I IntroductionCharles Madge
II Regional and Urban planningHerbert J. Gans
III Resource PlanningRichard L. Meier
IV Welfare PlanningMartin Rein
Social planning involves the drawing up of plans for future action in regard to social institutions and resources. A “social” plan is designed to meet the needs of a society, which means, in many cases, an entire nation. This usage, in which social planning is equivalent to societal planning, is generally accepted by social scientists (see, for example, Myrdal 1959); but social planning is sometimes also used to mean planning by a group as opposed to planning by an individual. Also social planning is sometimes viewed as complementary to, rather than inclusive of, economic planning; in that case, social planning means the planning of a society’s noneconomic activities.
Recent history. In the present century, and especially since World War II, there has been a rapid growth in the importance of social planning, both as an idea and as an institutional complex. Although the index to the Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences does not refer to social planning as such, its article entitled “National Economic Planning” concludes: “… the direction of modern society would seem to be toward a planned economy” (Lederer 1933, vol. 11, p. 205). In spite of controversy, often at a high level of intellectual abstraction, on whether so comprehensive a concept of planning is either possible or desirable, the idea of social planning appears to have been institutionalized over the greater part of the modern world and in the programs of international organizations, so that, whatever its logical and philosophical status, it has achieved de facto recognition. In this it may be compared to the ideas of progress, equality, and welfare, stemming from the same broad trend of modern life toward industrialization and technical rationality.
During the earlier part of the industrial era the liberal ideology of laissez-faire was in the ascendant. Governments did indeed make social and economic interventions, but on the whole it was only old-fashioned autocrats and certain socialist minorities who thought in more total terms. Military general staffs were, in the pre-1914 period, the bodies most likely to draw up “plans.” Since modern warfare depends on industry, military planners could not ignore industrial and civil questions.
World War I involved a far more comprehensive mobilization by the major belligerent governments of all their resources, economic and social as well as military, than had ever before been contemplated. National emergency brought home the importance of, for instance, national levels of health and education to a total war effort. In some countries the war was followed by revolution, and in all the major European countries involved there was a recognition, at all political levels, of the need for social and economic reform. The idea of social planning, and especially of national economic planning, emerged into full daylight during the interwar years. The problem of the business cycle, and unemployment, strengthened this tendency and led to increased state intervention and planning even in the United States, where, however, faith in individual private enterprise remained strong.
World War II repeated and intensified the effects of World War I. Not only was there total planning for the war itself, but plans for postwar reconstruction began to materialize, in Great Britain and some other countries, almost as soon as the war started. After the war, international organizations multiplied, and social planning became international. Moreover, by the mid-1960s nearly all colonial territories had gained independence, and a large group of new nations had started programs of national development, in which the idea of a “plan” was almost de rigueur.
Scope and theory
As early as 1841, Friedrich List had written: “It is the task of politics to civilise the barbarous nationalities, to make the small and weak ones great and strong, but, above all, to secure to them existence and continuance. It is the task of national economy to accomplish the economical development of the nation, and to prepare it for admission into the universal society of the future” (1841, p. 142 in 1904 edition). While his doctrines served the purposes of militaristic nationalism in Germany after Bismarck and in Japan after the Meiji restoration, they also contributed, if indirectly, to Soviet Russian state planning. “Historically, Friedrich List preceded Marx as the father of the theory of planning; Rathenau, who organized the first modern planned economy in the Germany of the first world war, preceded Lenin, whose approach to the problem of planning in Soviet Russia was consciously based on the German precedents” (Carr 1951–1953, vol. 2, p. 363). List also emphasized the distinction between present and future advantage from the national standpoint. He not only justified protective tariffs for young industries but stressed the importance of developing “immaterial” productive forces, such as technical knowledge and skill. Thus even during this early period it was seen that while the core of social planning consists in a plan for balanced capital investment in industry and agriculture, national plans must also allocate resources for education, health, housing, and other kinds of social investment.
Planning and social values
Decisions on priorities to be adopted cannot simply be based on economic calculations; essentially they are political decisions based on social values. The decisions embodied in a plan are made for political reasons; they also have long-term political effects (Diesing 1962, p. 231). Although the models of development currently used by national planners are economic and based on quantitative analysis, it can be argued that only when the economic model has been transformed into a general social model can policy conclusions logically be inferred from it (Myrdal 1959, p. 166).
It is relatively easy to decide that capital should be invested, for instance, in a steel plant with a given capacity and location. An economic decision, such as the siting of an industry, can to some extent control the direction of social trends, such as urbanization and population movement. But even in societies with comprehensive state planning, it has not been possible to achieve full control over internal migration, let alone over demographic growth. The noneconomic part of social planning must at the present time largely consist in attempting to foresee some of the ways in which economic decisions will affect social behavior and some of the ways in which social behavior will impede or facilitate the implementation of the economic decisions. Thus, social planners must take logical account of nonlogical motivation (Pareto  1963, vol. 3, chapter 11). “Radical planners have to cope with the paradoxical situation that the success of their intellectual labor, which is an achievement of reason and logic, is best secured if the indispensable consensus rests on a non-logical basis” (Speier 1937, p. 476).
How rational can planning be?. But these difficulties are not new. They are inherent in government and in the framing and execution of policies and programs generally. In what, then, does the added problem of the social planner consist? It would seem to stem from the more ambitious attempt of the planner to arrive at decisions rationally. By comparison with earlier procedures, this attempt involves more systematic fact-finding before the plan is formulated, more systematic coordination of separate decisions and policies, and more explicit formulation and phasing of objectives. Another feature of planned, as against unplanned, national development is the greater stress on evaluation of results achieved and on objective measurements of success or failure. In a nutshell, the problem of social planning is how to insure that it at least approximates to its rational intentions— a problem that falls fairly and squarely in the lap of the social sciences.
Social planning as ideology: pro and con
The idea of comprehensive social planning has been criticized as a pseudo-scientific or “scientistic” delusion stemming from Comtean positivism, which in turn is seen as stemming from the École Polytechnique instituted in Paris after the French Revolution. The desire to apply engineering technique to the solution of social problems is seen as a dangerous aberration (Hayek et al. 1935, p. 210; Hayek 1944 passim; 1952, pp. 94, 105). “All such general plans of social reconstruction are merely the rationalization of the will to power. For that reason they are the subjective beginnings of fanaticism and tyranny” (Lippmann 1937, p. 365).
Such strictures were a reaction not so much against Bolshevik or Nazi total planning (though these of course were conspicuous features of the interwar political scene) as against the idea that liberal democracies could, and indeed should, seek to avoid maladjustment (socioeconomic and psychological) by democratic planning (Zweig 1942; Mannheim 1935; 1950). Early in the 1930s Karl Mannheim propounded a new stage of “thought at the level of planning,” in which the balance of the planned and unplanned activities of society was about to be decisively tipped in the direction of the former. In this view, liberalism appeared “as a transitional phase between two forms of planned order” of which the earlier was that of medieval Christendom, while the new phase was the result of “the growth of a coherent and co-ordinated system of social techniques” within the modern national state (Mannheim  1940, pp. 160, 362).
Although freedom and democracy, in the sense these words have in the liberal West, were undoubtedly highly valued by Mannheim, his penchant for portentous phraseology laid him open to charges of “historicism” (a belief in inevitable laws of historical development) and “holism” (a belief that social reconstruction should be all-embracing). Karl Popper sharply attacked Mannheim’s concept of planning as utopian and totalitarian; instead, Popper advocated piecemeal social engineering, in which social arrangements are changed “by small adjustments and readjustments” rather than by trying to redesign society as a whole. However, he did not exclude the possibility “that a series of piecemeal reforms might be inspired by one general tendency, for example, a tendency towards a greater equalization of incomes. In this way, piecemeal methods may lead to changes in what is usually called the ‘class structure of society’” (Popper 1957, pp. 66, 68).
While a Popperian social planner might fail to see the wood for the trees and a Mannheimian might lose his way in the wood, it is doubtful that we really have to choose between these two approaches. The controversy, begun in the 1930s and concluded in the 1950s, seems increasingly unreal. Without wishing to suggest a unilinear trend, one cannot fail to observe the continued increase in the number of plans and planning agencies, both in advanced industrial and in underdeveloped countries. There has, however, been no corresponding development of a general theory of social planning. For hints of such a theory one must look at comparative cross-national studies by economists, historians, political scientists, and sociologists (Shils 1963; see also Duveau 1954; Bettelheim 1959; Ossowski 1959).
In the rich countries planning takes on a less comprehensive and programmatic character than in the poor countries, which are compelled to attempt what in the light of the history of the rich countries appears as a short cut (Myrdal 1959, p. 159). In some underdeveloped countries (for example, India) social planning is combined with a democratic political system of free elections based on universal suffrage. In others (for example, China) there is planning along with what has been described as a “mobilization system,” in which the goals of development are high and possibly unrealistic and stress is placed on militancy and single-party organization (Apter 1963a). The more ambitious the plan, the more necessary it will seem to promote consensus by fostering a sense of emergency in the face of external and internal danger (Speier 1937). If the plan succeeds, perhaps this atmosphere of “political religion” can be relaxed (Apter 1963b). It may be surmised that “total” and “piecemeal” theories are the poles between which actual ideologies of social planning vary.
Practice and organization
Historical priority for comprehensive national planning in peacetime must go to the Soviet Union. After initial hesitations, planning machinery was effectively established by 1925 (Carr 1958–1964, vol. 2, p. 490); the first five-year plan started in 1928. In Germany, the first Nazi four-year plan started in 1933. Fascist Italy launched a plan in the same year, which also saw the start of the Roosevelt administration’s scheme for the development of the Tennessee Valley in the United States, while in 1934 the Turkish government adopted a five-year plan for the industrialization of the country (Zweig 1942), and there was published in India, not yet independent, a pioneering first program of planned development (Visvesvaraya 1934).
In 1950, soon after independence, the Indian government set up its Planning Commission. India’s first five-year plan covered the period 1951–1956. This was probably the first instance of so influential a planning body being set up within the framework of a parliamentary democracy, and its constitutional status has been criticized (Chanda 1958, p. 92; Jagota 1963). Ghana has had three five-year development plans, the first dating from 1951, when it was still a British colony (Gold Coast); the second and third plans were instituted after the country became independent in 1957. Since 1950 both the number of newly independent nations and the number of national economic plans have been increasing rapidly. In 1964 there were about 125 nations, of which some 93 were currently defined as “developing.” Nearly all these had development plans (Moyes & Hayter 1964).
Wide variations in political context and in the capacities of nations to provide expert staff for planning bodies must be borne in mind, but the trend toward the institutionalization of social planning is unmistakable. Comparative study by social scientists and historians of this new wave of national plans has barely begun but must surely in coming decades become a leading concern of macrosociology.
The example of India
The Indian government’s Planning Commission has nine members, drawn from the central political leadership and including the prime minister, the finance minister, the defense minister, and the minister for planning. It is assisted by a National Development Council (which includes the chief ministers of the states) and has a secretariat of 369, excluding the 240 attached to the Program Evaluation Organization and the Community Projects Administration (Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi, 1958). The staff includes economists and other social scientists and promotes relevant research projects in the universities and research institutes. It is also assisted by numerous foreign advisers, either on a bilateral or an internationa basis.
In broad terms, the members, staff, and advisers of the Planning Commission constitute the intellectual, theoretical, perspective-seeking wing of the political elite. Their function of preparing middle term and long-term plans serves to remove many of them from the cruder pressures of everyday political existence. There is thus an institutional differentiation between long-term and short-term politics. Can the long-term prevail over the short-term? What is the interaction between the two? These are important questions for future empirical investigation.
Planning as propaganda. National plans are “approved” by parliaments and other national bodies. To this extent they are statutory, though in practice their standing is somewhere between a legal prescription and a political aspiration. “Con sensus is the key phenomenon of macrosociology” (Shils 1963, p. 23). In 1954 the Indian Planning Commission requested state governments to arrange for the preparation of district and village plans, especially in relation to agricultural produc tion, rural industries, and cooperation (India [Republic], Planning Commission, 1956). In some states not only were village plans requested but each family was asked to prepare its plan. It is hardly surprising that this kind of “planning” remained a device of political propaganda and even as such had little impact. Nonetheless the propagandistic significance of the national plan, and it place in the ritual of “political religion,” are not to be ignored. The function of a plan is not only to allocate national resources but to mobilize nationa effort.
[Directly related are the entriesPlanning, economic;Population, article onpopulation policies. Other relevant material may be found inFood, article onworld problems; Housing; Public health; and in the biographies ofList; Mannheim.]
Apter, David E. 1963a System, Process and the Politics of Economic Development. Pages 135–155 in North American Conference on the Social Implications of Industrialization and Technological Change, Chicago, 1960, Industrialization and Society: Proceedings. Paris: UNESCO.
Apter, David E. 1963b Political Religion in the New Nations Pages 57–104 in Chicago, University of, Committee for the Comparative Study of New Nations, Old Societies and New States: The Quest for Modernity in Asia and Africa. Edited by Clifford Geertz. New York: Free Press.
Bettelheim, Charles 1959 Problèmes et techniques de la planification sociale. Pages 169–197 in World Congress of Sociology, Fourth, Transactions. Volume 2: Sociology: Applications and Research. London: International Sociological Association.
Carr, Edward H. 1951–1953 The Bolshevik Revolution: 1917–1923. 3 vols. New York: Macmillan. → Constitutes Volumes 1–3 of Edward H. Carr’s History of Soviet Russia.
Carr, Edward H. 1958–1964 Socialism in One Country: 1924–1926. 3 vols. New York: Macmillan. → Constitutes Volumes 5–7 of Edward H. Carr’s History of Soviet Russia.
Chanda, Asok K. 1958 Indian Administration. London: Allen & Unwin.
Diesing, Paul 1962 Reason in Society: Five Types of Decisions and Their Social Conditions. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press.
Duveau, Georges 1954 Utopie et planification. Cahiers internationaux de sociologie 17:75–92.
Hayek, Frederick A. von 1944 The Road to Serfdom. London: Routledge; Univ. of Chicago Press.
Hayek, Frederick A.von 1952 The Counter-revolution of Science: Studies on the Abuse of Reason. Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press.
