Waber, Beat
June 1995
Swiss Journal of Sociology;1995, Vol. 21 Issue 2, p437
Academic Journal
Urban sociology has suffered until now either from a lack of theoretical basis or from a certain detachment from practical concerns. To overcome these problems a synthesis of various currents of main-stream sociology is proposed here, together with the inclusion of the concept of "model" as used in organizational sociology. Applied to urban planning in seven Swiss cities during the post-war period, this approach has increased our knowledge on the emergence and diffusion of new models, but it has also left some research problems unsolved. Further research has shown that a model, in urban matters, reflects a certain "state of the planning" which often relates to a certain "state of the technique", with one reservation however: in contradiction to what happens in the field of technique, the elements of stability and permanence are not dominant in urban planning; the innovative aspect is crucial since the idea of planning is carried by a professional elite of an intellectual avant-garde.


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