Publication 6261

Chettiparamb A. (2018) Meta-operations, autopoiesis and neo-systems thinking: What significance for spatial planners?. Planning Theory 17(4): 628–643. Fulltext at
This essay introduces the theory of legal autopoiesis to planning. It discusses the main tenets of neo-systems thinking and elaborates on select claims and concepts from legal autopoiesis for planners. The claims and concepts are then used to re-analyse a published case study describing the after-effects of the implementation of a Compulsory Purchase Order in the regeneration of the Docklands in Cardiff. The re-interpretation draws attention to the added insights brought into focus by the theory. The significance of neo-systems thinking for planning is then discussed. The article concludes that the new epistemological framings connects the universal to the particular with implications for current understandings of planning concepts such as public interest, consensus, situatedness, contingency and justice. Neo-systems thinking thus deconstructs ‘how to’ dilemmas for planners from a non-normative standpoint at a meta-operational level.

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