Hayek, Frederick A.von et al. 1935 Collectivist Economic Planning: Critical Studies on the Possibilities of Socialism. London: Routledge.
India (Republic), Planning Commission 1956 Second Five Year Plan. New Delhi: Government of India Press.
Indian Institute of Public Administration, Ne W Delhi 1958 The Organisation of the Government of India. Bombay: Asia Pub. House. → See especially Chapter 26 on the Planning Commission.
Jagota, S. P. 1963 Some Constitutional Aspects of Planning. Pages 173–201 in Ralph J. D. Braibanti and Joseph J. Spengler (editors), Administration and Economic Development in India. Durham, N.C.: Duke Univ. Press.
Lederer, Emil 1933 National Economic Planning. Volume 11, pages 197–205 in Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences. New York: Macmillan.
Lippmann, Walter (1937) 1943 Inquiry Into the Principles of the Good Society. Rev. ed. Boston: Little.
List, Friedrich (1841) 1928 The National System of Political Economy. London: Longmans. → First published in German.
Mannheim, Karl (1935) 1940 Man and Society in an Age of Reconstruction: Studies in Modern Social Structure. New York: Harcourt. → First published as Mensch und Gesellschaft im Zeitalter des Umbaus.
Mannheim, Karl 1950 Freedom, Power, and Democratic Planning. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.
Moyes, Adrian; and Hayter, Teresa 1964 World III: A Handbook on Developing Countries. Oxford: Pergamon Press; New York: Macmillan.
Myrdal, Gunnar 1959 The Theoretical Assumptions of Social Planning. Pages 155–167 in World Congress of Sociology, Fourth, Transactions. Volume 2: Sociology: Applications and Research. London: International Sociological Association.
Ossowski, Stanislaw 1959 Social Conditions and Consequences of Social Planning. Pages 199–222 in World Congress of Sociology, Fourth, Transactions. Volume 2: Sociology: Applications and Research. London: International Sociological Association.
Pareto, Vilfredo (1916) 1963 The Mind and Society: A Treatise on General Sociology. 4 vols. New York: Dover. → First published as Trattato di sociologia generale. Volume 1: Non-logical Conduct. Volume 2: Theory of Residues. Volume 3: Theory of Derivations. Volume 4: The General Form of Society.
Popper, Karl R. 1957 The Poverty of Historicism. Boston: Beacon.
Shils, Edward 1963 On the Comparative Study of the New States. Pages 1–26 in Chicago, University of, Committee for the Comparative Study of New Nations, Old Societies and New States: The Quest for Modernity in Asia and Africa. Edited by Clifford Geertz. New York: Free Press.
Speier, Hans 1937 Freedom and Social Planning. American Journal of Sociology 42:463–483.
Visvesvaraya, Mokshagundam 1934 Planned Economy for India. Bangalore (India): Bangalore Press.
Zweig, Ferdynand 1942 The Planning of Free Societies. London: Seeker & Warburg.
In its generic sense, planning is a method of decision making that proposes or identifies goals or ends, determines the means or programs which achieve or are thought to achieve these ends, and does so by the application of analytical techniques to discover the fit between ends and means and the consequences of implementing alternative ends and means. Urban (or city) and metropolitan planning apply this method to determine public investment and other policies regarding future growth and change by municipalities and metropolitan areas.
City planning has existed ever since man began to build towns and to make decisions about their future. In most societies, but particularly in the United States, there has been little consensus about these decisions. The diverse classes, ethnic groups, and interest groups that live in the city have different conceptions of how the city ought to grow and change and of who should benefit from the policy and allocation decisions. Consequently, these groups have attempted, directly or indirectly, to influence the ends, means, and techniques of planning, and even the role of the planners. A sociological analysis of American city planning must ask who plans with what ends and means for which interest group. Since the variables in this paradigm are affected by changes in the population and power structure of the American city, the analysis is best carried out historically.
Planning as civic reform
American city planning can be said to have begun with the laying out of the infant country’s first cities, usually by engineers who mapped grid schemes of rectangular blocks and lots, largely for the benefit of land sellers and builders (Blumenfeld 1949). Most American cities came into being without prior planning, however, and with only sporadic attempts to regulate their growth. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the provision of utilities and other municipal services could not keep up with the rapid increase in population, and the cities became overcrowded and congested, with vast slums in which epidemics, unchecked crime, and political corruption were commonplace. Shortly before the Civil War, these conditions stimulated the formation of a number of civic reform movements, which were the forebears of contemporary city planning.
The reform groups were made up of predominantly Protestant and upper-middle-class civic and religious leaders whose major end was the restoration of order. They sought physical order through slum clearance and the construction of model tenements to improve housing conditions and through the park and playground movement, which tried to preserve the supposedly health-giving features of the countryside by building parks and other recreational facilities in the crowded areas. They sought social order through the erection of educational and character-building facilities such as schools, libraries, and settlement houses, hoping that these would Americanize the immigrants and make them middle class, and thus eradicate crime, vice, and even the harmless forms of lower-class hedonism. They promoted political order through the “good government” movement, which advocated nonpolitical methods of urban decision making to eliminate the new political machines and the fledgling socialist movement. They were attempting to maintain the cultural and political power they had held before the arrival of the immigrants by imposing on the city the physical and social structure of Protestant, middle-class, preindustrial America.
The means by which they proposed to achieve these ends included new legislation to regulate and control city growth; the use of public administration and, later, scientific management procedures to run the city; and the establishment of “facilities,” such as parks and settlement houses, which would improve living conditions and alter the behavior of their users. After the reformers had built a few model facilities with private funds in the slums of several eastern cities, they realized that they lacked the resources to alter the entire city by this approach, and so they began to use their considerable social status and what remained of their political influence to propose that the cities take over their programs as municipal functions.
The reformers’ efforts were supported by architects, who had created the City Beautiful movement during the 1890s to develop park, civic center, and other schemes to enhance the city, and by downtown business and property interests, who sought higher land values and also favored efficiency in government to minimize taxes. Others, especially upper-middle-class homeowners, were disturbed by the invasion of commercial and industrial establishments, low-status residents, and slums into previously “good” neighborhoods. These groups called on the city to pass zoning legislation, which would prohibit such invasions by regulating the kinds of buildings and land uses permitted in different zones. Zoning not only encouraged the kind of order, beauty, and efficiency sought by its advocates but also segregated land use and population by class.
The rise and fall of the “master plan”
By the end of World War I, planning and zoning had become municipal responsibilities. Since their advocates usually opposed the political machines, these functions were incorporated in quasi-independent city planning and zoning commissions, headed by lay boards of civic leaders and businessmen. These commissions were staffed principally by civil engineers and architects, who were called city planners. The new agencies and professionals codified and further operationalized the ends and means they had inherited from the reformers, principally through the “master plan,” which proposed both the traditional solutions and some new ones in a single comprehensive scheme.
The typical master plan, which has changed relatively little since the first one was drafted in 1914, portrays a future ideal: a city without slums, divided into zones for each major land use, with efficient highway and mass transit systems, vastly increased amounts of open recreational space and other public cultural facilities, and served by a system of neighborhood, district, and downtown retail and civic centers. The proposals for new facilities and rearranged land use and transportation patterns are synthesized into a master plan map, with proposals for implementing this map through a zoning ordinance to order land use as prescribed by the plan, building codes to discourage slums, subdivision regulations to guide the development of vacant land, and governmental reorganization schemes to coordinate the proposed changes (Bassett 1938; Dunham 1958; Kent 1964).
No master plan has ever become a blueprint for the growth of the city, although individual recommendations have often been implemented. Perhaps the main reason for the failure of the master plan was its assumption of environmental or physical determinism. Like the nineteenth-century reformers, the master planners assumed that people’s lives are shaped by their physical surroundings and that the ideal city could be realized by the provision of an ideal physical environment. Since they were architects and engineers, they believed the city was a system of buildings and land uses that could be arranged and rearranged through planning, without taking account of the social, economic, and political structures and processes that determine people’s behavior, including their use of land.
The ends underlying the planners’ physical approach reflected their Protestant middle-class view of city life. As a result, the master plan tried to eliminate as “blighting influences” many of the land uses and institutions of lower-class and ethnic groups. Most of the plans either made no provision for tenements, rooming houses, second-hand stores, and marginal loft industry, or located them in catch-all zones of “nuisance uses,” in which all land uses were permitted. Popular facilities that they considered morally or culturally undesirable were also excluded. The plans called for many parks and playgrounds but left out the movie theater, the neighborhood tavern, and the clubroom; they proposed churches and museums but no night clubs or hot dog stands (Wood et al. 1966).
The units into which the plan divided the city were determined by transportation routes and other physical criteria, and did not reflect established social groups or ecological conditions of change and growth. Neighborhood boundaries ignored class and ethnic divisions in the population, and the planners made a conscious effort to break up ethnic enclaves in order to achieve nineteenth-century Americanization goals. The planners’ certainty about how people ought to live and how the city ought to look resulted in a nearly static plan, a Platonic vision of the city as an orderly and finished work of art. The only land uses programmed for future growth were those favored by middle-class residents, high-status industrial and commercial establishments, the real estate interests catering to both, and the tax collector.
The planners’ unwillingness to recognize alternative values also made them unable to see the role of politics in implementing the plan. Believing that their solution was the best blueprint for the future, its formulators thought that they needed only to publish their report, obtain support from the civic leaders and businessmen who sat on the boards of the planning commission, and then persuade elected officials that the plan expressed the public interest. The planners’ opposition to partisan political methods of decision making convinced them that the plan was “above politics” and that anyone who rejected it was acting from selfish, and therefore evil, motives.
The master planners did not realize that the ends they sought were opposed by many voters, that most city residents place less value on parks and open space than planning ideology dictated, and that most residents do not center their life on the elementary school, as the neighborhood unit plan proposed. Worse yet, the plan advocated a middle-class life style for all, but it did not recommend economic programs to enable low-income people to move out of tenements and buy single-family houses. As a result, master plans have rarely generated any widespread enthusiasm among the voters but have always aroused considerable political opposition from the groups who would have to pay economically, socially, and politically for the proposed changes.
The master planners were also hampered by conditions not of their making. For one thing, their authority to plan stopped at the city limits, although the growth processes which they sought to control cover a much wider area. Also, the planners were poorly funded, so that their conclusions were often based on whatever data, however inadequate, were already available. Yet their methodology was ultimately also a function of their own ends, means, and techniques. Their belief in physical determinism limited their analysis to the determination of the land-use implications of their demographic and economic projections, and their faith in the solutions they proposed discouraged consideration of the fit between ends and means and of the consequences of these means (Meyerson & Banfield 1955; Altshuler 1965).
Yet although master plans had little impact on city development, some of the planners’ ideas were adopted. For example, their arguments that excessive land coverage inevitably produced traffic congestion, that off-street parking was necessary, and that zoning too much land for commercial use in the hope of increasing tax income would also leave much land lying needlessly unused were eventually accepted in principle by city officials. Being politically weak, however, the planners could not stand up to the powerful economic interests who opposed the implementation of these principles, and being apolitical in their approach, they could not develop compromise solutions, which would have salvaged at least some of their proposals.
Master planning activity reached a new high after World War II, especially in areas of rapid suburbanization. At the same time, however, planners working in the cities began to lose confidence in the master plan. As cities began to grow and rebuild again, many of the development proposals that came before the planning commission conflicted with the master plan, and the conflict was usually resolved in favor of the new proposals. Some planners argued that, in order to be useful, the master plan had to be constantly revised and updated, but others began to suggest that planning was not only a method but also a process of decision making and that master planning was only one tool among many to be employed in this process.
The emergence of rational planning
Since 1950 the city has increasingly become the residence of a small number of rich people and a rapidly rising number of poor nonwhites. The latter are forced to live in ghetto slums, and these slums, as well as the pathologies associated with poverty, are reducing the livability of the city for the middle class and creating new problems for city officials. Low-income neighborhoods and residents cannot pay the taxes needed to provide them with municipal services, and the exodus of middle-class residents, stores, and industries to the suburbs is also depriving the city of its most profitable sources of tax income. Some help is now coming from the federal government, which is providing financial support for new city programs. City planning has been funded by federal subsidies as well, particularly for transportation and urban renewal plans.
Transport and metropolitan planners
Master planners have concerned themselves with transportation ever since car ownership began to increase urban congestion and suburbanization. After World War II, however, the new spurt in car buying and the growth of suburbia resulted in the building of expressways, subsidized by federal grants, in every American city. These made it more convenient to use cars and thus encouraged the exodus to suburbia even more. As a result, they not only failed to reduce congestion but also took more customers away from the already declining mass transit systems. Consequently, by the late 1950s a number of large cities began to formulate massive transportation planning studies, which aimed to determine the location of future expressways and to revitalize mass transit as part of a metropolitan-area transportation system serving the city and its suburbs. Since new transportation facilities stimulate further urban development and thus affect land-use patterns and the economic base of the cities (Mitchell & Rapkin 1954), the transportation planners were in effect formulating a new kind of master plan (Fagin 1963).
In this process, they introduced several innovations into planning. Well financed and able to measure the amount and flow of traffic with relative ease, the planners obtained large masses of data and brought in the newly available computer to analyze them. Moreover, since the aim of their plan was limited to serving the transportation needs of the area and the achievement of the economically most productive and most efficient land-use patterns, they were working with a smaller number of ends than were the master planners. This enabled them to formulate a number of alternative schemes, rather than a single one, using the computer and later the simulation model to choose a final plan from among the alternatives (“Land Use …” 1959). Because the studies were staffed by transportation experts, economists, and operations researchers rather than by architects and master planners, the ends and means of traditional city planning were of lesser importance.
Finally, their plans were metropolitan. Because so much of the traffic flow was generated in the suburbs, transportation planning could not end at the city limits, and regional planning bodies were set up to do the studies. Metropolitan planning had been advocated by city planners and public administrators for more than a generation. The control of growth and the achievement of order and efficiency required a metropolitan government to coordinate municipal services and planning for the city and its suburbs in a single supergovernment, which would do away with the duplication and conflict among the many hundreds of local bodies.
