Title page for ETD etd-09082012-040210
|Type of Document
||An examination of the role orientation of planners in Taipei
||Master of Urban Affairs
||Architecture and Urban Studies
|Knox, Paul L.
|Bohland, James R.
|Browder, John O.
|Date of Defense
This research project explores the professional ideology of planners in a new industrialized
setting - Taipei,Taiwan. This study seeks to establish whether urban planners in
a newly industrializing country (NIC) exhibit consistent sets of values, attitudes and role orientations
that parallel those of Western planners. In addition, in an authoritarian party-state
such as Taiwan, planning is a top-down process. Development goals are set at the top of the
political bureaucracy; therefore, plans are formulated to meet predesigned objectives, especially
in terms of economic development. Since economic growth is seen by some as a legitimation
device for the existing authoritarian regime in Taiwan, the role of planning vis a vis
the partnership between the state and capitalists is worth examining. The data used in this
study are drawn from questionnaire surveys of public-sector urban planners working in Taipei
city. The survey was conducted between May and August 1988. The sample size of 128
planners was determined based on estimates provided by each departmental head within
Taipei Municipal Government. An overall response rate of 69%, and a valid response rate
of 66% was achieved.
A prominent pattern that emerged in examining the results of the survey is the
strong rational and apolitical orientation of Taipei’s planners. The pervasiveness of rational
and apolitical leanings among planners is partly a reflection of an authoritarian state the
protects its own legitimacy while promoting economic development. The prevalence of
apolitical attitudes among planners in top-down decision making environments exacerbates
difficulties in the implementation of plans and programs. Hence, planners working with implementation
units, and carrying out plans formulated by planning units are more cognizant
of the importance of public participation. In addition, they are more skeptical about planning
activities in Taipei city than their counterparts working in planning units. In conclusion, it is
suggested that although most planners believe in the apolitical and rational nature of planning,
planners with formal planning educations tend to recognize the inherently political nature
of planning to a greater extent than those without planning educations. Since planning
education is obviously one of the determinants in shaping the role and value orientations of
planners, especially with respect to their recognition of political influences, planning curricula
that better focus on those aspects may be emphasized.
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