Journal Article


Mick Lennon



public interest phase rights journal planning critical willem salet views

On issues of plurality and practice in considering planning’s public interest (2019)

Abstract The ‘public interest’ has waxed and waned as a concept of concern in planning theory over the years. Even when not explicitly under discussion, it is often implicitly present beneath other monikers, such as ‘justice’, ‘rights’ or ‘capabilities’ (Basta, 2015, 2017; Fainstein, 2010; Lennon et al., 2019). Indeed, as the public interest is conventionally considered the raison d’être legitimising planning activity, it would be difficult for things to be otherwise. Against this backdrop, the recent appearance of numerous papers in this journal overtly seeking to reconsider what the public interest might entail suggests to me that we once gain find ourselves in a waxing phase on this central topic to our discipline (Maidment, 2016; Mattila, 2016; Moroni, 2019; Tait, 2016). It is into this discussion that my paper was inserted (Lennon, 2017). Soon afterwards Willem Salet published his enlightening treatise that merges institutionalism with pragmatism to demonstrate how ‘planning needs both the dialectic of the practical and the institutional’ to understand the good (Salet, 2018: 63). Having studied his argument, I was both flattered and apprehensive to be notified that he had produced a comment on my paper. Thankfully, Willem Salet does justice to my views through his attentive summary. Where critical comment is provided, this is undertaken in a constructive discussion that seeks clarification rather than contestation. Hence, for the most part it appears that we are whistling the same tune, albeit perhaps in a different key. Accordingly, rather than indignantly challenging ill-informed assertions I find myself furnishing clarifications that consolidate my perspective.
Collections Ireland -> University College Dublin -> College of Engineering & Architecture
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy Research Collection
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy

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Mick Lennon

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Mick Lennon
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 33