The appeal for metropolitanism fell on deaf ears, however. The suburbs rejected any plan which would require them to share their power with, or give up their local authority to, the city. The cities were predominantly Democratic, working class, and Roman Catholic, and the suburbs were predominantly Republican, middle class, and Protestant; thus political, class, and religious conflicts were endemic, and they were magnified when cities became increasingly nonwhite (Banfield & Grodzins 1958). Moreover, the suburbs had no great interest in metropolitan planning or coordination.
Their middle-class homeowners could well afford the duplication of municipal services and were unwilling to accept any infringement on their local autonomy, not to mention the possible arrival of lower-status and nonwhite city residents in exchange for a slight saving in taxes. These considerations may even prevent the implementation of the regional transportation systems now being planned.
Urban renewal programs
The second stimulus for change in city planning theory and practice has come out of urban renewal programs. In 1949 the federal government set up the urban renewal program, which funneled considerable amounts of money to the cities, with a view to the elimination of slums (Woodbury 1953; Wilson 1966). Intense political opposition to public housing prevented it from making any significant inroads on the slums, and thus the federal government turned to private enterprise, hoping that it would rebuild on land that had been cleared and reduced in price by federal grants. The program received strong local support from the cities, which expected that new building programs would increase their tax revenues, and from downtown businessmen, who saw urban renewal as a way of replacing the slum dwellers of the inner city with more affluent customers and, later, as a way of modernizing downtown districts with federal aid.
The theory behind urban renewal was the traditional nineteenth-century one that if slum dwellers were relocated in decent housing, they would give up their lower-class ways and the social pathologies thought to “breed” in the slums. Since inexpensive housing was in short supply, however, and the private redevelopers of cleared sites were building only luxury housing, the displaced were often forced to move into other slums, where they usually had to pay higher rents (Anderson 1964; Hartman 1964; Greer 1965). In clearing entire neighborhoods, urban renewal also destroyed viable social communities, thus saddling the displaced with emotional costs as well (Gans 1962; Fried 1963). In the larger cities, the unanticipated consequences of slum clearance created so much political opposition that by the start of the 1960s, when the market for luxury housing had been sated, the promiscuous use of the bulldozer was halted. Renewal agencies are now experimenting with rehabilitation, so as to minimize relocation, and are proposing new subsidies for both builders and lowincome residents in order to increase the supply of low-cost housing (Frieden 1964; Abrams 1965).
Initially, renewal had been carried out on a project-by-project basis, but once the choice sites desired by private builders had been used up, city planners were asked to develop more comprehensive urban renewal programs. The selection of future renewal sites required the determination of the best re-use of the sites on the basis of city-wide considerations; and the federal government provided planning grants to the cities to create “workable programs/’ which had to demonstrate how individual projects fitted into a larger, more comprehensive renewal plan before federal renewal funds were made available. Subsequently, the federal government broadened its requirements, for example, by including social considerations in the choice of sites, and set up the “community renewal program” (Grossman 1963).
In many cities the community renewal programs resemble the traditional master plan, but in others the failure of urban renewal to help the slum dwellers has called attention to the need for solving the more basic problems of the low-income population. This concern, together with the “War on Poverty,” is encouraging planners in a number of cities to develop quite different kinds of plans. Thus there have been innovations in the choice of ends and means as well as in the techniques of planning. Urban renewal is no longer conceived solely as a process of eliminating slums, but as a means of dealing with the problems that force poor and nonwhite people into them. Some community renewal programs are exploring programs of job creation, opening up housing, educational, and other opportunities to non whites, and improving social services in the hope that these, together with housing programs, will eliminate the deprivation of the slum dwellers as well as the slums. New ends, such as equality of opportunity and redistribution of public resources to the poor, are complementing those of order and efficiency, particularly since it is being realized that social order can be maintained only through greater economic and political equality. The means are new as well, since, to an increasing extent, programs to help people are being added to those for changing the physical environment. In 1966, the federal government formally integrated social and physical planning for urban renewal by developing the Demonstration Cities program, later retitled the Model Cities program, through which 60 to 70 American cities were to be funded to rebuild and rehabilitate almost completely the physical and social structures of their major slum ghetto neighborhoods (Taylor et al. 1966).
The extension of economic and other opportunities bears little resemblance to traditional planning solutions, and the outcome of the planning process is no longer envisaged as a master plan but as a set of incremental or developmental programs that will improve present conditions, formulated so that they can be plugged into the ongoing decision-making processes of city officials (Fagin 1959; Mitchell 1961; Webber 1963a). Physical determinism is thus being replaced by a broader systems approach, which seeks to deal with the causes of the problem. In this conception of the planning process, land-use studies are less relevant, and the community renewal planners are turning to surveys of the present behavior and future wants of the populations for whom they are planning, analyses of the quality of opportunities and social services now available to them, and economic as well as political studies to determine the feasibility and the results of the programs and policies they recommend.
This conception of planning also presages a change in the role of the planner. The city planner is no longer a nonpolitical formulator of long-range ideals but is becoming an adviser to elected and appointed officials. Planning commissions are being reorganized into planning departments that take their place in the mayor’s cabinet, and consequently the planner’s traditional antipathy to politics has decreased.
The planner’s new role and his rising influence are partly a result of changes in the city and in city hall. The new problems of the city and the gradual replacement of the working-class machine politician by the middle-class, college-educated politician-administrator, supported by professionally trained bureaucrats, have made city governments much more responsive to expert advice, while the reduction of class differences between the planners and the new politicians has improved communication between them. In addition, downtown business and property interests have become more favorable to planning, partly because they, too, face new problems they cannot solve themselves and partly because the planners share their concern with the revitalization of the central business district. Moreover, planners are becoming more sympathetic to the city and are giving up their traditional antiurban ideology. As the suburbs threaten to engulf the city and to endanger the survival of the upper-middle-class cultural and civic institutions that have traditionally been located in the city, the planner has become an advocate of urbanism, supporting schemes to bring the middle class back into the city.
Finally, with federal funds rapidly becoming a major source of support for local planning and state planning agencies and metropolitan ones also participating in local planning activities, the planner is no longer so closely tied to the small group of local businessmen and civic leaders who have traditionally supported him against his political opponents. This has encouraged him to pay more attention to the needs of other interest groups in the city, and, since the advent of the “War o Poverty,” particularly the low-income population. His greater concern with people has also made him more aware of the diversity of values among residents and more in favor of direct citizen participation in the planning process, rather than depending on the traditional appeal for citizen endorsement of the planner’s decisions (Wilson 1963).
The rational programming approach
The changes in the conditions under which planners work have been complemented, and even preceded, by changes within the planning profession and in the recruitment of planners, especially the entrance of social scientists into city planning. During the 1930s, social scientists helped to conduct national and regional planning studies in various federal agencies. After World War II, the University of Chicago established a planning school which taught national as well as city planning and was the first to stress social science rather than architectural techniques (Perloff 1957). Subsequently, this curriculum spread to other planning schools, and students with social science backgrounds streamed into them, so that today architects and engineers are fast becoming a minority in these schools.
The Chicago school approached planning as a method of rational programming. Briefly, it argued that the essence of planning is the deliberate choice of ends and the analytic determination of the most effective means to achieve these ends, these being means which make optimal use of scarce resources and which, when implemented, are not accompanied by undesirable consequences. The Chicago planners argued that ends are not imposed by planning ideology or by a priori determinations of the public interest, but by political and market processes and by other forms of feedback from those affected by planning. According to this view, means and consequences are determined through predominantly empirical analyses, and by other studies that test the fit of means to ends and predict the consequences of these means (Meyerson & Banfield 1955; Meyerson 1956; Davidoff & Reiner 1962; Perloff & Wingo 1962).
Rational programming has much in common with concepts of planning and methods of rational decision making being developed in political science, public administration, and management; thus, it is reducing the differences between city planning and planning for other clients and ends.
In turn, this has enabled city planning to use the personnel and approaches of other disciplines, including operations research (Branch 1957; Wheaton 1963), decision theory (Dyckman 1961), costbenefit analysis (Lichfield 1960), input-output studies (Isard et al. 1960), information theory (Meier 1962), and simulation models (“Urban Development Models” 1965), as well as sociological and manpower analyses for understanding the behavior, attitudes, and ends of the clients of planning [Willmott & Cooney 1963; Reiner et al. 1963;see alsoAdministration, article onadministrative behavior; Regional science].
The social scientists and the rational programmers owe no allegiance either to the master plan or to physical determinism. Aided by research findings, which indicate that the portions of the physical environment with which city planners have traditionally dealt do not have a significant impact on people’s behavior (Rosow 1961; Wilner et al. 1962), and by studies of social organization and social change, which demonstrate that economic and social structures are much more important than spatial ones, the rational programmers devote their attention to institutions and institutional change rather than to environmental change (Webber 1963b; 1964).
The new conception of planning has also affected general land-use planning, creating a greater concern with the social and economic functions of land use and leading to incremental policy formulations for rearranging it (see, for instance, Wheaton 1964). Even urban design, traditionally based primarily on aesthetic considerations, is now pay ing attention to the social processes that shape what city planners call the “urban form” (Lynch 1960; Wurster 1963).
Nevertheless, traditional master planning and land-use planning have received new support through the revival of another nineteenth-century concept–the “new town.” Originally conceived as a way of moving urban slum dwellers into the countryside and halting the growth of cities (Howard 1898), the new town is a relatively self-sufficient and independent community located beyond the city limits; it provides local employment opportunities for many of its residents, thus reducing their journey to work, the city’s traffic congestion, and the alleged defects of the suburbs as so-called “bedroom communities” (Stein 1951). The hope is that if the master plan and related solutions cannot work in established cities, they might be applied on the tabula rasa of a new town. It seems likely, however, that the same political and market forces that prevented the implementation of the master plan will also frustrate portions of the new-town schemes, particularly if they do not meet the wishes of the people who will have to be attracted as home buyers (Eichler & Kaplan 1967).
Social versus physical planning
In the 1960s rational programming is rapidly achieving dominance at the level of planning theory and is being advocated and used by professors and researchers in the profession. However, it has not yet been accepted by most city planning commissions and departments. Instead, the city planning practitioners have typically reacted to the new theory—and the new urban problems—by adding programs of “social planning” to the traditional land-use approach, now often called “physical planning/’ “Social planning” is used to describe planning for people or, by implication, for lowincome people, probably because physical plans have catered so largely to building programs for more affluent city residents. The dichotomy between physical and social planning is theoretically unjustifiable, however, because physical plans affect people, rich and poor, as much as do social plans. Even so, planning agencies are now adding social planning divisions to their staffs (Perloff 1963; 1965; Dyckman 1966).
The first social planning activities were intended to meet the requirements of the federal community renewal program and to correct the inequities of slum clearance for the slum dwellers, but increasingly they are being carried out to coordinate city planning and renewal with the community action activities and other programs of the “War on Poverty.” Frequently, however, this so-called social planning is only a modernized version of previous attempts to impose middle-class ways on the lowincome population, with “human renewal” educational and social work schemes to “rehabilitate” the slum dwellers while—or even in lieu of—improving their living conditions, thus subverting the antipoverty efforts into yet another device for maintaining the present inequality of the lowincome population (Gans 1964). This possibility has led to proposals for bringing planners into closer contact with the low-income population. Davidoff (1965) has suggested that because most planners are employed as technicians to pursue the interests of the so-called Establishment—that is, city hall, the political party, and the business community—other planners ought to become “advocate planners,” that is, technical consultants and even spokesmen for the low-income population. In several U.S. cities, planners have begun to work with local civil rights groups and with community organizations in poor neighborhoods; they have formed a national professional association, Planners for Equal Opportunity; and they are questioning orthodox planning beliefs about how to plan for the slum ghetto (Piven & Cloward 1966).
The politicization of planning
These activities are leading to the politicization of the city planning profession. It appears that the profession is being split into progressive and conservative wings: the former calling for social planning to reduce economic and racial inequality, and the latter defending traditional physical planning and the legitimacy of middle-class values. The rational programmers are a third wing, seeking to develop an approach that makes it possible to plan for all interest groups, but they, too, are split over the issue of working with or against the Establishment.
In their day-to-day practice, city planning agencies tend to favor the conservative wing and the traditional land-use approach to planning, although they are both threatened and influenced by the progressives and the rational programmers. Not only are the planning agencies in existence to conduct land-use planning, but most of the directors and senior staff members are trained in this approach, and some of the leading practitioners in the profession still come from architectural and civil engineering backgrounds. Rational programmers and progressives are more often found among the junior staff and have less influence on agency activities. Moreover, since planners are employees of municipal bureaucracies, they are expected to conform to agency policy on the job, and in some cities they are even restrained from off-hours participation in activities and groups that question or oppose agency policy. This naturally reduces the impact of progressive ideas on local planning activities.
The future of planning
The future direction of city planning is at present uncertain. As architecturally trained planners become a minority in the profession, city planning will undoubtedly make more use of the concepts and methods of rational programming and will pay more attention to the social and economic problems of the city. Traditional physical planning is still needed to modernize the city, to raise its efficiency in housing and moving workers and residents, and to prevent further physical and aesthetic deterioration. The ends of physical planning may be most relevant to the suburbs and to the newer communities of the western United States, although even they do not always favor the particular kinds of order, efficiency, and attractiveness that physical planners seek. In the older American cities, however, poverty, unemployment, racial and class discrimination and their pathological consequences are not only the most crucial problems but also are major causes of the low quality of city living, the middle class exodus, and the city’s financial difficulties (Gans 1965; Wilson 1966). The inequalities and pathologies of the urban low-income population must, therefore, be eliminated, before the attractive, efficient, and slumless city for which physical planners are striving can be realized. When these traditional planners can be persuaded of the validity of this approach, it may be possible to achieve a synthesis of the so-called social and physical planning approaches and thus to create a city planning profession that uses rational programming to bring about real improvements, not only in the lives of city residents but also in the condition of the cities themselves.
Herbert J. Gans
Abrams, Charles 1965 The City Is the Frontier. New York: Harper.
Altshuler, Alan 1965 The City Planning Process: A Political Analysis. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell Univ. Press.
Anderson, Martin 1964 The Federal Bulldozer: A Critical Analysis of Urban Renewal, 1949–1962. Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press.
