Planning practice is changing. Previous years of economic growth contributed to an increase in federal, state, and local planning agencies, in addition to regional and special purpose bodies with territorial or functional responsibilities. In times of growth, planning was viewed by many as a type of urban engineering and applied social science characterized by objective fact-finding and the so-called rational model. Leading texts emphasized technical research methods and "hard data" analysis, while government guidelines described scientific application of facts (Krueckeberg and Silvers, 1974; Spiegel and Hyman, 1978). Planners were akin to technical experts who analyzed data for other people who then considered alternatives and made decisions. Implementation was largely a matter of choice among technical alternatives. The plan, as a statement of reasoned deliberation and general public interest, was considered capable of generating support throughout the community. If some planners criticized contradictions between the rational model and actual practice, or used planning as a vehicle for power redistribution and social change, they were by no means typical in the field (Beyle and Lathrop, 1970; Burchell and Sernlieb, 1978; Boyer, 1983; Davidoff, 1965).

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