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Dealing with uncertainty: an evaluation of three procedural theories Braul, Waldemar 1984

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DEALING WITH UNCERTAINTY: AN EVALUATION OF THREE PROCEDURAL THEORIES by WALDEMAR BRAUL B. A. (Hon), Brock University, 1975 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (School of Community and Regional Planning) We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA December 1984 (c) Waldemar Braul, 1984 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. I t i s understood that copying or publication of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of (_otM,iM,v>t/> The University of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date f ^ . 8A<*Sr ABSTRACT Planning procedural theories articulate how planning agencies should deal with uncertainty. This thesis evaluates the appropriateness of three such theories—Rational Comprehensive (RC), Disjointed Incrementalism (DI), and Social Learning (SL)— in a context of resource region uncertainty. The thesis f i r s t proposes guidelines from Northeast British Columbia (NEBC) planning experience; the guidelines are informed by the successes, failures,, and issues evident from agency responses to uncertainty and together propose that agencies should be centrally concerned with understanding the conditions—or the generic nature—of uncertainty. The thesis then uses these guidelines as standards by which- the three planning theories are evaluated. The evaluation reveals that the three theories generally ignore factors governing how agencies formulate and apply knowledge in the face of uncertainty. Future theory-building should elaborate how planning procedures can adduce the incisive understanding of uncertainty needed for policy design. 1. Export Market Uncertainty.. The f i r s t condition identified i n NEBC i s that export market uncertainty varies by depth; that i s , some events" form and frequency are more readily predictable than others. Classifying depths of uncertainty enables agencies to decide whether so-called risk strategies— which presume knowledge of probabilities—should be employed. If used' in NEBC, RC and DI styles would, befitting their namesakes, produce d i s t i n c t d e scriptions of export market un c e r t a i n t i e s ; both, however, f a i l to provide the a n a l y t i c a l knowledge needed fo r p o l i c y design. More meaningful information r e s u l t s from SL/s focus on understanding the p r e d i c t a b i l i t y of events; t h i s strength, however, i s l i m i t e d as SL does not explain how i t s decentralized planning structures would integrate the diverse views needed to properly c l a s s i f y the depths of export market u n c e r t a i n t i e s . A second condition i s that uncertain events vary by l o c a t i o n . In NEBC, some unpredictable export market forces could be s t a b i l i z e d by planning p o l i c i e s whereas others were t r u l y "external \. Agencies should i d e n t i f y those export market forces which could be treated by p o l i c y and then estimate the costs and benef i t s of such a s s e r t i v e policy.. This task can minimize c o s t l y and unpredictable boom-bust cycles.: None of the three theories suggest the need f o r such an assessment, apparantly assuming that an agency has l i t t l e d i s c r e t i o n or l i t t l e to gain i n dealing with export market fo r c e s . 2. Natural Systems Uncertainty. Natural systems u n c e r t a i n t i e s should also be c l a s s i f i e d by depth. As f o r export market uncertainty, RC and DI do not envision such a process; SL, i n contrast, recognizes the need to c l a s s i f y depths, but i t i s unclear how a wide-based review required i n NEBC could be achieved by a SL "decentralized" planning hierarchy. N o n - s c i e n t i f i c f a c t o r s determine how s c i e n t i s t s s e l e c t and apply s c i e n t i f i c theories i n the r e s o l u t i o n of natural systems uncertainty. That economic, s o c i a l , and c u l t u r a l f a c t o r s can d i s t o r t p r e d i c t a b i l i t y i s a condit i o n recognized i n the philosophy of science, but unfortunately i t a t t r a c t s l i t t l e a t tention i n the three subject theories. 3 . Uncertainty over Planning Agency Intentions. Many agencies p a r t i c i p a t e i n NEBC regional planning, r a i s i n g the spectre of c o s t l y p o l i c y contradictions and du p l i c a t i o n s . Agencies, however, face f i n a n c i a l and i n t e l l i g e n c e l i m i t a t i o n s , and therefore need to e x p l i c i t l y consider the need f o r and costs and be n e f i t s of consultation. A l l three theories h a i l the need to consult but naively assume, that analysts w i l l somehow define an appropriate l e v e l of consultation. 4. Public Value Uncertainty. In NEBC, s o c i a l and economic f a c t o r s d i c t a t e that agencies w i l l obtain a necessa r i l y  l i m i t e d view of public values. Planning agencies need to c a r e f u l l y assess the p o t e n t i a l l y high costs and bene f i t s of pub l i c p a r t i c p a t i o n (or non- p a r t i c i p a t i o n ) . A l l theories stress the need to survey p u b l i c values, : but SL vs mutual learning would best c l a r i f y p o l i c y a l t e r n a t i v e s attuned to l o c a l values. Mutual learning, however,: i s not a panacea, as i t overlooks p o l i t i c a l reluctance to use i t and ignores how non-participating s o c i e t a l groups should be engaged i n the process. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. INTRODUCTION . 1.1 The Problem...1 1.2 Organization of Research Objectives and Research Methods 5 2. DESCRIPTION OF THE FOUR PROMINENT UNCERTAINTIES 2.1 Uncertainty Over Export Markets 7 2.2 Uncertainty Over Natural Systems...13 2.3 Uncertainty Over Planning Agency Intentions...16 2.4 Uncertainty Over Public Values 19 3. CONDITIONS OF UNCERTAINTY:' ANALYSIS AND GUIDELINES-3.1 Introduction... 22 3.2 Conditions of Export Market Uncertainty...23 3.2.1 Depth of Uncertainty 23 •3.2.2 Locations of Uncertainty 29 3.3 Conditions of Natural Systems Uncertainty...32 3.3.1 Depth of Uncertainty 32 3.3.2 The Non-Scientific Basis of Theory 34 . 3.4 Conditions of Uncertainty Over Planning Agency Intentions... 39 3.4.1 Limits of the Col l a b o r a t i v e Environment 39 3.4.2 A Planning Agency's Own Intentions... 40 3.5 Conditions of Public Value Uncertainty 42 3.5.1 The P a r t i a l View...42 3.6 Synthesis... 45 4. THE THREE THEORIES: PRINCIPLES OF DEALING WITH UNCERTAINTY 4.1 Planning Procedural Theory: Main C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . . . 49 4.2 The Rational Comprehensive Theory 52 4.2.1 The Goals Principles...52 4.2.2 RC Analysis Principles...54 4.2.3 RC Action P r i n c i p l e s . . . 56 4.2.4 RC Feedback Principles...57 4.3 D i s j o i n t e d Incrementalism...58 4.3.1 DI Goals Principles...58 4.3.2 DI Analysis P r i n c i p l e s . . 6 0 . 4.3.3 DI Action P r i n c i p l e s . ...61 4.3.4 DI Feedback Principles...62 4.4 S o c i a l Learning Theory 62 4.4.1 SL Goals Principles...62 4.4.2 SL Analysis P r i n c i p l e s 63 4.4.3 SL Action P r i n c i p l e s . . . 65 4.4.4 SL Feedback P r i n c i p l e s 67 4.5 Synthesis 68 /continued... v 5. EVALUATION OF THE THREE PLANNING THEORIES 5.1 Dealing with Export Markets 71 5.1.1 Guideline f o r Determining Depths of Export Market Uncertainty...71 5.1.2 Guideline f o r Determining Locations of Export Uncertainty 75 5.2 Uncertainty About Natural Systems 77 5.2.1 Guideline f o r Determining Depths of Natural System Uncertainty. 77 5.2.2 Guideline f o r Dealing with the Non-Scientific Basis of Theory...78 5.3 Uncertainty, over Planning Agency Intentions... 80 5.3.1 Guideline f o r Dealing with Other Agencies" Unknown Intentions 80 5.3.2 Guideline -for Dealing with An Agency"s Own Unknown Intentions 82 5.4 Uncertainty Over Public Values 83 5.4.1 Guideline f o r Dealing with A P a r t i a l View of Public Values... 8 3 6. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 6.1 Strengths and Weaknesses of•the Three Theories 87 6.2 Challenges f o r Future Academic Research. .