Banfield, Edward C ; and Grodzins, Morton 1958 Government and Housing in Metropolitan Areas. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Bassett, Edward M. 1938 The Master Plan. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Blumenfeld, Hans 1949 Theory of City Form, Past and Present. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 8:7–16.
Branch, Melville C. 1957 Planning and Operations Research Journal of the American Institute of Planners 23:168–175.
Davidoff, Paul 1965 Advocacy and Social Concern in Planning. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 31:331–337.
Davidoff, Paul; and Reiner, Thomas A. 1962 A Choice Theory of Planning. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 28:103–115.
Dunham, Allison 1958 City Planning: An Analysis of the Content of the Master Plan. Journal of Law and Economics 1:170–186.
Dyckman, John W. 1961 Planning and Decision Theory. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 27:335–345.
Dyckman, John W. 1966 Social Planning, Social Planners, and Planned Societies. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 32:66–76.
Eichler, Edward P.; and Kaplan, Marshall 1967 The Community Builders. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.
Fagin, Henry 1959 Organizing and Carrying Out Planning Activities Within Urban Governments. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 25:109–114.
Fagin, Henry 1963 The Penn-Jersey Transportation Study: The Launching of a Permanent Regional Planning Process. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 29:9–18.
Fisher, Jack C. (editor) 1966 City and Regional Planning in Poland. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell Univ. Press.
Fried, Marc 1963 Grieving for a Lost Home. Pages 151–171 in Leonard J. Duhl (editor), The Urban Condition. New York: Basic Books.
Frieden, Bernard J. 1964 The Future of Old Neighborhoods: Rebuilding for a Changing Population. Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press.
Gans, Herbert J. (1962) 1964 The Urban Villagers: Group and Class in the Life of Italian-Americans. New York: Free Press.
Gans, Herbert J. 1964 Social and Physical Planning for the Elimination of Urban Poverty. Pages 629–644 in Bernard Rosenberg, Israel Gerver, and William Howton (editors), Mass Society in Crisis. New York: Macmillan.
Gans, Herbert J. 1965 The Failure of Urban Renewal: A Critique and Some Proposals. Commentary 39, no 4:29–37.
Greer, Scott 1965 Urban Renewal and American Cities. Indianapolis, Ind.: Bobbs-Merrill.
Grossman, David A. 1963 The Community Renewal Program Journal of the American Institute of Planners 29:259–269.
Hartman, Chester 1964 The Housing of Relocated Families Journal of the American Institute of Planners 30:266–286.
Howard, Ebenezer (1898) 1951 Garden Cities of Tomorrow. Edited with a Preface by F. J. Osborn. With an introductory essay by Lewis Mumford. London: Faber. → First published as To-morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform.
Isard, Walter et al. 1960 Methods of Regional Analysis. New York: Wiley; Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press.
Kent, T. J. 1964 The Urban General Plan. San Francisco: Chandler.
Land Use and Traffic Models. 1959 Journal of the American Institute of Planners 25:59–103. → A special issue.
Lichfield, Nathaniel 1960 Cost-Benefit Analysis in City Planning. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 26:273–279.
Lynch, Kevin 1960 The Image of the City. Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press.
Meier, Richard L. 1962 A Communication Theory of Urban Growth. Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press.
Meyerson, Martin 1956 Building the Middle-range Bridge for Comprehensive Planning. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 22:58–64.
Meyerson, Martin; and Banfield, Edward C. 1955 Politics, Planning, and the Public Interest: The Case of Public Housing in Chicago. Glencoe, III.: Free Press. → A paperback edition was published in 1965.
Mitchell, Robert B. 1961 The New Frontier in Metropolitan Planning. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 27:169–175.
Mitchell, Robert B.; and Rapkin, Chester 1954 Urban Traffic: A Function of Land Use. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.
Perloff, Harvey S. 1957 Education for Planning: City, State and Regional. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press.
Perloff, Harvey S. 1963 Social Planning in the Metropolis. Pages 331–347 in Leonard J. Duhl (editor), The Urban Condition. New York: Basic Books.
Perloff, Harvey S. 1965 New Directions in Social Planning. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 31:297–303.
Perloff, Harvey S.; and Wingo, Lowdon Jr. 1962 Planning and Development in Metropolitan Affairs. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 28: 67–90.
Piven, Frances F.; and Cloward, Richard A. 1966 De- segregated Housing: Who Pays for the Reformers’ Ideal. New Republic 155, no. 25:17–22.
Reiner, Janet S.; Reiner, Everett; and Reiner, Thomas A. 1963 Client Analysis and the Planning of Public Programs. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 29:270–282.
Rosow, Irving 1961 The Social Effects of the Physical Environment Journal of the American Institute of Planners 27:127–133.
Stein, Clarence S. (1951) 1957 Toward New Towns for America. Rev. ed. New York: Reinhold.
Taylor, H. Ralph et al. 1966 Comments on the Demonstration Cities Program. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 32:366–376.
Urban Development Models: New Tools for Planning. 1965 Journal of the American Institute of Planners 31:90–184. → A special issue.
Webber, Melvin M. 1963a The Prospects for Policies Planning Pages 319–330 in Leonard J. Duhl (editor), The Urban Condition. New York: Basic Books.
Webber, Melvin M. 1963b Order in Diversity: Community Without Propinquity. Pages 23–54 in Lowdon Wingo, Jr. (editor), Cities and Space: The Future Use of Urban Land. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press.
Webber, Melvin M. 1964 The Urban Place and the Nonplace Urban Realm. Pages 79–153 in Melvin M. Webber et al., Explorations Into Urban Structure. Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press.
Wheaton, William L. C. 1963 Operations Research for Metropolitan Planning. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 29:250–258.
Wheaton, William L. C. 1964 Public and Private Agents of Change. Pages 154–195 in Melvin M. Webber et al., Explorations Into Urban Structure. Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press.
Willmott, Peter; and Cooney, Edmund 1963 Com- munity Planning and Sociological Research: A Problem of Collaboration. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 29:123–126.
Wilner, Daniel M. et al. 1962 The Housing Environment and Family Life. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press.
Wilson, James Q. 1963 Planning and Politics: Citizen Participation in Urban Renewal. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 29:242–249.
Wilson, James Q. (editor) 1966 Urban Renewal: The Record and the Controversy. Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press.
Wood, Edward W. Jr.; Brower, Sidney N.; and Latimer, Margaret W. 1966 Planners’ People. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 32:228–233.
Woodbury, Coleman (editor) 1953 The Future of Cities and Urban Redevelopment. Univ. of Chicago Press.
Wurster, Catherine B. 1963 The Form and Structure of the Future Urban Complex. Pages 73–102 in Lowdon Wingo, Jr. (editor), Cities and Space: The Future Use of Urban Land. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press.
A plan is a course of action laid out in advance. A resource is an opportunity in the environment that has been identified and appraised by a population of potential users. Resource planning is a general term for the process of laying out better programs for the development of natural resources than are formulated from the opportunistic, short-run expediting of independent resource use projects.
Resource planning is an outgrowth of the principles for preserving natural resources and utilizing them economically [seeConservation]. When optimal use cannot be achieved automatically through the workings of the price system, but only through adjusting technologies on a regional, national, or international scale, then some form of centralized, long-range planning must be adopted. Long-range planning is often undertaken for other reasons than the rationalization of resource development, but resource planning almost always becomes a major component of such national and regional plans.
Resource planning has not been fully centralized in any society but is distributed among departments and bureaus responsible for agriculture, forestry, fisheries, mining, education, recreation, and regional development. After national plans become explicit, they still contain an assortment of specialized programs initiated and implemented by these functional units, as well as by cooperatives and private corporations, that are only partially controlled and coordinated by the national planning effort. No typical administrative structure exists as yet, but it is evident that to be effective, planners need almost daily contact with agencies collecting relevant, reliable information. In socialist states, and in many others in addition, the hydroelectric potentials and the resources below the ground are state-owned, so that these resources must either be developed by state enterprises or licensed, mainly to large international firms. Although both approaches are amenable to planning, the incentives and controls used are very different.
Thus, in Soviet planning an extraordinarily heavy emphasis was placed upon reconnaissance, prospecting, and survey of mineral deposits. A huge centralized, information-gathering operation was organized which was able to pinpoint the geographic sources of raw materials to be fed into the expanding industrial complex (Shimkin 1953).
In Pakistan, Egypt, Brazil, and elsewhere, future progress hinges upon the development of water resources. Then the natural unit for analysis becomes the basin. Where and when most projects are undertaken depends upon the long-range program for watershed development [Krutilla & Eckstein 1958; Maass et al. 1962; see alsoWater Resources].
Workable plans are built up of sequences of projects undertaken by specified agencies working within the public sector, the private sector, or, increasingly, some combination of both. The projects are selected and shaped according to criteria set within the context of a national strategy for survival, welfare, and growth. Additional criteria may be important at the international, regional, or agency level. The initiation of the projects is scheduled to meet anticipated requirements.
Experience has shown that resources essential to the functioning of a modern society may also be tapped through the channels of international trade. The technology of extraction, which is transferable to sites throughout the world, is in most cases sufficiently advanced to meet the rigorous specifications for commodity grades and standards established by modern industry and the markets of modern countries. Transport costs have been declining simultaneously. Consequently, the relative richness of the resources found in accessible parts of the world, rather than the political boundaries that separate supply from use, will usually determine the sequence with which the respective opportunities are exploited.
Military demands for national self-sufficiency, particularly in case of mobilization for total war, have quite seriously deflected the rational, tradebased program for the use of world resources. Much resource planning in the United States between 1910 and 1950, for example, was intended to meet various projected national emergencies. The reason for this emphasis on disaster planning was the experience with rapid shifts in supply in the international market that occur in response to political crises. Raw materials and manufactured intermediates with a heavy resource component (fuels, refined metals, vegetable oils, paper, sugar, etc.) have a history of reacting to threats of conflict with sharp upward price movements and irregular supplies. It is not surprising that in many countries during World War II elaborate resource planning efforts were made part of the plans for total mobilization of productive capacity for war.
Self-sufficiency for military reasons lost its cogency in the 1950s. The introduction of megatonsize nuclear weapons into international military calculations has rendered meaningless all prior approaches to strategic resource planning, since short-term emergency needs can be met better with inventories and strategic stockpiles of quite manageable magnitudes. Installations to develop submarginal reserves can no longer be justified for reasons of national survival.
A transition to the new way of thinking was marked by the U.S. President’s Materials Policy Commission report, Resources for Freedom (1952). National boundaries were superseded to an important extent and were replaced by a group of political units subscribing to common procedures for trade and to conciliation of international disputes. Autarchic arguments were retained, but they were moved to a larger arena. The focus of subsequent policy proposals has shifted to the use of resources to improve the levels of living. The reports of the United Nations Scientific Conference on the Conservation and Utilization of Resources (United Nations 1953) provided the basis for such planning.
Economic and social development. When resource planning leads to economic development, the significance of natural resources will be reduced. This planning will result in a decline in the share of human effort applied to natural resources which support economic growth. The primary occupations (e.g., agriculture, forestry, fisheries, mining) will shrink in over-all importance as the planning becomes effective. Even though the planning thus far conducted in the twentieth century has been uncoordinated, piecemeal, and parochial, the effort devoted to these primary activities has dropped from a share that was greater than 50 per cent of total product to a new level that is considerably less than 10 per cent of the total in the most advanced economies. In addition, economically feasible substitutes for scarce raw materials have been found. The ready availability of a variety of substitutes implies that exhaustion of the major world mineral reserves (as is still an eventual prospect for fossil fuels and phosphates) need not result in a reversal of this progress.
Because a large share of the world has averted resource scarcity catastrophes since the days of Malthus, a strong trust in automatic, almost magical, improvements in technology exists among resource economists. The law of diminishing returns has been repealed at the macro level, in the West at least, by the regularly repeated introduction of cost-reducing technical innovations (Boulding 1955). However, planners cannot make extrapolations on the basis of faith in the results of research. They must project the development of known reserves with tested technologies to fill the needs of expanding populations. When this exercise is carried out, as by Landsberg and his colleagues (see Resources for the Future 1963), the future for such resource-rich territories as North America appears secure for at least a generation. Careful matching of supply and demand suggests that no critical shortages should occur during the twentieth century.
However, the same exercise addressed to the needs and the accessible reserves in the rest of the world reveals the real challenge facing resource planning. Many parts of the world can project ahead no further than a decade before foreseeable needs will begin to outrun apparent supply. The technology thus far evolved in the West will be unable to cope with the transformation of still lower-grade resources into the manyfold increase in the output of raw materials that will be required. The foreign exchange needs for the equipment, the skilled personnel required for its operation, or the organization involved in distributing the output will reach unprecedented dimensions. Long-range development planning, attempting to plot a course toward adequate levels of living, is therefore forced to resort to new technologies which do not yet exist but could be evolved from the scientific knowledge now available in journals, laboratories, and pilot plants somewhere in the world.
The soil and water resources available for the production of food and fiber are a case in point. Land reclamation, fertilizer use, and improved crop varieties are being introduced quite rapidly into the less-developed regions. The foreseeable limits of the combined effects of the known technologies are a doubling, occasionally a trebling, of the output available to a population. But the demand for food often doubles within a generation as a combined result of population growth and urbanization. The anticipated crisis will occur during a bad crop year and will become disastrous if two or more poor years follow each other. The chances are all too great that in the late 1960s or the 1970s the stresses triggered by uncontrolled famine will overwhelm the government in one or more of the densely populated territories; Bengal, north central China, and Java are particularly vulnerable because their respective populations will soon be too large to be supported by the world’s surpluses. Tens of millions of unfortunates would die in the course of the crisis; the tragedy Malthus envisaged would be enacted on its most massive scale.
In the laboratories, however, a set of principles for the utilization of photosynthesis under optimum yield conditions is unfolding which promises a tenfold increase of output per unit area. These modes of plant culture have not been perfected, primarily because the societies best equipped to work out the details in the technology have been experiencing food surpluses. Nor have the incentives for rapid development, parallel to those granted to weapons technology, been authorized. Solving production problems is not sufficient either, because new foodstuffs will have to be converted into an acceptable diet. Many processing and marketing innovations are needed to accomplish such acceptance. The prospective difficulties of supply are no longer nutritional, but arise primarily from the strongly conservative character of food preferences in most cultures. Heavy investments in public education are required to bring about significant changes in diet.
