Contours of an Environmental Design and Planning Ethic


If the search for values lies at the kernel of the philosophical ethical inquiry, then Lynch’s monumental work, A Theory of Good City Form must be regarded as shaping the contours of an environmental design and planning ethic. The explicit connection between human values and settlement form in Lynch’s theory reaches far in the realm of environmental design and planning, with ethical, legal, and procedural implications. Furthermore, the universal (performance) dimensions of the theory offer an accountability of the contingency of the particular (historical) conditions specific to place and society. A close scrutiny of the key theoretical dimensions suggests the possibility of bridging the procedure vs. substance, object vs. subject and means vs. ends chasms. Thus, certain ethical, legal, and procedural dilemmas encountered in competing theoretical perspectives are reconciled. © 1988, Planning Outlook, All rights reserved. © 1990, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Planning Outlook