-.93 6.3 Implications f o r Practice...96 REFERENCES 7. BIBLIOGRAPHY 7.1 Regional Planning i n Northeast B r i t i s h Columbia 104 7.2 Conditions of Uncertainty...105 7.3 Planning Theory 106 v i I. INTRODUCTION 1.1 The Problem A preoccupation of many northern regional planning agencies is dealing with uncertainty. For instance, the unpredictable OPEC and Iranian o i l shocks of the mid-1970vs stimulated rapid northern exploration, and challenged many planning agencies to provide education, health, and recreation services for large influxes of new residents bringing new sets of values and expectations. The equally unpredictable fa l l of world o i l prices in the early 1980"s created a "bustv.in resource regions and challenged planning agencies to mitigate the loss of many jobs, provide mental health services required in times of economic stress, and finance local facil it ies with a diminishing property tax base. A task of dealing with uncertainty—the subject of this paper—is designing a planning procedure which achieves some social goal, however defined. When dealing with uncertainty, a planning agency might consider selecting a procedure prescribed in planning theory. After a l l , planning theory suggests various approaches and stresses the importance of designing procedures suited to particular conditions (Hudson 1979). A close inspection of planning theory, however, may prove disconcerting for a planning agency. Many theories are stated in abstract terms which are difficult to conceptualize in a real world setting; indeed, planning theorists themselves recognize the 1 f a i l u r e of planning i theory to provide p r a c t i c a l procedural guidelines f o r dealing with uncertainty. (Kruekeberg 1969, p. 319). Moreover, even i f an ambitious planning agency was to venture i n t o planning theory with the hope of seeking p r a c t i c a l guidance, i t would soon discover several competing paradigms. (Galloway and Mahayni 1977) The d i f f i c u l t i e s of applying planning procedural theory r a i s e important questions f o r both the theory and p r a c t i c e of planning: Is procedural theory of any assistance to a planning agency faced with uncertainty i n northern resource-based regions? Which theories are better than others i n s p e c i f i c conditions of uncertainty? What research i s needed to improve the p r a c t i c a l i t y of the theories? Indeed, i s i t r e a l i s t i c f o r a planning agency to r e f e r d i r e c t l y to theory as a cookbook f o r designing i t s planning procedure? These questions are concerns of t h i s t h e s i s . The thesis evaluates three abstract, and i n many ways, c o n f l i c t i n g procedural theories i n a s p e c i f i c context of resource region uncertainty. The three procedural theories are the Rational Comprehensive (RC), the D i s j o i n t e d Incrementalist (DI), and the S o c i a l Learning (SL) theories. The RC approach—the most practiced t o d a y — i s to i d e n t i f y a comprehensive hierarchy of public goals, use s c i e n t i f i c method to predict a l l short and long term impacts of uncertain events, a l l o c a t e resources r a t i o n a l l y i n programs designed to meet goals, and measure program e f f e c t s . 2 In contrast, the DI school suggests that public goals are ambiguous at best and that planning agencies should avoid using supposedly comprehensive and r a t i o n a l programs; instead, agencies should apply short-term programs which adapt, ad hoc, to new events as they occur. The SL s t y l e shares Dl"s cynicism about a planning agency's a b i l i t y to act r a t i o n a l l y and comprehensively but i t s uniqueness l i e s i n planner-client "mutual learning" and the emphasis on decentralized planning structures. The three theories are tested i n the regional development s e t t i n g of Northeastern B r i t i s h Columbia (NEBC) during the l a s t 10-20 years. For the purposes of t h i s t h e s i s , the NEBC s e t t i n g comprises four d i s t i n c t u n c e r t a i n t i e s . Each of the four u n c e r t a i n t i e s could create s i g n i f i c a n t s o c i a l , economic, and environmental costs. The f i r s t uncertainty concerns i n t e r n a t i o n a l  markets f o r the region's natural resource products; sudden changes i n world demand f o r l o c a l resources could, judging from the NEBC experience, t r i g g e r dramatic and c o s t l y boom-bust economic trends. The NEBC experience also suggests that planning agencies are often uncertain as to how l o c a l natural systems such as ecosystems and watersheds operate. A planning agency may also be uncertain of the intentions of many other planning agencies operating i n the complex organizational frameworks t y p i c a l of regional planning. Indeed i t might not even know i t s own future i n t e n t i o n s . The fourth uncertainty concerns the planning agency's public values, the values held by diverse and, judging 3 from NEBC, r a p i d l y changing s o c i e t a l sectors. Planning agency responses to these four u n c e r t a i n t i e s served as the basis f o r developing a s e r i e s of normative guidelines of how agencies should deal with uncertainty. P a r t i c u l a r attention was paid to the Peace Riv e r - L i a r d Regional D i s t r i c t , the C i t y of Fort St. John, the B r i t i s h Columbia A g r i c u l t u r a l land Commission, and p r o v i n c i a l resource m i n i s t r i e s . The research d i d not evaluate the response of any one agency or postulate that a p a r t i c u l a r agency's response to uncertainty was the appropriate one. When analyzed, the NEBC planning experience reveals that a planning procedure should be c e n t r a l l y concerned with understanding the inherent nature or conditions of uncertainty. A planning procedure which promotes obtaining knowledge of the conditions of uncertainty w i l l enable that planning agency to formulate constructive s t r a t e g i e s of dealing with uncertainty. As w i l l be seen, the task of understanding uncertainty i s not a con t r a d i c t i o n of terms; rather, "uncertainty" can be thought of as a p a r t i c u l a r . type of knowledge having i d e n t i f i a b l e conditions. The guidelines derived from the NEBC context are then used to evaluate the three planning theories (RC, DI, and SL). While drawing from the NEBC regional planning experience, the analysis attempts to develop a general set of conclusions, f o r both theory-building and p r a c t i c e . 4 1.2 Organization of Research Objectives and Research Methods The thesis uses two streams of analysis which ultimately merge. One stream, found in Chapters 2-3, is concerned primarily with conditions of uncertainty. Chapter 2 provides an empirical description of the four NEBC uncertainties. Information was collected primarily from newspaper accounts and government reports. Interviews with several key planning agency decisionmakers were.also conducted. Chapter 2"s description is developed in Chapter 3 with the assistance of a number of abstract concepts of uncertainty. The concepts were selected in a literature survey of several disciplines whose subject matters, are also concerns of regional planning (eg. economics, ecology, organization theory). When applied, the abstract concepts reveal unique generic conditions for each of the four NEBC uncertainties. Chapter 3"s analysis of conditions of uncertainty serves as a basis from which to argue how a planning agency should orient itself when dealing with uncertainty. The result of Chapter 3 is a series of normative procedural guidelines. The second stream of analysis (Ch. 4) deals with planning theory. Its objective is to identify and compare the RC, DI, and SL normative principles for dealing with uncertainty. The final step of the thesis—Chapter 5—merges the two 5 streams by evaluating the three theories" principles'of dealing with uncertainty in light of the "NEBC" guidelines developed in the f irst stream. This evaluation allows conclusions for further theory building and pr actice (found in Chapter 6 ) . 6 2. DESCRIPTION OF THE FOUR PROMINENT UNCERTAINTIES 2.1 Uncertainty Over Export Markets NEBC's natural resources are l a r g e l y destined f o r i n t e r n a t i o n a l markets. Most of these markets have f l u c t u a t e d dramatically during the l a s t ten years, often defying forecasters. The o i l and gas market has perhaps been the most uncertain. The unexpected OPEC embargo i n 1973 dramatically increased world o i l prices i n Canada. The f e d e r a l government's response to OPEC was a p o l i c y of energy s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y which further encouraged the development of the domestic petroleum industry, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n Alberta and NEBC. The r e s u l t i n NEBC was a r a p i d increase of o i l and gas exploration. In the several years following the 1973 OPEC embargo, s t i f f o i l p r i c e hikes created large new natural gas markets i n the USA and the NEBC gas sector became a major natural gas exporter. (Peace L i a r d Region Economic Development Commission 1980, Pt. 8) The NEBC petroleum industry was stimulated by another unexpected event i n 1978—the Iranian embargo. This embargo doubled already r a p i d l y increasing world o i l p r i c e s . The NEBC natural gas industry i n 1978 experienced unprecedented growth, owing l a r g e l y to r a p i d l y expanding USA markets. The l a t e 1970"s boom brought about a 10-fold increase i n d r i l l i n g and exploration and was p r i m a r i l y responsible f o r a 55 per cent increase i n the Fort St. John area population i n 1976-79. (Ch r i s t i n e Lattey and 7 Associates Ltd. 1980, p. 5) The boom turned to bust i n 1980. One l a r g e l y unexpected event was the 1980 National Energy Program. Designed to increase f e d e r a l revenues, i t s " e f f e c t was to reduce the producer