In this book every author tells a compelling story about how planning ideas evolved, developed, circulated and moved through time and space. All of them unravel their own intellectual journey in the context of events, political and economic forces and prevailing ideas and practices of their times as well as their own personal lives. The context, which the authors provide in their essays, allow us to deepen our understanding of the powerful ideas and contributions that these individuals have made, most of which still shape the field of planning and influence other fields. The reader gains insights and background information about the work of these key thinkers of planning that do not come from simply reading an article or book.
While each author tells the story in his or her particular way and voice, all of them write in the first person singular and look back from today’s point of view when explaining what they have learned and discovered over the course of their intellectual journeys. In their essay, every author portrays the flow of their ideas over time, showing how they evolved and developed as times and contexts changed, noting especially where they had “ah ha!” moments. They unpack why they were interested in what and how they came to write and do what they did. They speak about the challenges faced and how they dealt with them. They shed light on influences that have shaped their ideas, including personal life circumstances, places, political frameworks and value systems, networks, cultural backgrounds, institutions, professional experiences, linking these to the content of their ideas. Each of these essays reads as a fascinating personal story, often with dramas, setbacks and successes.