market for architects; and the overarching epistemological question of the relationship between social science research and design practice.

Judith R. Blau is associate professor of sociology at the State University of New York at Albany. Mark E. La Gory is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. John S. Pipkin is associate professor of geography at the State University of New York at Albany.