share below that found i n other producing countries. At the same time, a world recession set i n , dramatically d e f l a t i n g o i l and gas demand and p r i c e s . The fe d e r a l government's i n s i s t e n c e on lower producer shares and high border p r i c e s i n a new era of low USA demand and increased USA gas production r e s u l t e d i n a v i r t u a l c o l l a p s e of the NEBC gas sector. One o i l industry executive described the bust as follows: Our trade volumes are down 50-60% and so i s our employment. Many companies have moved out of the province. Unemployment i s at 25% which does not r e f l e c t the 2,000 to 3,000 who moved out. Forty i d e n t i f i e d o i l f i e l d s e r v i c e companies are no longer i n business i n Fort St. John, there i s a 25% vacancy i n prime commercial l o c a t i o n s , 40% or l e s s occupancy i n hotels and motels with one new 100 room motel boarded up and a 125 room hotel i n rec e i v e r s h i p . Apartment vacancies are 25%. Hundreds of pieces of heavy equipment are unable to f i n d work...we are now experiencing several bankruptcies a week i n t h i s small community. (Northern News Agencies, Feb. 15, 1982, p.2) The BC Minis t r y of Energy, Mines, and Petroleum Resources contemplates several p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r the NEBC petroleum sectors. One scenario i s that there may be major increases i n NEBC natural gas exploration and production i f a L i q u i f i e d Natural Gas, an ammonia/urea f a c i l i t y , and several p i p e l i n e extension p r o j e c t s — a l l proposed to cater to export markets—are developed. (1984, pp. 10-4—10-9) Aside from these projects, there w i l l l i k e l y be modest growth i n the l o c a l petroleum 8 industry i f projections of slow world .and Canadian demand mat e r i a l i z e . This scenario of slow gradual growth would see a minimal population increase i n NEBC l a r g e l y because industry i n f r a s t r u c t u r e — e v e n i n the labor-intensive exploration s e c t o r — already e x i s t s to a large extent. I t i s u n l i k e l y , however, that NEBC o i l and gas exploration l e v e l s w i l l change gradually. The v u l n e r a b i l i t y of the o i l and gas industry to g e o p o l i t i c a l events w i l l l i k e l y continue. The current Persian Gulf c o n f l i c t i s such an event: should h o s t i l i t i e s reduce current world reserves, NEBC's petroleum rent values could increase,, causing producers to again take up increased exploration and production. Or, current rumours on the breakup of OPEC could send petroleum prices even lower and dissuade the fe d e r a l government from encouraging domestic production "at a l l costs". The f o r e s t r y industry—another mainstay of the NEBC economy—has also experienced a r a p i d growth and dec l i n e i n the l a s t ten years. I t s growth i n the l a t e 1970"s depended p r i m a r i l y on r e s i d e n t i a l construction i n the.USA, as d i d i t s d e c l i n e i n the ear l y 1980s. . Today's recessionary conditions have r e s u l t e d i n d r a s t i c reductions i n production and employment. The outlook f o r NEBC f o r e s t r y i s also uncertain. I f no new export markets emerge, the lumber and pulp and paper sectors w i l l l i k e l y continue i t s recession, even threatening the economic s u r v i v a l of some of the smaller towns such as Chetwynd and Fort 9 Nelson. Two glimmers of optimism exist for NEBC forestry. One is the birth of a hardwood industry which might be more cost-competitive than the softwood industry in the long run. A second possibility is a pulp mill which would create 100-200 jobs and stimulate some forestry activity. These two proposals, like the more conventional forestry sector, face seriously depressed markets, and are currently not feasible. A new basis for the NEBC economy is the Northeast Coal Project. Two large coal mines, a 100 km r a i l link, highways and a new town, Tumbler Ridge, have been constructed over the last two years as a result of contracts signed with Japaneses buyers three years ago. This new project could be the f irst stage in a possibly much larger development extending 200 km south along the Rocky Mountains Foothills. As with many other NEBC resource sectors, however, there has been a dramatic downturn in coal demand since 1981, and projections have been revised downward to show minimal or no growth over the next decade. Because coal prices have dropped significantly in recent years, Japanese buyers have been urging NEBC mines to re-open current contracts with a view to lowering prices. Whether BC mines will make concessions under existing contracts and.whether Japanese buyers will renew options to buy remain in doubt. In any case, the recently completed Northeast Coal Project is clouded by the spectre that coal production might be reduced and threaten the economic base of the new town. 10 BC Hydro E l e c t r i c and Power Authority has developed two major hydro projects i n NEBC, Shrum-Williston and Peace River S i t e One. Both projects serve BC"s domestic needs. The projects per se were not unexpected, coming a f t e r extensive planning and a f i r m p o l i t i c a l commitment to meet p r o v i n c i a l e l e c t r i c needs with hydro power. However, the large work forc e h i r e d f o r short periods of time created unexpected impacts i n the region i n the 1960s and 1970s. Proposals f o r other p r o j e c t s — i n c l u d i n g S i t e C and the L i a r d i n NEBC—were a c t i v e l y considered by BC Hydro but have recently been put "on hold" because of lower-than-expected demand. If the proposals were to be revived, ..and approved, uncertainty over l o c a l construction e f f e c t s would again be f e l t . S i t e C, f o r instance, would bring several .thousand workers and f a m i l i e s i n and out of the Fort St. John area within a few years. (Christine Lattey and Associates Ltd. 1980, p. 32) The d i f f i c u l t i e s of f o r e c a s t i n g the c y c l i c a l e f f e c t of dam projects were r e f l e c t e d at the B r i t i s h Columbia U t i l i t i e s Commission S i t e C hearing where the p o s s i b l e e f f e c t s of dam construction were widely disputed. ( B r i t i s h Columbia U t i l i t i e s Commission 1983) Exporting f i r m e l e c t r i c i t y to the USA may be a new venture fo r BC Hydro. If the National Energy Board and the B r i t i s h Columbia Government were to allow the export of f i r m e l e c t r i c i t y (not j u s t i n t e r u p t i b l e e l e c t r i c i t y as i s now the case), then S i t e C would l i k e l y serve as a major supply source. 11 An important f a c t o r commmon to a l l sectors i s that i n t e r e s t r a t e s — l a r g e l y responding to USA economic c o n d i t i o n s — d i r e c t l y a f f e c t the economic v i a b i l i t y of resource projects. For instance, high i n t e r e s t rates f e l t by USA housing consumers mostly i n the form of expensive mortgages have d r a s t i c a l l y cut demand f o r BC lumber. Interest rates also were a major f a c t o r a f f e c t i n g the F o o t h i l l Alaska Highway Gas P i p e l i n e Project. F i n a n c i a l l y f e a s i b l e i n 1977, the Project became l e s s so as higher-than-expected i n t e r e s t rates ( e s p e c i a l l y i n 1981) caused the cost of the project costs to r i s e exponentially. Projecting i n t e r e s t rates, however, i s a d i f f i c u l t matter. Current USA trends of low i n f l a t i o n and reduced durable goods orders should, according to past experience and conventional economic wisdom, i n d i c a t e a slowing of the economy, but paradoxically, there has also been a r a p i d increase of r e a l i n t e r e s t rates, normally a sign of a growing investment and economic growth. These export market un c e r t a i n t i e s often make population forecasts a f u t i l e , exercise. L e f t with myriad and widely-ranging forecasts, a planning agency faces the prospect of under- or over-investing i n public services and f a c i l i t i e s . The heaviest s o c i a l costs seem to be f e l t i n the l o c a l housing market and the p r o v i s i o n of community se r v i c e s . The housing industry, i t seems, i s unable to supply affordable housing qu i c k l y i n boom times, perhaps r e f l e c t i n g a reluctance by the industry to get caught by I 12 the i n e v i t a b l e "bust". In the 1976-81 boom, Fort St. John"s housing and land prices rose dramatically, but only to f a l l i n the 1981-82 bust. (For a d e s c r i p t i o n of the changes i n the Fort St. John market, see weekly accounts contained i n Northern News Agencies 1980-82.) Standards i n community services such as education, s o c i a l , and health programs i n NEBC during the 1976-80 boom period lagged behind those found i n southern urban regions. (C h r i s t i n e Lattey and Associates Ltd. 1980) When compared with Vancouver and other southern centres, severe d e f i c i e n c i e s were found i n medical, dental, mental health, and c h i l d care f a c i l i t i e s and ser v i c e s . There may be many f a c t o r s explaining t h i s l a g , but the shortages can be a t t r i b u t e d at l e a s t p a r t i a l l y to the i n a b i l i t i e s of s e r v i c e agencies to forecast an o i l exploration boom i n 1976-80. 