Localizing a Global Discipline Designing New Planning Programs in Sri Lanka

TitleLocalizing a Global Discipline Designing New Planning Programs in Sri Lanka
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
Authorsvan Horen, B, Leaf, M, Pinnawala, S
JournalJournal of Planning Education and Research

In order to be relevant and useful in a fragmented developing country context, community and regional planning needs to shift away from the use of rigid tools to more flexible, adaptive approaches. An international review of planning curricula indicated a widespread consensus with respect to key competencies required of planners. This understanding was used in the development of new teaching programs at three Sri Lankan universities. Complementing the technical core knowledge areas, strong emphases on problem structuring, critical and strategic thinking, and the understanding of the political and institutional contexts appear to be crucial to making the agenda of “planning for sustainable development” more than a fashionable cliché. In order for these core areas to have relevance in a developing country context, however, planning curricula need to achieve a balance between local priorities and a “global” perspective.