Community Decision Structure and Urban Planning Process

by Thomas J. Hillegass, (A.M.ASCE), Highway Engineer; Bureau of Public Roads, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Dept. of Transportation, Washington D.C.,
Charles C. Schimpeler, (M.ASCE), Planning Engineer; Louisville and Jefferson County Air Board, Louisville, KY,
William L. Grecco, (F.ASCE), Professor; School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, Lafayette, IN,

Serial Information: Journal of the Urban Planning and Development Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 1, Pg. 17-22

Document Type: Journal Paper


Professionals must be able to identify the power structure in a given community. If influential people are involved in the initial formulation of goals and objectives reflecting the broadly based value system of the community, these same people will make the decisions, public and private, essential to implementing the adopted comprehensive urban plan. Community influence patterns are diverse and vary, in point in time, area of community interest as to whether influence is overt and direct, or indirect. Political scientists propose several means of identifying influential persons. These are position potential, issue examination, reputational technique, and social participation. A criterion for the selection of a committee to formulate community goals and objectives in a manner consistent with a broadly based community value system considers that the committee should consist of direct and indirect influentials, including public officials and representatives of commerce and industry, who are directly influential in controlling development decisions; and those indirect influentials who by reason of their personal stature and demonstrated interest are effective in shaping policies on important community issues.

Subject Headings: Professional societies | Public private partnership | Private sector | Urban development | Political factors | Social factors | Public policy | Public buildings

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