2.2 Uncertainty Over Natural Systems Planning agencies i n NEBC were frequently uncertain as to how l o c a l natural systems operate. The C h a r l i e Lake Watershed and the Hasler F l a t s gas plant issues were perhaps been the most c o n t r o v e r s i a l during the l a s t decade. C h a r l i e Lake serves as a drink i n g water supply f o r the C i t y of Fort St. John. The watershed also serves as a popular outdoor r e c r e a t i o n s i t e , i s 13 used f o r a g r i c u l t u r a l purposes, and i s the s i t e of o i l and gas exploration. The c l o s e proximity to Fort St. John (10 km) and a t t r a c t i v e scenery make i t a t t r a c t i v e as a place f o r r e s i d e n t i a l development, and over the l a s t ten years there has been considerable p u b l i c pressure on the Regional D i s t r i c t to rezone parts of the watershed to allow.further r e s i d e n t i a l development. The Lake i s c u r r e n t l y i n a eutrophied state although adequate as Fort St.John's water supply. The c e n t r a l concern i s whether more intensive u s e — e s p e c i a l l y r e s i d e n t i a l development— w i l l cause eutrophication of the lake, rendering i t incapable of serving as a c i t y water source. Other concerns involve trading o f f preservation of moderately good a g r i c u l t u r a l - s o i l s and the provision of housing supply, (pers. comm. A. Hadland) Uncertainty due to the e f f e c t s of further development i s found i n a major study conducted by the Peace R i v e r - L i a r d Regional D i s t r i c t i n c o l l a b o r a t i o n with several p r o v i n c i a l m i n i s t r i e s . (Peace Riv e r - L i a r d Regional D i s t r i c t 1980) The study showed c o n f l i c t i n g s c i e n t i f i c views about the current state of water q u a l i t y and possible e f f e c t s of r e s i d e n t i a l development on water q u a l i t y . The Regional D i s t r i c t Board, l e f t with ambivalent s c i e n t i f i c conclusions, gave l i m i t e d approval to proceed with rezoning parts of the watershed to allow l i m i t e d r e s i d e n t i a l development. Decisionmakers faced with the Hasler F l a t s environmental issue also d e a l t with s c i e n t i f i c uncertainty and high p o t e n t i a l 14 environmental costs. In 1977, Westcoast Transmission's a p p l i c a t i o n before the Regional D i s t r i c t and the BC A g r i c u l t u r a l Land Commission i n 1977 to construct a gas processing plant i n the Pine Valley at Hasler F l a t s r a i s e d the spectre that s u l f u r dioxide emissions would a c i d i f y downwind a g r i c u l t u r a l s o i l and water and cause selenium d e f i c i e n c y disease i n c a t t l e . The ap p l i c a t i o n required the approval of three agencies: the Regional D i s t r i c t , the A g r i c u l t u r a l Land Commission, and the P o l l u t i o n Control Branch. The Regional D i s t r i c t prepared a study suggesting that, on the basis of studies conducted i n other parts of Western Canada, downwind s o i l s would be polluted. (Peace R i v e r - L i a r d Regional D i s t r i c t 1977) P a r t i c u l a r emphasis was put on the e f f e c t of a i r inversions within the 1000-foot v a l l e y . The D i s t r i c t study feared that pollutants would cause irrevocable harm to s o i l s , c a t t l e , and w i l d l i f e . In the end, the Regional D i s t r i c t approved the project provided i t met P o l l u t i o n Control Branch requirements (which i t d i d ) . The f i n a l d e c i s i o n on the Hasler F l a t s l o c a t i o n was made by the A g r i c u l t u r a l Land Commission. As was the case i n the hearings before the Regional D i s t r i c t , the Land Commission heard large amounts of c o n f l i c t i n g 1 , or at l e a s t ambiguous s c i e n t i f i c evidence. Most of the evidence was submitted by Westcoast Transmission, Regional D i s t r i c t s t a f f , and a l o c a l c i t i z e n s group. The Land Commission turned down the ap p l i c a t i o n , noting 15 i t s concern over the p o t e n t i a l e f f e c t s of the s u l f u r dioxide emissions, (pers. comm. E. Framst) 2.3 Uncertainty Over Planning Agency Intentions In NEBC, regional planning requires the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of many a g e n c i e s — l o c a l , p r o v i n c i a l , and f e d e r a l — w h i c h have some mandate i n settlement and/or resource matters. The i n t e r -r e l a t e d nature of regional planning i n t e r e s t s means that knowing other planning agency int e n t i o n s are important. "Coordinated" or "integrated" regional planning i s often urged to reduce p o l i c y d u p l i c a t i o n , c o n t r a d i c t i o n , or oversight. Reducing these costs seemed to be a rai s o n d"etre f o r a number of established on-going inter-agency forums, notably the Peace R i v e r - L i a r d Regional D i s t r i c t ' s Technical Planning Committee and the Province"s Resource Management Committee, as well as other more ad hoc types (eg. the Northeast Coal Committee and the P i p e l i n e Committees established i n the then-Environment and Land Use S e c r e t a r i a t ) . The uncertainty inherent i n attempting to know other planning agency intentions could be i l l u s t r a t e d by the Regional D i s t r i c t " s preparation of the Fort St. John"s Area O f f i c i a l Settlement Plan. Collaboration with other planning agencies was necessary i n two respects: r a t i o n a l i z i n g the Fort St. John urban-rural f r i n g e , and l o c a t i n g future settlement i n the newly-16 opened resource f r o n t i e r approximately 30-60 kilometres north of Fort St. John. When dealing with the urban-rural f r i n g e issues, the challenge was to i d e n t i f y s i t e s f o r future i n d u s t r i a l , r u r a l r e s i d e n t i a l , and school uses i n c o l l a b o r a t i o n with other planning agencies. The C i t y of Fort St. John, the l o c a l school board, and the Land Commission (because most of the f r i n g e lands were i n the Land Reserve) would be most d i r e c t l y affected by the Settlement Plan p o l i c i e s . As the Regional D i s t r i c t sought to coordinate i t s p o l i c i e s with these agencies, i t found that there were constant changes i n the personnel of other planning agencies. New s t a f f and p o l i t i c i a n s brought new views and new p o l i c y i n i t i a t i v e s and even at a c l o s e l e v e l of consultation, i t was d i f f i c u l t to determine p r e c i s e l y the nature of other planning agency intentions, (pers. comm. J . Mucci) This uncertainty was even more acute i n the " f r o n t i e r expansion" component of the Settlement Plan. The Regional D i s t r i c t " s primary motivation i n c a r r y i n g out t h i s component of the Plan was to determine the settlement needs of the recent i n -migrants and of the population expected i n the next 5-10 years. Consequently, the D i s t r i c t needed to survey the intentions of a wide v a r i e t y of p r o v i n c i a l resource agencies whose p o l i c i e s and administration d i c t a t e d the r a t e and l o c a t i o n of resource projects. In addition to s t a f f changes amongst the resource agencies, the task was complicated by the then-rapid rate of 17 resource development ( e s p e c i a l l y i n o i l and gas, f o r e s t r y , and a g r i c u l t u r e ) . P r o v i n c i a l resource plans were continuously changed as new development proposals were made. (pers. comm. A. Hadland) In s p i t e of the D i s t r i c t ' s a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the ongoing inter-agency committees (eg.the Technical Planning Committees), i t had d i f f i c u l t y i n keeping abreast of the many new plans. For example, at the peak of the o i l and gas exploration boom> the Regional D i s t r i c t , was unsure about the timing and need f o r regional parks, school s i t e s , and other community land requirements i n newly-developing communities such as Buick Creek, Nig Creek, and Boundary Lake. (pers. comm. J.Woolley) The NEBC experience suggests that a planning agency w i l l also be uncertain about i t s own future i n t e n t i o n s . An agency's stated intentions change as p o l i t i c i a n s , planners, and planning problems change. For instance, a change i n Regional D i s t r i c t Board membership was responsible f o r the passing of a Board r e s o l u t i o n i n 1980 s u b s t a n t i a l l y a l t e r i n g i t s 1977 p o s i t i o n opposing the proposed S i t e C h y d r o - e l e c t r i c project. (pers. comm. E. Framst) Another example occurred i n 1980 when the Board changed i t s r e s t r i c t i o n s on r e s i d e n t i a l development i n the Cha r l i e Lake watershed. Owing l a r g e l y to the r a p i d new demand of the l a t e 1970s population boom, the Board relaxed zoning r e s t r i c t i o n s to allow r u r a l r e s i d e n t i a l development i n the watershed. (pers. comm. A. Hadland) Both cases i l l u s t r a t e that 18 a planning agency i s severely l i m i t e d i n how f a r i t can implement a "blueprint" f o r future a c t i o n . 