Dr. Mark Stevens and Dr. Jordi Honey-Rosés have published an article in the Journal of Planning Education and Research that explores the possibility of using experimental research methodologies in the planning field.
A recent review by Jacques Du Toit, Nelius Boshoff, and Niclesse Mariette finds that planners rarely use experimental research designs. This commentary examines why experimentation is rare in planning and discusses the legitimate challenges involved with conducting experiments in a planning context. In doing so, we aim to foster a discussion on the feasibility of conducting experimental research in our field. While not all planning policies are amenable to experimentation, we see untapped potential in many areas of planning, especially on questions of public engagement. Collectively we hope that planners can begin to identify more instances in which experimental research is possible.