The inadequacy of contemporary Western energy conversion technology is more subtle. The crisis previously anticipated when fossil fuels were depleted will probably be avoided, largely because of the discovery of nuclear energy sources. However, nuclear energy cannot be safely adapted to the operation of independent vehicles, such as small ships, aircraft, trucks, buses, and automobiles, without huge increases in cost. Very likely microbiological processes for the conversion of solar energy will be able to bridge the fuel gap (Golueke & Oswald 1963). Attempts of this sort are held back by the diffuseness of solar energy; eventually much more of the earth’s surface may have to be used for the production of fuels than for that of food.
Long-range resource planning encounters a few other instances demanding shifts to new, sciencebased technologies (e.g., substitutes for paper and some replacements for nonferrous metals). Doubtless, the expanding investments in scientific work will provide many unexpected opportunities, although they are almost as likely to reveal unsuspected constraints in the application of what is already known and projected to be used. Once the important new findings appear, the affected plans must be adjusted to take them into account.
These newest technologies for resource utilization are highly instrumented. As greater depths and more stressful environments are penetrated, an increasing need for sophisticated equipment is experienced. These processes are more susceptible to human error than the older technologies are and therefore must be designed in automated or cybernated versions which reduce the risks. Low wage scales do not significantly modify the technical solutions. Therefore, resource-oriented production in the future is expected to become much less labor-intensive. The operation of the instruments and controls, however, does depend heavily on the transmission of large quantities of data through a communications network and the rapid processing of such information at decision centers.
Information and organization. Planning quickly becomes routinized in a large bureaucracy. When a new project for producing raw materials (or services) from a natural resource is prepared within a planning context, it undergoes a series of systematic tests of feasibility. One of the first of these hurdles is an estimation of its likelihood of becoming obsolete. The newest scientific findings and their influence on competing producers, on consumers, and on the producers of substitutes are assessed. Also, consultants who have access to bodies of unpublished knowledge are asked to submit appraisals. Similar checks are made concerning whatever factors are scarce in the economy. How much would this proposal worsen the scarcity of foreign exchange, technical skills, transport capacity, etc.? As a result, the revised project design is more closely linked to the characteristics of the market, it is automatically alerted to a wider variety of danger signals emanating from the environment, and a series of monitoring and control systems are incorporated into the design which combine information acquired from the outside with data generated from within the operation.
When projects are meshed into national programs and regional plans, a coordinating agency is needed to administer them. The implementation process involves gathering information about progress, interpreting the findings, and instructing the operating units about desirable adjustments in plans. The emphasis in this description is upon the information-processing features of planning because most of the agency effort is expended in this direction. Extra information introduced into resources planning results in a reduction of physical waste and a stabilization of the cost of producing raw materials.
It should be noted in passing that the planning agency also has an important political function, since it must resolve conflicts between government units, between individuals, and between the objectives of both groups. That feature of its duties is not considered here because a high degree of consensus among the involved parties is a prerequisite for the acceptance of plans.
Resource planners now encounter situations where the best resource-conserving projects do not deal directly with the scarce resources, or with their recognized substitutes, but with the expansion of “knowledge creation” capabilities and of specialized information transmission systems. For example, the best way of reducing the energy requirements of transportation may involve expanding the telephone system, so that on the average several telephone calls (which expend virtually no energy and very little other scarce natural resources) may save a trip. Similarly, an information service warning based upon knowledge about the effects of changes in weather may reduce spoilage and waste.
A different natural resource is being exploited in these instances, one that as yet is rarely recognized in the resource literature. The electromagnetic spectrum is vital to high capacity telecommunications. This resource is still as free as the sea, requiring only international agreement on the allocation of channels. Recently, moves have been made to organize spectrum conservation measures (Ryan 1959), particularly in the vicinity of large industrialized metropolitan areas. Stray radiation acts as a kind of pollutant, causing noise in the channel and errors in the communication process. Fortunately, however, huge capacities remain to be exploited, and the underlying sciences have announced recent findings (e.g., lasers, wave guides) that open up further cost-reducing opportunities. Forecasts of the growth in demand (Litchman 1963) suggest that teledata flows will double every two years; they can increase at this rate until 1980 and still remain within technological capabilities.
Human resources. The fact that human resources can substitute for natural resources at the margin has been recognized for at least a century [seeCapital, human; Conservation, article oneconomic aspects], but the principles for developing and conserving this resource have not yet been very precisely formulated (“Needs and Resources for Social Investment” 1960). Nevertheless, resource planning is expanding most rapidly in this direction. Highest priorities are given to formal education systems and public health units. Schools, libraries, and clinics allow a society to draw upon a world-wide fund of knowledge and, with fairly predictable results, distribute parts of that knowledge to individuals (Machlup 1962; Harbison & Myers 1964). Disease prevention programs reduce the frequency of loss of informed individuals before they have made their full contribution. Educated persons, working collectively, can extract a better living from a given environment than uneducated persons can.
Human capital may be accumulated by expanding the number of persons acquiring education and by making sure that the subjects taught are relevant to future states of the society. The role of human capital is analogous to that of raw materials inventory. Optimal investment in human resources implies quite large-scale experiments in search of formulas for cooperation. An important share of the effort associated with the founding of an organization may therefore also be categorized as human capital formation. Thus, plans will attempt to balance the human investments in health, education, and communications; and the timing of the investments will be phased according to the magnitude of the organizing effort required to launch the specialized agencies desired. Fast-paced organizations of well-informed people will usually make more efficient decisions regarding resource use than will organizations that depend too heavily on computers.
Because of these complex substitutabilities, much of the most productive effort expended in resource planning is devoted to organizing the spread of relevant knowledge. The United Nations conference on science and technology (United Nations . . . 1963) was intended to be a benchmark in the development of resources.
The resource planning strategy. Thus the overall mandate for planners is outlined: The richest nonrenewable resources should be used first. Organizations are created to implement the projects and arrange for the distribution of output. As lower-grade reserves must be drawn upon, costs rise, and the organizations are forced to seek more efficient technologies. They also pay attention to the salvage of scrap and to fabrication techniques which use less of the resource. As still lower grades are resorted to, the organizations must expend even more effort on reprocessing scrap and manufacturing intermediate products from substitutes in easier supply. Eventually the salvage recycle becomes so efficient that exploitation principles cannot be distinguished from those applying to the various renewable natural resources. The mine works may be abandoned; but the organization, with its skills in the conversion of raw materials, its body of technological knowledge, and its capabilities for meeting the specifications of customers, remains.
Higher sustained yields from renewable resources are also obtainable only through improved knowledge and organization. Communications systems development makes possible the coordination of utilization over much larger areas.
Ultimately, the asset value of the extracted resources must be transformed into self-renewing human and physical capital of even larger value, if the effects of the law of diminishing returns are to be postponed indefinitely. The worth of human resources, however, is also subject to laws. If population continues to grow, the effort to educate, organize, investigate, and communicate must reach saturation at some point, and the marginal value of men will become negative.
So far it has not been possible to discern any natural laws which identify these saturation limits for human organization or communication, but the requirements of a healthy human organism do impose constraints. A “minimum adequate standard of living,” which provides just enough freedom from environmental stresses to allow social and cultural organization to become as effective as is presently known, can be recalculated as a per capita requirement for resource inputs. The ultimate limit appears to be the energy incident from the sun and its thermodynamic degradation in the course of storage and transport. The earth will probably be able to support indefinitely about ten to twenty times its present population (say, 30,000 million-80,000 million) when employing the stock of scientific knowledge which has yet to be translated into technology (Meier 1956).
It will take only three to five generations at present rates of growth for world population to reach these saturation levels. Resource planning has hitherto accepted population as given and not subject to manipulation, but henceforth it must become closely linked with social planning that endeavors to bring births and deaths into balance (Brown 1954).
Richard L. Meier
Ayres, Eugene; and Scarlott, Charles A. 1952 Energy Sources: The Wealth of the World. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Boulding, Kenneth E. 1955 The Malthusian Model as a General System. Social and Economic Studies 4: 195–205.
Brown, Harrison S. 1954 The Challenge of Man’s Future: An Inquiry Concerning the Condition of Man During the Years That Lie Ahead. New York: Viking. → A paperback edition was published in 1956.
Conference On Natural Resources and Economic Growth, University of Michigan, 1960 1961 Natural Resources and Economic Growth : Paper s .... Edited by Joseph Spengler. Washington: Distributed by Resources for the Future
Daniels, Farrington; and Duffie, John A. (editors) 1955 Solar Energy Research. Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press.
Golueke, Clarence G.; and Oswald, William J. 1963 Power From Solar Energy via Algae-produced Methane. Solar Energy 7:86–92.
Harbison, Frederick; and Myers, Charles A. 1964 Education, Manpower, and Economic Growth: Strategies of Human Resource Development. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Krutilla, John V.; and Eckstein, Otto 1958 Multiple Purpose River Development. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press.
Litchman, William S. 1963 The Future of Digital Communications. Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Communications Technology Group, I.E.E.E. Transactions on Communications Systems Cs-11:149158.
Maass, Arthur et al. 1962 Design of Water-resource Systems: New Techniques for Relating Economic Objectives, Engineering Analysis, and Governmental Planning. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press.
Machlup, Fritz 1962 The Production and Distribution of Knowledge in the United States. Princeton Univ. Press.
Meier, Richard L. 1956 Science and Economic Development: New Patterns of Living. Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press
Needs and Resources for Social Investment: A Discussion by a Carnegie Endowment Study Group, Geneva, 1959. 1960 International Social Science Journal 12:409–433.
Resources For The Future 1963 Resources in America’s Future: Patterns of Requirements and Availabilities, 1960–2000, by Hans H. Landsberg et al. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press.
Ryan, A. H. 1959 Control of Microwave Interference. Institute of Radio Engineers, Transactions on Radio Frequency Interference RFI:l-10.
Scientific American 1963 Technology and Economic Development. New York: Knopf.
Shimkin, Demitri B. 1953 Minerals: A Key to Soviet Power. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press.
United Nations 1953 United Nations Scientific Conference on the Conservation and Utilization of Resources: Proceedings. Vol. 8. New York: United Nations.
United Nations, Secretary-General 1963 Science and Technology for Development: Report on the United Nations Conference on the Application of Science and Technology for the Benefit of the Less Developed Areas. Volume 2: Natural Resources. New York: United Nations.
U.S. President’S Materials Policy Commission 1952 Resources for Freedom. 5 vols. Washington: Government Printing Office.
An inquiry into planning for the social services is handicapped by conceptual ambiguities as to the meaning of the terms “social services” and “social welfare.” With refreshing candor, Donnison recently observed that “the distinctive feature of our subject is neither its body of knowledge (for most of this could be incorporated into other disciplines), nor its theoretical structure (for it has very little), and we are not interested in methodology for its own sake. We are concerned with an ill-defined but recognizable territory, ‘the development of collective action for the advancement of social welfare’” (1962, p. 21).
But the global concept of “collective action for the advancement of social welfare” obscures the clashing conceptions of the political purposes of social services. At one extreme is the view that social services “assign claims from one set of people who are said to produce or earn the national produce to another set of people who may merit compassion and charity but not economic rewards for productive service” (Titmuss 1965, p. 14) So defined, social services are regarded as a burden to be carried by the productive institutions of society. Thus they constitute a residual function of government and philanthropy, and social service agencies should, ideally, strive toward self-liquidation. At the other extreme, Titmuss defines social services as “all collective interventions to meet certain needs of the individual and/or to serve the wider interests of society; [these] may now be broadly grouped into three major categories of welfare: social welfare, fiscal welfare, and occupational welfare” ( 1959, p. 42).
This discussion of the purposes of the social services has immediate import for planning, because estimates of total expenditures for social welfare clearly depend on the definition we accept. In the U.S. Social Security Administration’s annual estimate of total welfare expenditures in the public and private sectors, social welfare is defined as “activities that directly concern the economic and social well-being of individuals and families” (Merriam 1965, p. 3). Consistent with this definition, Ida Merriam includes those agricultural programs that make surplus food available to needy persons (school lunch program, food stamp program, etc.). Lampman, on the other hand, employs a more encompassing definition of welfare in his assessment of the scope of money and nonmoney transfer payments. Public transfers include that portion of earned income (factor income) that is not that is not payment for current production having any value. Thus, in the agricultural sector he defines public payment for nonproduction as a welfare payment. Moreover, Lampman urges that the Social Security Administration’s definition of public programs be expanded to include “subsidies and taxes which alter prices paid by the consumers and taxes that reduce disposable money income” (1966, pp. 3–4)
According to this more inclusive definition, the estimate of U.S. expenditure for “social welfare” in 1964 is about $97,000 million in transfer payments and transfer goods and services. By contrast, the more limited definition of the Social Security Administration leads to an estimate of $118,000 million. (No aggregate estimate is available for the conception of welfare favored by Titmuss.) This surprising finding arises because the broader view excludes health and education expenditures that are paid for directly by current users and are thus not regarded as extrafamily transfers. Lampman insists that the concept of welfare be limited to public transfer expenditures. He argues that there is no rationale for including personal expenditure for dental care while excluding personal expenditure for housing, as is done in the Social Security expenditure series. Direct payments by consumers for health services alone amounted to $17,000 million.
Not only does the size of the social welfare sector vary according to the conception of welfare we employ, but the pattern of distribution of welfare services is affected even more dramatically. In Lampman’s pioneer study of the American welfare system (1966, p. 8), he estimates that almost 40 per cent of the total amount allocated for transfer payments, or $38,000 million, goes to those individuals who would be classified as poor before they received any transfer payment. Assuming that the poor contribute approximately $8,000 million in taxes and private contributions, he thus concludes that they receive a net benefit of $30,000 million.