2.4 Uncertainty Over Public Values Planning agencies i n NEBC, as i n many other parts of Canada, are accountable to some pub l i c consitituency , whether l o c a l , r e g ional, p r o v i n c i a l , or federal." Many agencies, i t was observed, were preoccupied with attempting to define t h e i r public"s values or goals more c l e a r l y . This was e s p e c i a l l y true f o r those agencies whose mandates compelled them to apply extra-market considerations when regulatng land use or develoment. BC A g r i c u l t u r a l Land Commission decisions, f o r example, r e l i e d heavily on the view that the rapidly-increased market demand to subdivide farm u n i t s to suburban "hobby farms" generally was inconsistent with the p r o v i n c i a l i n t e r e s t i n preserving farm land. The Land Commission"s maintenance of A g r i c u l t u r a l Land Zones consequently was a main influence i n d i r e c t i n g p r i v a t e market development i n the urban-rural f r i n g e s of Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, the region"s two la r g e s t centres, (pers. comm. J . Woolley) Determining public values was also a preoccupation f o r the l o c a l m u n i c i p a l i t i e s . Part of t h e i r mandate was to provide services not otherwise of f e r e d by the private market. The task 19 of value i d e n t i f i c a t i o n became p a r t i c u l a r l y important i n times of r a p i d population growth i n Fort St. John and Fort Nelson when municipal councils and school d i s t r i c t s were suddenly required to ascertain new public needs before investing heavily to overcome the overcrowding i n l o c a l f a c i l i t i e s , (pers. comm. J . Mucci) Id e n t i f y i n g values was p a r t i c u l a r l y important where extra-market values c o n f l i c t . In NEBC, values supporting hydro-e l e c t r i c development, f o r e s t r y , a g r i c u l t u r e , and o i l - and gas exploration often c o n f l i c t e d with the values of preserving unique e c o l o g i c a l areas, t r a d i t i o n a l hunting areas, and w i l d l i f e habitat. A resource planning agency needs to somehow assess the diverse values when making.resource management decisions. The y c o n f l i c t s and the need to determine these 'with some p r e c i s i o n were r e f l e c t e d i n the public, p a r t i c i p a t i o n hearings held as part of the preparation of the Regional D i s t r i c t ' s Settlement Plan (pers. comm. E. Framst). Agencies also faced a challenge when attempting to i d e n t i f y values held by groups which are not p o l i t i c a l l y strong. Perhaps the greatest challenge was to determine the values held by l o c a l F i r s t Nations. The contrast of Native and White values was shown v i v i d l y by the Mair Commission's a p t l y - t i t l e d report Forgotten Land, Forgotten People (1980) on the proposed F o o t h i l l s Alaska Highway Gas Pipe Line Project. The preparation of the Regional D i s t r i c t ' s Fort St. John Area and Chetwynd Area O f f i c i a l Settlement Plans showed the 20 d i f f i c u l t y of i d e n t i f y i n g public values. Both plans included major p u b l i c p a r t i c i p a t i o n programs. Numerous town h a l l meetings — 3 0 alone i n the Fort St. John Plan—were held to obtain a better view of public values. In many cases, the Regional D i s t r i c t f e l t the need to return to l o c a l communities several times to obtain a c l e a r e r reading of public values, (pers. comm. E. Framst) Compounding the d i f f i c u l t y of i d e n t i f y i n g l o c a l values was that recent in-migrants generally d i d not p a r t i c i p a t e , owing perhaps to u n f a m i l i a r i t y with municipal i n s t i t u t i o n s or the prospect that the stay i n NEBC would only be a short one. (Pers. comm. J . Woolley) The need to somehow i d e n t i f y changes i n public values motivated the Regional D i s t r i c t to sponsor the Impact "78 conference i n Fort St.. John i n 1978 at the peak of the resource boom. The conference brought together l o c a l i n t e r e s t groups and resource developers (400 reprensentatives i n t o t a l ) to not only share information but to obtain a c l e a r e r idea of what these diverse values a c t u a l l y were. (pers. comm. J . Mucci) 21 3. CONDITIONS OF UNCERTAINTY: ANALYSIS AND GUIDELINES 3.1 Introduction This Chapter takes two steps beyond Chapter 2. F i r s t , i t conducts an analysis of the four subject u n c e r t a i n t i e s described i n Chapter 2. The empirical d e s c r i p t i o n of the four u n c e r t a i n t i e s i s supplemented with a more a n a l y t i c a l d i s c u s s i o n of the nature of uncertainty, using as sources a number of abstract concepts found i n a v a r i e t y of d i s c i p l i n e s . The outcome i s the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of one or two key generic conditions (7 i n t o t a l ) f o r each of the four u n c e r t a i n t i e s . The abstract concepts found i n the l i t e r a t u r e help to " f l e s h out" the d e s c r i p t i o n found i n Chapter 2. Chapter 3 also proposes how a planning agency should deal with each of the conditions of uncertainty. The Chapter proposes seven guidelines, each corresponding to an i d e n t i f i e d "condition" of uncertainty. The guidelines, while stated i n general' terms, are informed by the successes, f a i l u r e s , and issues that were observed of the NEBC planning experience. At the same time, i t i s not the objective of t h i s Chapter to conduct a concerted c r i t i q u e of any one agency's approach, or to e s t a b l i s h whether any one agency conducted a process which should be followed i n the future. The guidelines have a d i f f e r e n t o r i g i n , attempting to abstract from many agencies" experience. 22 3.2 Conditions of Export Market Uncertainty 3.2.1 Depths of Uncertainty To r e c a l l , Chapter 2"s empirical d e s c r i p t i o n of uncertainty about export markets i n NEBC suggested that some events ( e s p e c i a l l y the o i l and gas markets) were more "uncertain" than others (say a g r i c u l t u r e ) . Many writers have c l a s s i f i e d degrees, or depths, of. uncertainty, with each c l a s s having unique conditions. H o l l i n g (1978), f o r instance, c l a s s i f i e s ' u n c e r t a i n t y by form and frequency: 1. uncertain events where both form and frequency are predictable; 2. events whose form but not frequency i s predictable; and 3. r e a l surprises, where neither form or frequency'is predictable. Holling"s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i s a synthesis of a v a r i e t y of s o c i a l and natural, systems studies. Analogous c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s can be found i n other d i s c i p l i n e s , eg. by the s o c i a l - p s y c h o l o g i s t Michael (1973) and the economist Knight (1921). D i s t i n g u i s h i n g the depth of an uncertain event would seem to have p r a c t i c a l value. I f a planning agency i s able to p r e d i c t the form and frequency of an event (eg. Holling"s Class 1), i t can assign p r o b a b i l i t i e s to that event. S t a t i s t i c a l theory i s of 23 help here: p r o b a b i l i t y estimates obtained by applying s t a t i s t i c s theory serve as a base from which one of many " r i s k s t r a t e g i e s " could be used. A planning agency may, f o r example, f o l l o w a r i s k strategy p r e s c r i b i n g how to obtain the highest p o s s i b l e payoff, or how to optimally avoid large losses. The d i s c i p l i n e of economics i n p a r t i c u l a r • h a s developed .theories explaining how p r o b a b i l i t i e s could be used to develdop a l t e r n a t i v e r i s k s t r a t e g i e s . (See f o r example L"Esperance (1971), pp. 382-4.) In a s i m i l a r vein, H o l l i n g describes how s t a t i s t i c s theory could be used to reduce the "shallow" c l a s s 1. uncertainty: S t a t i s t i c a l analyses, the study of s t o c h a s t i c processes, the s u b d i s c i p l i n e of d e c i s i o n theory, and many other applied .methodologies are founded on t h i s c l a s s of uncertainty. ' I t i s natural that a n a l y t i c a l advances should s t a r t here—when you know the p r o b a b i l i t y d i s t r i b u t i o n , a large proportion of the uncertainty i s resolved. (1978, pp. 133-4) ; A cl o s e examination of the u n c e r t a i n t i e s about export markets suggests that while.some events can be conceptualized, few d i s p l a y a regular pattern of frequency that can be r e a d i l y t r a n s l a t e d i n