This paper takes a critical look at the Smart Growth movement and its reliance on traditional central planning to achieve its goals. Using statewide planning in Oregon, Florida, and Washington State as examples, the paper examines the planning focus of recent efforts to manage growth through land-use planning at the state level. It then applies the Austrian critique of economic planning to the contemporary Smart Growth movement in the United States as it is reflected in statewide planning laws. The calculation debate focused primarily on the technical question of whether bureaucratic planning could, in fact, achieve market outcomes. In the current debate over Smart Growth, planning combines political and bureaucratic decisionmaking. The political context in which planning decisions are made fundamentally alters the decision making process, shifting the emphasis to articulate knowledge as the foundation for policymaking. To be relevant in the current debate over planning, the calculation debate needs to be extended to include a political dimension to its critique of planning.
The Review of Austrian Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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