In a more limited analysis of the distribution of housing benefits among various income groups, Alvin Schorr comes to almost the opposite conclusion. He observes that in 1962 the U.S. federal government spent $820 million to subsidize housing for individuals who would be classified as poor; this estimate includes direct subsidies for public housing and additional housing payments for those receiving public assistance, as well as savings from income tax deductions. By contrast, the amount the government refrained from collecting in income taxes by granting tax concessions to home owners (a predominantly middle and upper-income group) is estimated at $2,900 million. Therefore, in regard to housing subsidies, the federal government spent more than three times as much for those who are not poor than for those who are poor. In this way, Schorr concludes, the government “gives more to those who have more” (1965a, p. 437). The main difference between the views of Lampman and those of Schorr is their treatment of tax deductions. Lampman asserts that the distribution of social welfare benefits must be seen both in relation to “who pays” and to “who benefits.” Tax deductions in his scheme are reflected in a smaller “pay” figure, and they are of interest only to the extent that they alter the burden on the rich as compared to the poor. By contrast, Schorr assigns tax concessions to the benefit rather than the cost side of the ledger, which permits him to compare the relative benefits of tax concessions between those who are poor and those who are not poor.
The answer to the question of who benefits from America’s welfare state must remain inconclusive, not alone because of conceptual differences, but also because of the limitation of available data on the cost of employee fringe benefits and the size of tax concessions and how these are distributed by income groups. As indicated above, there are two main positions regarding the redistributive effect of social services. On one hand, Lampman suggests that, in the aggregate, welfare systems are redistributive and that they work for the advantage of lower-income people. On the other hand, students of British social policy, for instance, have concluded that the major beneficiaries of England’s welfare state are the middle- and upper-income groups; thus Abel-Smith (1958) does not hesitate to assert that the high-cost sectors of social services, such as education, health, and housing, are instruments for the multiplication of advantage and privilege in an advanced industrial society. The rediscovery of poverty in an affluent society has riveted attention on the distributive effects of social policy: who are the beneficiaries of public largess? This question provides a useful context in which to begin planning. (There is little scholarly concern in continental Europe, South America, or the developing countries for the study of social policy; I have therefore been forced to rely heavily on the experience of the United States and the United Kingdom.)
The planning process. Planning is traditionally defined as a method of rational decision making that counterposes means and ends in an attempt to assess how these can be best brought together at the least cost and with maximum effectiveness. This formulation tends to emphasize the technical problems of deciding on means; it implicitly assumes that the goals are clearly defined and capable of being measured. But this technical bias can be minimized, and the conception of planning recast, if one treats either the objectives or the implementation of the plan as problematic. The approach that focuses on implementation raises the question of feasibility and shifts the matter of planning away from the more dispassionate technical analysis of means and ends to a preoccupation with the realities of the environment as constraints on implementation. Similarly, the focus on objectives, including both the short-term and long-term aims of social policy, confronts the issue of ideology– the conception of the good society.
Planning can also be seen in terms of three interrelated stages: policy development, with an emphasis on the progressive modification of ends and means to achieve feasibility; policy implementation, concerned with the administrative circumstances that create disparities between purpose and performance; and policy evaluation, which attempts, through the rigors of social science technology, to document these disparities. The results of these evaluations in turn serve as an information input for the modification of established policy. Thus planning is a continuous and circular process, rather than an occasional event initiated to solve a specific problem.
The following discussion of planning will focus on the clarification of the goals of welfare and on the instruments for maximizing them; that is, it will deal primarily with substantive issues rather than with procedural questions. This approach will enable us to explore further some of the conceptual problems raised above in connection with the definition of welfare. Two interrelated tasks of planning–allocation and coordination–will be considered.
The nature of allocative decisions
Allocation is concerned with the problem of how to divide limited resources among competing claimants. In order to simplify this analysis, we will consider these allocative decisions in relation to specific tasks, such as the apportionment of money among items in an annual budget or among the components of a development plan. Allocative tasks can be roughly sorted into three categories that vary according to the types of claimants involved: that is, resources are allocated, first, among the social, economic, and physical sectors; second, among the various sectors of the social welfare field; and, finally, among the various types of programs within a single specialized social sector.
Social, economic, and physical planning
First, we will be concerned with the social sector as a claimant for resources in competition with the economic and physical sectors. Consider the recent proposal in the United States for creating a demonstration cities program, in which 60 to 70 cities would request federal funds to develop a coherent attack on slums by combining physical and social renewal. According to the preliminary model programs for large cities, the estimated net cost of a neighborhood renewal program of 25,000 housing units is approximately $350 million, of which $100 million would be set aside to meet social costs— roughly a 3 to 1 ratio between these sectors. The expenditures set aside in the federal budget and in the demonstration cities program are examples of allocative decisions among different sectors of the economy.
How physical, economic, and social planning fit together will vary according to the prevailing conception of the function of social planning. At least four different views of the functions of social planning can be identified.
Welfare as a burden. One view of social planning sees welfare as a burden. According to this conception, since social welfare expenditure is heavily financed by taxation, we must pay special attention “to the specific sources of revenue used to finance it, to insure that the minimum of discouragement to enterprise and savings results from any given volume of welfare spending” (Burns 1954, p. 139). Eveline Burns suggests that we must be prepared to pay the costs of the depressive effect on enterprise and initiative arising from welfare expenditures, if these services enjoy a high community priority and are regarded as necessary. She exhorts the profession of social work to demonstrate that welfare services are indeed necessary but accepts the position that aggregate welfare costs inhibit economic growth. This view directs attention to the question of how much welfare we can afford without overburdening the economy.
Likewise, in developing countries some have felt that funds expended for the social sector detract from the maximum growth of the economy. Agricultural experts have sometimes said that it is almost immoral to spend money in the social sector when the country has insufficient food for its population. According to this view, agricultural development warrants the highest priority, and the allocation of funds for the social sector is at best a distraction that may be politically necessary.
Welfare as handmaiden. Recently, the conception of welfare as burden to economic growth is being replaced with a view that both economic and physical planning are best advanced by an investment in the social sector. One formulation of this view of welfare as “handmaiden” has been offered by economists concerned with investment in “human capital.” Schultz suggests that inequalities in the distribution of personal income are most likely to be affected by such investments; he asserts that “the structure of wages and salaries is primarily determined by investment in schooling, health, on the-job training [etc.]” (1962, p. 2). [SeeCapital, human.]
Physical planners have also become interested in a rapprochement with social planning. Although a physical plan may be immediately accepted as desirable and necessary, it cannot readily be implemented without the endorsement of citizens affected by it or without making provision for those who will be displaced by the renewal plans. Thus social planning has come to be defined in terms of the processes of relocation and citizen participation, namely, those activities that are necessary to facilitate the physical renewal plan. However, social planning for urban renewal and planning for investment in human capital are perhaps best seen as handmaidens for physical and economic development, respectively.
Welfare as complementarity. A third view holds that raising the level of living and increasing the investment in the social sector can only proceed in conjunction with greater economic growth; efforts to redistribute limited resources result only in the redistribution of poverty.
Interdependence arises when activities in one sector can serve either as objectives or methods for activities in another sector. Thus we sometimes may use primarily economic tools to achieve social objectives, as when we create employment opportunities and training opportunities in order to reduce youth unemployment and raise personal and family income, including those families receiving public assistance. Conversely, methods that are primarily social may be employed to promote economic objectives, as illustrated by the efforts to demonstrate that health improvement can make a major contribution to economic growth (see, for example, Mushkin 1962). Finally, complementarity is regarded as essential if more resources are to be added to the social services sector and if lowincome groups are to receive a larger share of these resources. As Donnison states:
An ominous feature of the present concern for equality is the tendency for some of its most forceful exponents to lay such stress upon the redistribution of the national income that its rate of growth is liable to be forgotten. . . . Redistribution can only be achieved by building more schools, hospitals and houses, recruiting and training more teachers, doctors and social workers, and by concentrating the increase in the areas where it is most needed. A high rate of economic growth can be achieved without alleviating social injustices, but injustices cannot be remedied without a high rate of growth. (Donnison 1966, p. 7)
Welfare as a means of social control. The fourth view of welfare programs claims that funds earmarked for such programs are intended largely to reduce social deviancy and thereby to protect the political and economic stability of the community. Hence, according to this view, the resources of the “war against poverty” in the United States are increasingly being used as a means of tranquilizing the unrest in urban slums. For example, the riots in 1965 in the Watts section of Los Angeles, California, brought forth sustained efforts to bring large amounts of federal funds into the community for social welfare programs in order to avert future violence. The jobs and training generated in the United States by the Neighborhood Youth Corps will be made available to youths in the urban ghettos, based on the theory that the provision of summer employment opportunities can serve to avert or at least minimize the occurrence of riots.
Allocation among the social services
Allocative decisions must be made in regard to the distribution of resources among the various sectors that constitute the social welfare arena, such as health, education, housing, and income maintenance. Thus, a developing country may need to choose between an investment of resources in the area of pensions for old people or educational programs for the young. It can, of course, attempt to distribute its resources according to some principle of balance that fixes the relative importance of these objectives, and so cuts short the debate over priorities.
The problems of choice are also confounded by the interrelationship among the social services. A study of social services in Mauritius illustrates how a policy of denying public assistance to the ablebodied unemployed created pressure on the medical care system. Unemployed persons sought to acquire sickness certificates in order to qualify for welfare payments. Thus a policy choice in the area of public assistance had the effect of creating excessive demand on the medical care system (Titmuss & Abel-Smith 1961, p. 81).
Allocation within a single social sector
Allocative decisions must also be made within any one specialized, functional area, such as health, educacation, or housing. Two types of problems can be broadly identified: the distribution of resources by domain and by clientele. Questions of domain concern the distribution of resources by type of service. For example, to what extent should resources be allocated for curative as contrasted with preventive programs? The question of clientele concerns the issue of determining who should be the major beneficiaries of the program. The development of universal programs designed to reach the total population does not avoid the need to make choices. It is widely acknowledged that upper-income groups avail themselves more of education and other high-cost social services (although the case for other sectors has not been as well documented) than do lower-income groups, “with the result that these services… represent in their mode of operation a redistribution of income away from the poor” (United Nations… 1965, p. 53). For example, as a rule of thumb, America spends less than half as much educating the children of the poor as the children of the rich (Jencks 1966, p. 18). Since universal programs result in inequalities, allocative policies aimed at redistribution may be necessary. This is becoming increasingly recognized in legislation, such as the Elementary and Secondary School Act of 1965, designed to distribute federal funds to schools with a substantial number of lowincome families.
If we accept the traditional compartmentalization of programs as given, allocative decisions may typically be concerned with the distribution of resources by functional domain. However, allocations assigned in terms of traditional sectors have severe limitations; this approach often produces ineffective and inefficient solutions of social problems. Consider the following case-in-point. National levels of health, defined in terms of low infant mortality rates, are more highly correlated with measures of income, school enrollment, and calorie consumption than they are with the number of physicians in the country. This suggests that, to maximize health, it may be necessary to invest in nonhealth programs. “An extremely important requirement for improving health in a given country may be the improvement of the nutrition of children, if, as frequently happens… malnutrition… is leading to numerous diseases of adulthood, as well as to excessive morbidity and mortality among children” (United Nations… 1965, p. 55). Thus, if planning to maximize health takes into account only such matters as health facilities and health personnel, it may be ineffective or may achieve its aims in a very inefficient fashion.
Politics of allocation
The problems of allocation are the abiding issues of social policy planning. They pose the fundamental questions of the purposes and effectiveness of the social services. However, while the allocative questions are the most crucial, they are also the most intractable and the least well understood. By and large, we have developed neither the administrative machinery nor the technology for making allocative decisions. So broad a generalization may seem arbitrary at a time when there is great investment and interest in policy-oriented research that goes beyond the traditional needs-resources approach into the more sophisticated cost-benefit analysis (Levine 1966). But most of these approaches fail to resolve at least two fundamental problems endemic to the social services.
First, programs for converting social values into economic terms continue to have a disingenuous ring to them. A cost-benefit analysis for an urban renewal program that attempts to convert the loss of aesthetic pleasure of enjoying greenery into some monetary equivalent must make assumptions that are arbitrary, forced, and, in the end, unconvincing. We have no universally accepted social arithmetic for converting values into dollars. Measures of social achievement lack a common scale of measurement that would permit us to add the benefits of programs, to delete the costs of various social problems, and to assign relative values, weights, and priorities to different social programs. In short, we have no rules to guide us in choosing among educational, health, welfare, housing, and other programs. Most attempts at planning for social services are forced to bypass the issues of priority.
The second problem concerns the nature of social objectives. Economic models tend to be fashioned on the assumption that economic policy is analogous to a theory of rational consumer choice; according to this theory, economic man seeks to maximize his “utility” or preferences within the constraints of his income and the prevailing prices of the goods and services that he wishes to acquire. But the concept “need” does not lend itself to this type of rational calculation: what a man chooses is by definition his preference, but social needs imply necessities, and a man may not choose what he needs or what others think he needs. He may also lack the freedom to choose, because he lacks the necessary funds, information, or access to the services he requires. Moreover, the economic model is oversimplified, based as it is on the maximization of a single goal, which is defined as “utility” and measured by preference functions and indifference curves. [SeeUtility.] Social life tends to be more complex than this. Allocative decisions involve the pursuit of multiple social goals, some of which are in partial conflict either with each other or with economic and physical objectives, but all of which, as this discussion of the goals of social policy has attempted to illustrate, are difficult to identify and select. Thus we cannot, in the end, develop a single best social plan. We are driven to the more unsatisfactory conclusion that there are only multiple plans, which will vary according to which items we accept as constraints for the achievement of certain objectives. For example, we can ask what level of inflation we are willing to accept in order to achieve full employment, thus treating price stability as a constraint and full employment as the goal; or we can ask the reverse question.
All of these problems confound the task of allocative planning. The secretary-general of the United Nations has effectively summarized these issues in a report to the U.N. Social Commission: “. . . social planning does not have the unity and coherence of economic planning. . . . Social allocation is ultimately a matter of judgment, operating among incommensurable values” (United Nations . . . 1965, pp. 37, 39). These judgments, of course, are not advanced as arguments against the systematic gathering of evidence and data, which can lead to judgments based on information. But they do suggest that, in the last analysis, allocative decisions are based on value judgments—that is, there is no planning without ideology and politics. It is possible to identify at least four ways in which such decisions are made.