t o an estimate of p r o b a b i l i t y (which i n turn would be the basis for a r i s k strategy). :A planning agency may, f o r example, conceptualize the r e l a t i o n s h i p of world o i l p r i c e s and the exploration and population e f f e c t s i n NEBC, but because the o i l market does not operate with regular frequency, the agency would not be able to estimate the p r o b a b i l i t y of, say, an increase or decrease i n world demand or supply. Without the b e n e f i t of p r o b a b i l i t y estimates, an agency does not have the 24 information basis from which to develop a. r i s k strategy. One d i f f i c u l t y ,for a planning agency l i e s i n determining i f an event occurs with any regular.frequency, i . e . , whether i t f a l l s i n t o Holling"s c l a s s 1. I t seems there i s no c l e a r s o l u t i o n to t h i s problem. "Regularity" f a l l s within a spectrum and s t a t i s t i c a l theory a r b i t r a r i l y establishes standards of c o l l e c t i o n , tabulation, and systematic c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of qua n t i t a t i v e data. As these standards are met, one moves to a more "probable" and more "certain" view of the world. Subjectively-determined . standards d i c t a t e whether an event demonstrates "regular" frequency. A second d i f f i c u l t y i n c l a s s i f y i n g depths of uncertainty i s that the p r o b a b i l i t y estimates themselves are . often . merely opinions. Ammer and Ammer describe the r o l e that -s u b j e c t i v i t y has i n p r o b a b i l i t y theory: P r o b a b i l i t y i s based i n part or e n t i r e l y on expert opinion rather than s o l e l y on actual data (as with the 0.5 p r o b a b i l i t y that a flipped, coin w i l l come up heads). I t i s commonly used ( a l b e i t u s u a l l y unknowingly) by track bookmakers who set odds and take bets on the outcome of a p a r t i c u l a r race,, basing the p r o b a b i l i t y of winners on t h e i r own expert judgement and on the actual bets placed. (1977, p. 38) Marschak"s d i s t i n c t i o n of objective and subjective uncertainty (1949) helps to conceptualize the r o l e of b e l i e f s : o bjective uncertainty occurs where a l l the information that i s hypo t h e t i c a l l y obtainable, but p r e d i c t i o n i s impossible because the quantity or q u a l i t y of information i s inadequate; or, as i s 25 the more frequent case, a person may have a subjective yet firm belief in that he or she can predict with a high degree of accuracy, regardless of . whether the belief can'be objectively ju s t i f i e d . In addition to addressing the frequency of an international event, a planning .: agency must • also ask whether i t can conceptualize i t s form. Consider the ;forest, service planner who attempts to conceptualize the inter-relations, of the USA economy, interest rates, housing demand, demand for and prices of British Columbia lumber, and how the NEBC forestry industry w i l l respond. This conceptualization may be the basis for projecting local timber harvesting. The planner's projection is a' c r i t i c a l s t e p — and possibly the Achilles H e a l — i n regional planning. The projection is a basis for government policy in reserving land for forestry as well as a basis for other agencies" population projections (which . in turn are used as bases : for deciding on investment i n local services and f a c i l i t i e s ) . But does the forestry planner really know the form of the USA markets and resultant demand for NEBC timber? Or, i s i t , in Holling"s terms, a "real surprise" uncertainty, one of "those events for.which we have no experience or one of those events involving unknown processes and unknown functional form?" (1984, p.134) The discussion of depths and beliefs i n a NEBC context raises a dilemna: there appears to be a need for a dispassionate classification of uncertainty to allow a planning agency to 26 better understand i t s planning environment; yet, because c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i s a subjective process, i t would seem a planning agency would have to take one further and perhaps impossible step of o b j e c t i v e l y determining i t s own b e l i e f s . One might argue that there i s by. d e f i n i t i o n no "r i g h t " b e l i e f , and therefore ask how a planning agency might c l a s s i f y uncertainty and at the same time deal with i t s own s u b j e c t i v i t y . Many wri t e r s dealing with t h i s dilemna argue that there needs to be an act i v e process of c r i t i c i z i n g b e l i e f s . For example, H o l l i n g (1978) and Michael (1973) subscribe to Popper"s " b e l i e f f a l s i f i c a t i o n " . Popper (1963, p. 5) describes as naive the c l a s s i c a l E m p i r i c i s t and R a t i o n a l i s t views that with the ap p l i c a t i o n of obje c t i v e methods, we can somehow-discover "truth" and d i s t i n g u i s h i t from "falsehood". Instead, Popper argues, we need to be c e n t r a l l y concerned when dealing with uncertainty i n eliminating those views which provide wrong r e s u l t s . There may never be a r i g h t or ultimate source of knowledge, but we can remove the misleading ones. Human knowledge, a f t e r a l l , i s "mixed with our errors,, our prejudices, our dreams, our hopes." (1963, p. 29) Popper describes b e l i e f f a l s i f i c a t i o n i n the following terms: So my answer to the questions "How do you know? what i s the source or the basi s of your assertion? What observations have'led you to i t would be: "I do not know: my assertion was merely a guess. Never mind the source, or the sources, from which i t may s p r i n g — t h e r e are many possible sources, and I may not be aware of h a l f of them; and o r i g i n s or pedigrees have i n any case l i t t l e bearing upon t r u t h . But i f you are i n t e r e s t e d 27 i n the problem which I t r i e d to solve by my t e n t a t i v e assertion, you may help me by c r i t i c i z i n g i t as severely as you can; and of you can design some, experimental t e s t which you might re f u t e my assertion, I s h a l l g l a d l y , and to the best of my powers, help you to r e f u t e i t . " (1963, p. 7) The process of b e l i e f f a l s i f i c a t i o n implies deciding which s o c i e t a l groups should p a r t i c i p a t e i n the review, and under which conditions. The de c i s i o n o n . p a r t i c i p a t i o n , i t was found i n NEBC, prejudge the r e s u l t s of the review. This was evident, f o r instance, i n the Regional D i s t r i c t ' s Impact "78 conference^ where the D i s t r i c t was forced to set l i m i t s to i n t e r e s t group p a r t i c i p a t i o n , (pers. comm. J . Mucci) A review of agency beliefs.about export markets also cannot take, an unlimited period of time. Decisionmakers i n NEBC were acutely aware of the s o c i a l costs of awaiting better information and the administrative costs of obtaining "more perfect" information. This problem was e s p e c i a l l y acute f o r the C i t y of Fort St. John and the l o c a l School D i s t r i c t i n the l a t e 1970s boom era. Both agencies, despite a concerted research e f f o r t , found i t d i f f i c u l t to. p r e d i c t with any confidence how long the 10-20% annual population growth would- continue, .yet were compelled to make m u l t i - m i l l i o n d o l l a r investments i n roads, sewers, schols, and rec r e a t i o n f a c i l i t i e s . The agencies simply could not delay making decisions. (pars. comm. J . Mucci) This i s not to suggest, of course, that review cannot be i t e r a t i v e . The point i s that review cannot preclude 28 decisionmaking, especially in a region such as NEBC where urgent decisions had to be made even i f a "final" classification of uncertainty depth was not yet available. In summary, the guideline dealing with the conditions of depth and beliefs of export uncertainties, and how an agency shouyld proceed, could be stated as follows: A PLANNING AGENCY NEEDS TO CLASSIFY THE FORM AND FREQUENCY OF EXPORT UNCERTAINTIES AND AT THE SAME TIME ACTIVELY CRITICIZE THE BELIEFS INHERENT IN THIS CLASSIFICATION. 3.2.2 Locations of Uncertainty Uncertainties over export markets could also be characterized as having different locations. Friend and Jessop (1969) used such an analysis in their case study of local government responses to uncertainty. . The planning environment includes "external" uncertainties, thought to be located outside any possible agency intervention. The external-internal boundary is not fixed or clearly defined. Friend and Jessop encourage planning agencies to actively assess its range of opportunity before acting. (Two such tasks include "exposing latent uncertainties" and "selecting exploratory actions".) A "probing" planning agency can therefore discover that' i t can influence an export market previously thought to be external to the agency"s planning environment. 