Goal Formulation for Socio-Technical Systems

by G. Scott Rutherford, (A.M.ASCE), Grad. Student; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL,
Joseph L. Schofer, (A.M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL,
Martin Wachs, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA,
Margaret Skutsch, Barton Aschman Assocs., Chicago, IL,

Serial Information: Journal of the Urban Planning and Development Division, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 2, Pg. 157-169

Document Type: Journal Paper


Clear and explicit goals and objectives are recognized as important ingredients of the urban planning process. Yet most goal sets utilized in planning are vague and general due to the absence of a reliable technique for the formulation. Desirable properties of such a technique are proposed, and a modified version of the Delphi process, a method of group decision making, is offered as a goal formulation technique that has these properties. An experiment is described in which this approach is utilized to establish goals, objective, and numerical priorities for the goals, for a nonprofit public service institution. The results of this experiment suggest the applicability of the proposed process to the formulation of urban planning goals.

Subject Headings: Social factors | Urban development | Decision making | Numerical methods | Public services

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