First, tradition plays an important role. In an analysis of the allocative process used by the United Fund organizations, Arthur Vidich observes that “the formula of tradition tends to work, as no unit is apt to feel unduly cheated if last year’s proportions are carried over into this year” (1963, chapter 2, p. 6). Second, preference or pressure can play a significant role in the determination of allocative decisions. Since, as we have seen, there is no objective way to measure the relative need for housing as against education or health, knowledge of the preferences of consumers could, in principle, serve as one effective means for resolving these dilemmas of choice. Preferences can be secured either through some form of planning that is concerned with the channeling of the needs and aspirations of potential service uses (i.e., planning for citizen participation in policy decisions) or through the use of survey research methods that attempt to gather information on preferences and then treat these as inputs for planning decisions. Thus, citizen participation in social planning and/or the development of measures of consumer preference can serve as purposive techniques for making allocative judgments. One of the unique features of the American “war on poverty” is the attempt to involve in policy making those who are potential consumers of antipoverty programs. There is, however, the unfortunate tendency in most planning efforts to involve the citizens only to the extent of asking them to endorse plans already prepared in advance rather than to use citizen groups for the initiation of policy ideas (Wilson 1963). There has been little attempt to use consumer preference surveys in the determination of policy. Admittedly, the development of such surveys poses a complex technical task, but their potential as an instrument of policy has not been exploited.
To the extent that preferences do play a role in policy development they usually emerge when organized interest groups for the aged, veterans, and other recipients of social services exert pressure on those who control allocative decisions. In the voluntary sphere, the selection of fund-raising programs that are likely to appeal to the community is, of course, one way of implicitly taking preferences into account, although these preferences are not necessarily those of the consumer. However, allocative decisions that are based on considerations of compassion, the popularity of the program, or community pressure may have little to do with the severity or pervasiveness of the social problems for which funds are raised, and they fail to take into account the needs of socially unpopular groups —that is, the ones that, like the American Indians, are unable to exert much pressure on their own behalf.
Allocative decisions are often avoided altogether, since policy, in response to different pressures, tends to develop piecemeal—a process that is often called proliferation by welfare planners. Proliferation, however, can itself be regarded as a strategy of allocation, particularly at the early stages in the development of new programs. Thus if we seek to expand the amount we spend in the area of, say, manpower training, we tend to proliferate many new programs and to create new agencies, which often lack adequate coordination with previously established efforts. Each program may even be supported under a separate piece of social legislation, as in the case of current training programs for disadvantaged youths in the United States. This form of allocation by accretion may seem a very irrational process after a sufficient number of these programs have been developed, but some pragmatists believe that it can also be an effective means of mobilizing resources for these services. Others, however, regard the way in which federal manpower programs have developed as the result of vested departmental interests and their clienteles (see especially Levitan 1966). Whether regarded as strategy or necessity, administrative dysfunctions arise when fragmented but interrelated services are not brought together into some coherent whole. This leads to pressure for coordination. But coordination increases visibility, and when new funds are sought in competition with other claimants there may be pressure to further fragmentize services as a technique for securing resources. However, specialization may arise from other pressures as well.
Planning for coordination
The United States has an enormously complex and varied system for distributing social services. First, there is a three-tier vertical system, in which some services are distributed by sponsors administratively located at the national, state, or local levels. The three hierarchical tiers are bound together by financial, administrative, legal, and professional loyalties. The ties may be loose, as in the case of federated structures, where local operations are autonomous and create a national body to service their needs; or tight, as in the case of corporate structures, in which the locals are branch offices of a national agency. Within the boundaries of any one tier, there is a horizontally organized system, which can be sorted by auspices (public, voluntary, or private), or by functional specialization (health, education, housing, etc.), or by the type of clientele serviced (classified by age, problem, income grouping, etc.) and by the skill performed (teaching, medicine, social work, etc.).
Moreover, the instruments or means for carrying out these functions tend to take on varied forms. The government may directly operate services, or it may purchase them from voluntary and private agencies or professionals in the form of subsidies, grants, loans, or vendor payments. The latter procedure helps to support private and voluntary activity. The government may subsidize the facilities themselves, as in the case of low-cost housing programs; alternatively, it may provide individuals with subsidies, grants, or transfer payments so that they can purchase services in the open market, as in the case of unrestricted rent subsidies.
Even so condensed a summary of the organization of social services suggests its great variety and complexity. The components of the structure are not only complex but are also interrelated; programs cannot be treated in isolation, for they affect each other in at least two ways. First, the work loads of agencies in the same community do not vary independently. Thus, a protective agency, eager to conform to the principle that a child should not be removed from its own home, may assume that it has achieved its goal by decreasing its petitions to the courts, but as its court referrals decline, other agencies may begin to refer the cases of the protective agency to the courts, with the result that the total volume of court referrals remains unaffected. Second, many different activities are relevant to the solution of a single problem. Thus, as we have suggested, to promote the objective of health we may need to create indirect programs that are directed at expanding income, housing, education, nutrition, etc. The complexity and the interrelatedness of the social service system creates obvious pressures for coordination to reduce competition and promote coherence.
But the term “coordination” itself remains curiously vague and abstract, and it is more often used as a slogan than as a strategy for solving a specific problem in the organization of social services. Coordination strategies are, in the main, bound by a common problem: how to bring services into better harmony without reducing the autonomy of the component agencies and professions. In the following discussion of coordination, I will develop a typology of types of problematic situations that create the need for coordination and then examine the nature of the coordinative strategy that has been created, as well as the problems that are still unattended or are created by the very efforts at coordination.
In examining the problems of coordination, it may be useful to set our discussion within the market terminology of a supply system of social service agencies and a demand system of consumers or recipients of services—that is, a social service delivery system. This analogy should not be pressed too far, however, for many services do not follow a demand pattern and are imposed on individuals regardless of their preferences, as in the case of programs for delinquents or the mentally ill. Use of the term “service” minimizes the function of welfare as an instrument of community protection. Furthermore, “consumer demand” is too global a term, for it masks one of the most interesting characteristics of the delivery system : that the recipients of social services can themselves be classified, according to the agency which distributes the services, as clients, patients, customers, victims, or deviates. These labels also sort professional dispensers into a status hierarchy and thus can affect the quality and the nature of the treatment that individuals in similar circumstances will receive. Moreover, many services function not only as devices for meeting demand but also as rationing systems designed to limit either the volume or the quality and extensiveness of the service that each person receives. Services may ration scarce resources in terms of money, facilities, or professional skill. Despite these limitations, the above analogy is nevertheless useful because it permits us to classify coordinative problems as types of disjunctures between the supply and the demand system. Within this frame of reference, six “delivery problems” will be examined.
The same client is often known to many community services, each of which may send a worker into the home of the family and may hold out to the family a set of expectations for desired social performance and exert sanctions for nonconformity. In the United States in the late 1940s, Bradley Buell’s studies of “problem families” (Buell et al. 1952) directed attention to the issue of service inundation. He suggested that 6 per cent of the families in St. Louis were receiving more than half of the services offered by the community. However, in Buell’s studies the term “services” was never adequately defined, for it included long-range continuing contact with the agency, as well as brief contact only at the point of intake. This ambiguity in the definition of services and the absence of data on types of services used make it plausible to suggest that Buell’s findings can be restated as follows. A small proportion of families make contact with many agencies, most of which refer the family to other agencies, instead of offering them quality services. Thus families in need bounce from agency to agency, with no one assuming responsibility and accountability for them; the experience of these “multiagency families” reflects as much the fragmentation of the social service system as the pathology of the families. This fragmentation of services became the subject of debate within the social work profession in the early 1960s, and attention shifted from the problem of how the lack of coordination leads to clients becoming “overserviced” to how the same lack created the problem of clients who were “underserviced,” or rejected and unwanted.
Strategies to reduce “inundation” appear to be concerned with rationalizing the function of the professional agents and with developing coordination through a more coherent personnel ‘policy. Planning is thus directed chiefly at substituting simultaneous visiting for serial visiting and at cutting down duplication of effort by workers located in different social agencies who perform similar or related tasks (for example, when each agency secures its own family history to determine eligibility for a specific service, although one history could serve the needs of most agencies).
Two broad strategies for minimizing inundation can be identified—reducing the number of workers who visit the same family, or enhancing the communication among workers. The Service of Coordination in Paris pushes the first principle to its logical extreme. It achieves coordination by three simple but radical principles: only one social worker is assigned to a given family; each worker is responsible for all families in a defined geographic area; and no work is done twice (Schorr 1965b, p. 38). Thus, if a family caseworker believes that a family is in need of a supplementary financial allowance, she can secure the additional grant without a second investigation by a welfare worker. In 1967, the feasibility of reorganizing personal social services was being discussed in England by the Seebohn Committee. The changes most frequently discussed seemed to require combining the various separate departments and services into one ministry of social welfare, with status equal to that held by the existing ministries of education and health. This new ministry, or department, was to be organized on the basis of the skill to be performed, and was to be founded on the principle of merger rather than of coordination, so that the independence of established agencies could be respected. Exactly how the boundaries of such a welfare service might be drawn and which functions were to be included had not yet been agreed upon. However, it was thought that such a department would probably service other major departments by allotting social workers to courts, schools, hospitals, clinics, welfare departments, and other such agencies. One of the major purposes of this reform was seen as the coordination of scarce manpower skills (Titmuss 1966; Great Britain . . . 1966).
In the United States, numerous attempts at experimenting with similar programs can be identified. For example, under the auspices of the New York City Youth Board an attempt has been made to create an interdepartmental neighborhood service center. The organizing principle of this service, as described by its director, is the assumption by one worker of responsible concern for the total family (Lampkin 1961, p. 8). Most such efforts have succumbed under the pressure of established institutions after having survived, with little success, for only short periods.
Somewhat less radical than such administrative surgery are strategies that attempt coordination through increased communication. The social service exchange is an example of an attempt to create a central repository of information. Such exchanges operate under the assumption that if workers could identify the other community agencies that have contact with their clients, they would, in fact, contact them and work out some formal or informal coordination. When many voluntary agencies were distributing money rather than services, this seemed an efficient way of preventing the same person from securing aid twice. Case conferences provide another example of an organized structure whereby many workers from different agencies have an opportunity to meet to discuss their contacts with the same families. Often such conferences lead to a decision that one worker should assume responsibility for maintaining the ongoing contact with a family and so be able to keep the other agencies informed of the family’s progress. (For a detailed case study of the inundation problem and the strategies used by community agencies to reduce it, see Willson 1961.)
These strategies seem to emphasize cooperation of workers rather than coordination of services. A major difficulty with these strategies is that many agencies that have significant contact with the family refuse, or are unwilling, to participate in joint deliberations or in the common sharing of staff. Nevertheless, the search for a polyvalent social worker continues as one strategy for reducing the inundation that specialization seems to create.
Problems of access and procurement
Whereas inundation involves multiple contacts by many agencies with the same family, the problem of access concerns the obverse problem of how to secure needed services within a highly fragmented and specialized service system, in which each agency defines its own service boundaries. When a family needs a nursing home service for an aged member, remedial services for a child having difficulty with reading, or a summer camp, it is likely to encounter the problem of access. In the situation where the consumers initiate the requests for these services, the social service delivery system comes closest to the demand situation of the market system; this is most likely to occur in cases where the recipients can be classified as customers, clients, or patients rather than victims and deviates. Access problems are exacerbated when a family has little income to purchase these services and must rely on the nonmarket system of public and voluntary social services.
Three broad strategies to facilitate access can be seen. Some coordinative strategies focus on an effort to educate the client, thus assuming that lack of access is a function of lack of information. Typically, they rely on devices such as information and referral services to inform consumers as to where available services can be secured. Scattered evidence shows that “arrival” rates from these referral services tend to be quite low (Furman et al. 1965). Such findings suggest the need for supplementary approaches.
A second approach is based on the assumption that although information is necessary, it is insufficient. According to this view, the referring agent must himself play a more active role as negotiator of the service jungle on behalf of the service conice that is requested. Some experimentation with knowledge of how the system works and with some power to accomplish his special aims. The political ward leader is a prototype of this kind of expediting agent, for he is often willing and able to apply pressure on appropriate agencies and to follow through to assure that his client receives the service that is requested. Some experimentation with indigenous workers serving as expediters has attempted to follow what is at least implicitly a similar model (Brager 1965).
A third strategy attempts to assure access by altering the structure in which social services are performed. In the United States, a new federal program providing neighborhood service stations, financed under the Community Action Program of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, has tried to create a new structure within the local community, in which many community agencies establish branch offices in the same facility. Thus a welfare department, an employment referral agency, a family guidance program, etc., will all locate their services in a single structure, providing something like a social service variety store, in which a range of services are available under a single roof. Ideally, a single intake worker is available to route the client to the appropriate service. This strategy is a form of coordination by physical propinquity; a client need only stop in one center to secure the necessary range of services he requires.
These coordinative strategies typically suffer from what has been called the problem of “green tape”: where the total volume of services in a community remains constant, the strategy may only alter the pattern of claims (Rein & Riessman 1966). That is, it may provide preferential treatment for its constituency at the cost of assuring that some other individuals will not be able to secure access to these services.
Access for community agencies
The problem of access must be seen not only in terms of the desire for citizens to secure services but also in terms of the need of agencies to secure social services on behalf of their clientele, especially those who are victims and deviates. Community agencies that service an unwanted or unpopular population meet the problem of access when they try to secure for them the services they need. Such agencies find that in order to carry out their mission they require the cooperation of other community agencies. Thus a public welfare department must secure the cooperation operation of family counseling, employment, and health services in order to implement the national policy of reducing dependency. Similarly, a redevelopment agency involved in the problem of the physical renewal of the city may need a range of community services in order to make possible the relocation of difficult-to-place tenants, such as those with very large families or with special problems.
When an agency tries to secure different types of services on behalf of its clientele, these efforts may be labeled as “comprehensive planning.” However, comprehensiveness is often the last stage in a series of earlier efforts to solve the problem of access. The agency may start first by referring its clientele to other community agencies; but if the referral process fails, it may find itself impelled to undertake these tasks in its own operation. Thus a settlement house may create a psychiatric clinic, a health service, or a remedial reading program. If funds are available, the agency may purchase the service from established community agencies, or alternatively, it may finance programs intramurally.