29 In NEBC, f o r instance, a planning agency faced with uncertainty over p i p e l i n e project impacts might ,;.simply assume that the project's operations and timing are beyond i t s influence. The agency's p o l i c i e s therefore would be designed to. react to the impacts as they occur. Or, the agency may i d e n t i f y some opportunity f o r somehow i n f l u e n c i n g the p i p l e i n e project's operations. The Regional D i s t r i c t took the l a t t e r approach when faced with the F o o t h i l l s Natural Gas Pipe Line Project and i t s attendant uncertain e f f e c t s on l o c a l communities. The Regional D i s t r i c t took what was f o r m u n i c i p a l i t i e s the extraordinary step of appearing before the House of Commons Select Committee on the Pip e l i n e to lobby f o r l e g i s l a t i v e measures which would increase the p o t e n t i a l influence that the D i s t r i c t and other, agencies would have i n c o n t r o l l i n g operations of the pr o j e c t . The Regional D i s t r i c t urged that Northern P i p e l i n e Agency o f f i c i a l s be given i n j u n c t i v e powers to d i r e c t F o o t h i l l s to avoid then-unforeseen environmental damage and that a NEBC Advisory Committee be established to monitor unpredictable socio-economic impacts and advise Northern P i p e l i n e Agency o f f i c i a l s on how the Project l o g i s t i c s should be alt e r e d , (pers. comm. J . Woolley) The Regional D i s t r i c t experience, combined with Friend and Jessop's case study fundings, suggest that many <agencies could have some i f not considerable d i s c r e t i o n i n exerting influence over export market forces. This d i s c r e t i o n takes on r e a l s i g n i f i c a n c e when agencies attempt to deal with c o s t l y • boom-bust 30 c y c l e s a t t r i b u t e d to uncertain and w i l d l y - f l u c t u a t i n g i n t e r n a t i o n a l markets. I t seems that an agency i s able to understand which forces may be responsible f o r stimulating boom/bust cycles, which forces could be subjugated' by some agency influence, and the organizational costs of achieving some degree of s t a b i l i z a t i o n . Given these c a p a b i l i t i e s , a planning agency w i l l f i r s t need to determine i f there i s any opportunity to " s t a b i l i z e " the export uncertainty, and i f such an opportunity e x i s t s , the agency should assess the organizational costs of s t a b i l i z i n g the export-based resource project. I t i s only when the costs of s t a b i l i z i n g the export-based resource project are compared with the costs of being "buffeted" by the e f f e c t s of the resource project that a planning agency can r a t i o n a l l y decide on a strategy of dealing with uncertainty. The NEBC experience revealed that the more- "cent r a l i z e d " the agency, the more d i s c r e t i o n i t had f o r attempting to s t a b i l i z e export . fo r c e s . Municipal planning agencies generally f e l t l e s s i n c l i n e d to exert some con t r o l over market forces than the p r o v i n c i a l and f e d e r a l planning agencies. This i s not su r p r i s i n g , given the respective l e g i s l a t i v e mandates. Measures f o r r e g u l a t i n g market forces were often considered i n the Technical Plannning and Resource Management Committees, the former l a r g e l y dealing with settlement and the l a t t e r with resources. The operation of these committees revealed that the 31 r e a l power to c o n t r o l market forces rested i n the hands of ce n t r a l i z e d p r o v i n c i a l planning agencies such as the Forest Service, the Minis t r y of Economic Development, and. the Mi n i s t r y of Municipal A f f a i r s . A l l three agencies played important r o l e s p a r t i c u l a r l y i n attempting to reduce uncertainty i n the Tumbler Ridge-Northeast Coal Project. . (pers. comm. A. Hadland) In summary, a second guideline to be followed by; agencies f a c i n g export .market uncertainty i s : A PLANNING AGENCY SHOULD DISTINGUISH INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL UNCERTAINTIES AND PROBE INTO HOW FAR AND AT WHAT COST IT CAN INFLUENCE THE OPERATIONS OF EXPORT-BASED PROJECTS. 3.3 Conditions'of Natural Systems Uncertainty 3.3.1 Depths of Uncertainty Hearings held to review the proposed r e s i d e n t i a l development i n C h a r l i e Lake's watershed and the gas plant at Hasler F l a t s considered c o n f l i c t i n g s c i e n t i f i c views on p o t e n t i a l environmental e f f e c t s . (See 2.2 above.). As was the case f o r "export uncertainty" discussed above, the hearings tended to show diverse perceptions, over the degree or depth of uncertainty. (A. Hadland, pers. comm.) • Some experts i n both the C h a r l i e Lake and Hasler F l a t s issues suggested that the uncertainty over future impacts are "shallow u n c e r t a i n t i e s " ; that i s , e f f e c t s of 32 watershed development and s u l f u r dioxide emissions can be predicted because the systemic elements are known and demonstrate regular behaviour. These are H o l l i n g c l a s s 1 u n c e r t a i n t i e s discussed i n Chapter 3.2.1 above. Other experts f e l t that although the environmental e f f e c t s of eutrophication- and a c i d i f i c a t i o n might generally be well known, p r e d i c t i n g the impacts with any accuracy i n these cases i s not possible - 'because there needed to be more research of l o c a l f a c t o r s before p r o b a b i l i t y estimates could be made. In the Hasler F l a t s case, f o r example, the r e g u l a r i t y of a i r conversions i n the Pine Va l l e y was f e l t by some to lack any i d e n t i f i a b l e pattern, given the lack of meteorological data. Yet other experts argued, to use- Holling"s terminology (1978), that we.- know neither the form nor frequency of how these systems function, and that the proposed-developments could cause " r e a l s u r p r i s e s " . These c o n f l i c t i n g views, while providing decisionmakers with an ambivalent information base, nonetheless provide , a c l e a r e r view of a l t e r n a t i v e p o l i c y options, (pers. comm. J . Mucci) More s p e c i f i c a l l y , the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of uncertainty depth enabled decisionmakers to make an important i n i t i a l p o l i c y d e c i s i o n : i s i t p ossible to assign p r o b a b i l i t i e s to the uncertain events so that p o l i c y can be based on a p a r t i c u l a r r i s k strategy? Knowing that an event w i l l "probably" occur.in a c e r t a i n fashion enables decisionmakers to i d e n t i f y environmental costs (eg. p r o b a b i l i t y 33 of s o i l a c i d i f i c a t i o n from a i r emissions) and compare them with p o t e n t i a l benefits (eg. employment at the p o l l u t i n g gas p l a n t ) . With t h i s type of information, decisionmkaers are- able to adopt a r i s k strategy which ei t h e r attempts to maximize the economic bene f i t s from the gas plant, minimize the environmental costs, or balance the two. In any case, knowing the p r o b a b i l i t y of the events occurring i s a p r e r e q u i s i t e f o r conducting t h i s type of p o l i c y a n a l ysis. For ,both the Hasler F l a t s and C h a r l i e Lake issues, the c o n f l i c t i n g s c i e n t i f i c analyses r a i s e d reasonable doubt in'the minds of decisionmakers that the un c e r t a i n t i e s were "shallow" u n c e r t a i n t i e s , and suggested to decisionmakers that r i s k s t r a t e g i e s were not appropriate, (pers. comm. J . Mucci) The NEBC experience therefore suggests that -a planning agency should: use a gui d e l i n e s i m i l a r to the "depths" g u i d e l i n e proposed f o r export markets. This guideline could be re- s t a t e d as follows: A PLANNING AGENCY NEEDS TO CLASSIFY THE FORM AND FREQUENCY OF NATURAL SYSTEM UNCERTAINTY AND AT THE SAME TIME ACTIVELY CRITICIZE THE BELIEFS INHERENT IN THIS CLASSIFICATION. 