Occasionally, new structures are created to provide or facilitate services for an unwanted population. Thus the comprehensive planning financed in the United States under the Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Offenses Control Act of 1961 was oriented to securing relevant services on behalf of those who are in danger of becoming delinquent— that is, disadvantaged youths living in urban ghettos. In this context, the term “comprehensiveness” is best interpreted as the effort to get community agencies to provide services on behalf of the population of disadvantaged youths. Similarly, the 1962 amendments to the U.S. Social Security Act encouraged the creation of services for the underserviced population receiving public assistance. Planning for access could involve purchasing the needed services from established agencies. However, because resources are limited, such planning often relies on the use of small-scale demonstration projects, in the hope that the agency in which the demonstrations are placed will come, in time, to adopt the reforms it has started. Alternatively, it can work outside of established institutions (parallelism), or it can operate the services directly. All approaches have been used.
A major problem created by comprehensive planning is that it leads, in the short run, to competition for resources, as each community agency tries to provide the relevant services for a specialized population at risk—victims of relocation, the poor, disadvantaged youths, public assistance recipients, the mentally ill, etc. Without a major increase in the total amount of resources available, these agencies may find themselves in competition for limited personnel and facilities.
One way of defining coordination is to say that it ensures that a varied range of services, frequently technically different or separately administered, are planned so as to operate as interrelated parts of a total treatment process in meeting family need or in remedying breakdown. It is surprising how little theorizing has been done about the kind of program scheduling that is necessary to contribute to meeting family need and to preventing social problems. Most sociological thought and research has tended to fragment the individual between the worlds of work, school, family relationships, community, and peer relationships. But much less work has been done on how the scheduling of events in these various worlds affects the capacity of an individual to function in one or another of them. Thus what is obscure in this approach to coordination is the failure to specify how varied services are or ought to be linked if they are to meet need or remedy personal and social breakdown. Without some scheme for ranking the relative importance of needs or problems, and without some procedure for determining the priorities to be allotted to various services, the task of integrative planning must proceed without benefit of theory and thus without benefit of any rules for reducing competition among claimants for scarce resources. Moreover, in the social services there is no theoretical analogy to the general medical practitioner who treats the “whole” person, exploiting the skills of specialists but retaining accountability for the total condition of the patient. While many professionals claim unique competence to manage the task of central coordination of social services, none have been assigned to fill this role. Thus to talk of “human need” or the “whole person” obscures the dilemma of choice confronted in developing strategies of coordination.
Clearly, what is needed is a system of priorities for allotting resources that is based on function, age, social problem, etc. Although we lack the means for resolving the value and jurisdictional issues of resource competition, we do have planning instruments that can either formally or informally perform the function of arbitrator and coordinator of competing requests for service. The U.S. Bureau of the Budget at the federal level is, of course, one case-in-point. Acting as the planning arm of the executive branch, it frequently interferes with the operation of specialized departments, encouraging them to cooperate and to avoid duplication of effort. But in the end the final allocative decisions are made in Congress through what is essentially a political process.
The problem of discontinuity
Social service can become disjointed or discontinuous if there is a failure to provide component services that are necessary to complete the cycle of change. This situation arises when programs assume coherence only when they are linked with other activities. An obvious case is that of job training, which includes the tasks of recruiting, screening, training, and placement. Unless these components relate to each other, the program lacks coherence. In practice, we often create separate agencies to carry out these specialized functions. Consider the case of manpower training for disadvantaged youths in the United States. The screening and recruiting tasks are, in part, the function of a community action program; a pre-skills training program (training for–employability) might be carried out by the Neighborhood Youth Corps program or the Conservation Job Corps; the actual training task is often done by a program administered under either the Manpower Development and Training Act or the Urban Job Corps; and, finally, the job placement of graduates of the training program may be administered by the state employment office which, in turn, carries the dual responsibility of job placement and job development.
Problems of discontinuity can arise at any point where there is an interruption in the flow of the person through the total system, starting with recruitment and ending with placement. One of the typical bottlenecks has been the transition from pretraining into training programs because of the lack of training facilities; and another has been the transition from training into job placement, often because of the failure of placement agencies to pay sufficient attention to the problems of job development.
Examples of discontinuity can be found in the flow of patients through a mental hospital program. Continuity of care is defined by Schwartz as “planning of a patient’s treatment so that the help given at any point is part of a total program.… A number of programs for in-patients, out-patients, and ex-patients have continuity of care as a goal, though phases of treatment are administered by separate agencies. It is rare for a single program to encompass all phases of a mental hospital patient’s career” (Schwartz et al. 1964, p. 257). Continuity of care is indeed a crucial issue, since psychiatrists acknowledge that a patient’s release from a mental hospital does not necessarily mean that he is cured. Thus post-hospitalization activities can be legitimately defined as parts of treatment. Indeed, the theory of community psychiatry rests on such assumptions [seeMental disorders, treatment of, article onThe therapeutic community].
Strategies to reduce discontinuity seek to maximize coherence among specialized agencies that perform part of what is, in effect, a single task. It should be noted that the goal of “coherence,” which means the provision of closely related services, contrasts with “comprehensiveness,” which emphasizes the provision of a range of different services. In examining strategies to reduce discontinuity it is useful to specify at least three interrelated tasks: service entry; training or treatment; and reabsorption or placement. Whatever the ideals, planning for continuity tends, in practice, to focus on either the entry or the absorption problem. Thus job training programs for disadvantaged youths emphasize recruitment, largely because training and placement opportunities have been limited. On the other hand, planning for mental health or the reduction of delinquency directs attention to the problem of absorption, largely because of the concern about high recidivist rates.
The increased concern for community care, or outpatient treatment, makes the problem of absorption quite crucial for hospital and correctional institutions. Ideally, the goal is to provide the full range of services. In the United States the Community Mental Health Facilities Act of 1964 has attempted to initiate planning that focuses on the creation of structures which can process individuals from diagnosis, through treatment, to rehabilitation, and back to treatment institutions if necessary. They have encouraged the erection, where appropriate, of a single facility that offers inpatient, outpatient, and aftercare programs.
Planning for continuity can, however, create problems of duplication and fragmentation. Consider the following case-in-point. The U.S. Job Corps had, by the summer of 1966, encountered a projected average annual cost per person enrolled of about $7,500, and another $600 per person enrolled when the capital costs were taken into account. In order to protect this investment, it was considered necessary to create special placement counselors who would assist the graduates of the program in securing jobs. The Bureau of the Budget questioned whether these placement counselors should be assigned to the Job Corps or to the state employment service, and it was eventually agreed that they would be placed in the Employment Service but that the counselors would give priority to the graduates of the Job Corps.
Entitlement and protection
One of the more intractable problems of delivering services rendered by bureaucratic agencies to clients is that of ensuring that clients receive the services that they are entitled to, and a related problem is that of protecting clients from unfair practices of the institutions which are designed to serve them. The entitlement question arises when individuals are denied services because of decisions that are based upon the judgment or discretion of the professionals who operate the services. For example, some potential clients are denied public assistance payments because they are judged to be “ineligible.” The definition of eligibility is typically subject to a variety of interpretations.
The problem of protection arises when bureaucracies either abuse their power or carry out their mission in such a fashion as to inadvertently create difficulties. For example, many school systems have developed ability groupings, or a “track system,” that sort individual pupils into four tracks—honors, college preparation, regular, and basic. The so called basic track is designed for those individuals who have subnormal intelligence and a demonstrated incapacity to perform intellectual tasks. A recent restudy of 1,273 youths assigned to the basic track in Washington, D.C., revealed that 886 youngsters were placed in the wrong track; that is, they were found to be capable of doing “regular” work (Hechinger 1965).
A great deal of interest has been shown in creating instruments for assuring entitlement and consumer protection. I have defined these as co-ordinative strategies because they attempt to coordinate the preferences and rights of clients with the performance of institutions. For example, in the United States there has been some discussion about the feasibility of employing an ombudsman, who would act as an impartial agent to receive complaints made by clients against the service bureaucracies. Neighborhood legal services sponsored by the U.S. antipoverty program have broadened the definition of legal services for the poor so as to include not only protection in criminal cases but also protection from the operations of service agencies. For example, in New York City the Mobilization for Youth agency has developed a vigorous program that provides legal counsel for public assistance clients who have been designated as ineligible because of residence requirements; all of the cases that have been brought to court with the aid of this program were finally judged to be eligible for assistance.
Coordinative planning requires a planning structure that can collect and organize the resources of various agencies to solve the many delivery problems. However, most planning structures have a common constraint, in that they cannot reduce the autonomy of community agencies, nor can they control the base budgets of agencies, although they can supplement these budgets as an incentive for cooperation. For example, the antipoverty program in the United States has created new community centers for comprehensive planning (community action agencies). These centers will function as funnels for federal funds that are now being made available directly to localities, as contrasted with the earlier pattern of grants-in-aid that were allocated through the states. However, the question of the appropriate structure for these new coordinative planning instruments remains highly controversial. Thus, important policy issues have emerged in connection with several problems, which can be briefly summarized as follows: how to create a viable structure that can overcome the jurisdictional problems which arise in forging a coalition of established but autonomous service institutions; how to promote radical democracy which respects the preferences of service consumers; and how to create rational problem solving based upon research and planning. Moreover, when these three elements are combined, they tend to conflict. Most planning structures struggle only with the effort to reconcile the clash between established power and rational knowledge, since the consumer of the service is seldom formally involved in planning at the policy level. In contrast, these new community action programs are confronted with all three problems, but especially with the conflict between the established institutions and the consumers of social services (Marris & Rein 1967).
[Directly related are the entriesSocial work; Wel fare economics; Welfare state. Other relevant material may be found inAging; Blindness; Community, article onCommunity development; Delinquency; Housing; Medical care; Mental health; Poverty; Unemployment insurance; and in the biographies ofBeveridge; Webb, sidney and beatrice.]
Abel-Smith, Brian 1958 Whose Welfare State? Pages 55–73 in Norman I. MacKenzie (editor), Conviction. London: MacGibbon & Kee.
Brager, George 1965 The Indigenous Worker: A New Approach to the Social Work Technician. Social Work 10, no. 2:33–40.
Buell, Bradley et al. 1952 Community Planning for Human Services. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.
Burns, Eveline M. 1954 The Financing of Social Welfare. Pages 131–158 in Cora Kasius (editor), New Directions in Social Work. New York: Harper.
Donnison, David V. 1962 The Development of Social Administration. London: Bell.
Donnison, David V. 1966 Social Work and Social Change British Journal of Psychiatric Social Work 8, no. 4:3–9.
Furman, Sylvan S. et al. 1965 Social Class Factors in the Flow of Children to Outpatient Psychiatric Facilities. American Journal of Public Health 55:385–392.
Great Britain, Scottish Education Department 1966 Social Work and the Community: Proposals for Reorganising Local Authority Services in Scotland. Papers by Command, Cmnd. 3065. London: H.M. Stationery Office.
Hechinger, F. M. 1965 Tracking—Useful If Not Overdone. New York Times Dec. 19, sec. Iv, p. 7, col. 1.
Jencks, Christopher 1966 Is the Public School Obsolete? Public Interest No. 2:18–27.
Lampkin, Lillian C. 1961 Helping the Multi-problem Family Through Coordination of Services. Paper delivered at the Eastern Regional Conference of the Child Welfare League. Unpublished manuscript.
Lampman, Robert J. 1966 How Much Does the American System of Transfers Benefit the Poor? Pages 125–157 in Leonard H. Goodman (editor), Economic Progress and Social Welfare. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.
Levine, Abraham S. 1966 Cost-Benefit Analysis and Social Welfare: An Exploration of Possible Applications. Welfare in Review 4, no. 2:1–11.
Levitan, Sar A. 1966 Washington Notes. Poverty and Human Resources Abstracts 1, no. 4:17–20.
Marris, Peter; and Rein, Martin 1967 Dilemmas of Social Reform: Poverty and Community Action in the United States. London: Routledge.
Merriam, Ida C. 1965 Social Welfare Expenditures: 1964–1965: Social Security Bulletin 28, no. 10:3–16.
Mushkin, Selma J. 1962 Health as an Investment.Journal of Political Economy 70 (Supplement): 129–157.
Rein, Martin; and Riessman, Frank 1966 A Strategy for Anti Poverty Community Action Programs. Social Work 11, no. 2:3–12.
Schorr, Alvin L. 1965a National Community and Housing Policy. Social Service Review 39:433–443.
Schorr, Alvin L. 1965b Social Security and Social Services in France. U.S. Social Security Administration, Division of Research and Statistics, Research Report No. 7. Washington: Government Printing Office.
Schultz, Theodore W. 1962 Reflections on Investment in Man. Journal of Political Economy 70 (Supplement): 1–8.
Schwartz, Morris S. et al. 1964 Social Approaches to Mental Patient Care. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.
Titmuss, Richard M. (1956) 1959 Essays on the Welfare State. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press. → See especially “The Social Division of Welfare: Some Reflections on the Search for Equity,” pages 34–55.
Titmuss, Richard M. 1965 The Role of Redistribution in Social Policy. Social Security Bulletin 28, no. 6:1420.
Titmuss, Richard M. 1966 Social Work and Social Service: A Challenge for Local Government. Journal of the Royal Society of Health 86:19–21, 32.
Titmuss, Richard M.; and Abel-Smith, Brian 1961 Social Policies and the Population Growth in Mauritius: Report to the Governor of Mauritius. London: Methuen.
United Nations, Economic and Social Council, Social Commission 1965 Methods of Determining Social Allocation: Report of the Secretary General…E/CN.5/387. New York: United Nations.
Vidich, Arthur 1963 Analysis of Philanthropic Institutions and Psychology. Unpublished manuscript.
Willson, F. M. G. 1961 Administrators in Action: British Case Studies. Vol. 1. London: Allen & Unwin. → See especially “The Administrative Consequences of Jim and Vera Fardell,” pages 279–345.
Wilson, James Q. 1963 Planning and Politics: Citizen Participation in Urban Renewal. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 29:242–249.
"Planning, Social." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 1968. Encyclopedia.com. (August 26, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3045000947.html
"Planning, Social." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 1968. Retrieved August 26, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3045000947.html