3.3.2 The Non-Sc i e n t i f i c Basis of Theory As discussed above, the Regional D i s t r i c t and the Land Commission, i n t h e i r r e s pective hearings on C h a r l i e Lake and Hasler F l a t s , i n v i t e d s c i e n t i f i c debate which informed decisionmakers of the depth of the uncertainty. Another aspect to uncertainty over natural systems-~but not 34 considered i n the hearings—was that a s c i e n t i f i c theory might produce u n r e l i a b l e r e s u l t s owing to i t s " n o n - s c i e n t i f i c " b a s i s . Popper (1965) i s one of.the leading writers on t h i s theme. His c r i t i c i s m of. the inductive method of science centres on the l i m i t a t i o n s of our senses and language to obtain an "objective" view of the t r u t h . Complex f a c t o r s influence how we perceive and symbolize our environment: Observation is- always s e l e c t i v e . I t needs a chosen subject, a d e f i n i t e task, an i n t e r e s t , a point of view, a problem. And i t s d e s c r i p t i o n presupposes a d e s c r i p t i v e language, with property words; i t presupposes s i m i l a r i t y and c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , which i n i t s turn presupposes i n t e r e s t s , , points of 'view, .and problems. (1965, p. 46) Observation i s not only s e l e c t i v e , but also depends on the observer"s perspective. The i n d u c t i o n i s t " s search f o r r e p e t i t i v e events i s only a search f o r s i m i l a r events; . . i t cannot produce perfect sameness. This i s because r e p e t i t i o n s are a function of point of view: ...there must always be a point of view—such as a system of expectations, a n t i c i p a t i o n s , assumptions, or i n t e r e s t s — b e f o r e there can be any r e p e t i t i o n ; which point of view, consequently cannot be merely the r e s u l t of r e p e t i t i o n . We must thus replace, f o r the purposes of a psychological theory of the o r i g i n of b e l i e f s , the naive idea of events which are s i m i l a r by'the id e a of events to which we react by i n t e r p r e t i n g them as being s i m i l a r . (1964, pp.44-5) Not recognizing these p i t f a l l s (and others described i n h i s book) of induction leads, to dogmatic thinking, where "we expect r e g u l a r i t i e s everywhere and attempt to f i n d them even where there are none...[E]vents which do not y i e l d to these attempts we are 35 i n c l i n e d to t r e a t as a kind of "background noise"". (1964, p.49) T.S. Kuhn i n The Structure of S c i e n t i f i c Revolutions (1970) also i d e n t i f i e s q u a s i - s c i e n t i f i c and c u l t u r a l f a c t o r s which can produce anomalies i n conventional theories intended to provide a c e r t a i n view of the world. Kuhn"s analysis begins by s t a t i n g that much s c i e n t i f i c t heory-building'is "normal science" which, r e l y i n g on p r o b a b i l i t y theory, brings f a c t and theory together. Most s c i e n t i f i c e n t e r p r i s e c o n s i s t s of t e s t i n g and r e t e s t i n g hypotheses making up a conventional theory. Normal- science, however, only a r t i c u l a t e s a l i m i t e d number of theories: [Normal science] seems an attempt to force nature i n t o the preformed and r e l a t i v e l y i n f l e x i b l e box that the paradigm supplies. No part of the aim of normal scienc i s to c a l l f o r t h new sorts of phenomena; indeed, those that w i l l .not f i t the box are often.not seen at a l l . Nor do s c i e n t i s t s normally aim to invent new theories, and they are often i n t o l e r a n t of those invented by others. Instead, normal s c i e n t i f i c research i s d i r e c t e d to the a r t i c u l a t i o n of those phenomena and theories that the paradigm already supplies. (1970, p. 24) Because most s c i e n t i s t s work within normal science, they often do not know the h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t — o r the sources of possible d o u b t — o f the models with which- they are working: S c i e n t i s t s work from models acquired through education and through subsequent exposure to the l i t e r a t u r e often without quite knowing or needing to know what c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s have given these models the status of community paradigms. (1970, p.46) One basis f o r new knowledge could simply be chance. Kuhn describes how Roentgen"s accidental discovery of : X-rays fundamentally a l t e r e d the s c i e n t i f i c community's views about the 36 properties of l i g h t . (1970, p. 57) Or, a s c i e n t i s t ' s views of what i s c e r t a i n could be influenced by s o c i a l i z a t i o n . Kuhn argues that whenever a new theory i s introduced, i t i s u s u a l l y only one of several alter n a t e s . Once a paradigm i s selected, the s c i e n t i f i c community invests heavily i n i n t e l l e c t u a l and t e c h n i c a l "tooling" needed f o r normal science a c t i v i t y . I t i s only when a c r i s i s i n the s c i e n t i f i c community demands a new paradigm that r e - t o o l i n g i s undertaken. (1970, p.76) Kuhn goes on to describe many other possible n o n - s c i e n t i f i c bases of s c i e n t i f i c theory. For: instance, he i l l u s t r a t e s how the protection of a s c i e n t i s t s personal i n t e g r i t y w i l l influence what i s and i s not researched , how a comparison of p r o b a b i l i t y theories i s influenced by preconceived a l t e r n a t i v e s , and how gaps i n knowledge r e s u l t simply because ©no theory ever solves a l l the problems i t defines© (1970, p.110), and how c u l t u r a l , p o l i t i c a l , and economic reasons f i g u r e importantly i n weighing paradigms., Popper and Kuhn have stimulated a great deal of discussion about the r e l i a b i l i t y of s c i e n t i f i c theory and i t i s unnecessary to discuss t h e i r • i n f l u e n c e on the modern philosphy of science at great length i n t h i s t h e s i s . The important lesson that Kuhn and Popper have f o r NEBC planning i s that a planning agency applying s c i e n t i f i c theory needs to consider that these theories may possibly produce unexpected r e s u l t s . Searching f o r n o n - s c i e n t i f i c bases of s c i e n t i f i c theory, 37 however, i s not a task generally c a r r i e d out by planning agencies, at l e a s t not i n NEBC. Several p r a c t i c a l reasons could be suggested: t h i s type of research and analysis might be considered too'"academic" or too c o s t l y ; nor are many planners t r a i n e d to deal with these subtle problems. Given these reasons, how should a planning agency conduct the types of• analyses suggested by Kuhn and Popper? I t seems the planning agency needs to i d e n t i f y the implications of not conducting the Kuhn- and Popper-type analyses. I t seems that, a planning agency needs to recognize that some theories, i f important enough, should be assessed to determine the n o n - s c i e n t i f i c basis of these theories. The d e c i s i o n to consider or not to consider the b a s i s of theory i s of ' course subjective. The d e c i s i o n depends on planners" perceptions of p o t e n t i a l environmental costs which may a r i s e i f a theory"s " n o n - s c i e n t i f i c base" i s not examined and the organizational costs of c a r r y i n g out such research. Consequently, a planning agency should ask i t s e l f whether the p o t e n t i a l environmental costs of an u n r e l i a b l e theory are s u f f i c i e n t l y high to warrant an examination of the "non-s c i e n t i f i c " b a s i s of that theory. The proper approach could be summed up as follows: A PLANNING AGENCY SHOULD COMPARE THE COSTS OF ASSESSING THE NON-SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF THEORY AND THE COSTS OF USING POSSIBLY MISLEADING UNCHECKED THEORIES. 38 3.4 Conditions of Uncertainty Over Planning Agency Intentions 3.4.1 Limits of the C o l l a b o r a t i v e Environment Chapter 2 showed the importance of . inter-agency c o l l a b o r a t i o n i n a complex and changing planning environment such as NEBC. The need to know other agencies" intentions was i l l u s t r a t e d with the Regional D i s t r i c t s Fort St. John Area O f f i c i a l Settlement Plan process, where i t was obvious that one agency"s p o l i c i e s could be affected by many others". Uncertainty over other planning agency intentions was also documented by Friend and Jessop" s c i t y planning., ease studies (1969). Few planning agencies would disagree with the need to collaborate- i n r e g i o n a l planning. The Regional D i s t r i c t , f o r instance, f e l t the need to a c t i v e l y survey other planning agency inte n t i o n s . (See Chapter 2.) The d i f f i c u l t question, however, i s d e f i n i n g the extent of a planning agency"sV c o l l a b o r a t i v e environment. L e g i s l a t i o n might guide a.planning agency as to who should be consulted i n preparing a Plan. The Municipal Act (1979) , f o r example, provides such a l i s t f o r the preparation of o f f i c i a l settlement plans. This l e g i s l a t i v e c h e c k l i s t , however, begs the question of how to consult with these groups and whether there are other planning agencies who should be consulted. The Regional D i s t r i c t " s Settlement Plan experience i n 39 consulting with other planning agencies suggests that a planning agency needs to determine how much scope i t a c t u a l l y has i n c o l l a b o r a t i n g with other agencies, and how much c o l l a b o r a t i o n i s optimal. As was the case f o r the Regional D i s t r i c t , the scope i s almost unlimited, given the many agencies found i n the planning environment and the ra p i d personnel and p o l i c y changes within, these changes. The planning agency therefore needs to e x p l i c i t l y compare the cost of c o l l a b o r a t i o n program with the benefits of knowing other planning agencies" in t e n t i o n s . This tradeoff i s necessary because of the high cost of "^perfect" i n t e l l i g e n c e : a planning agency would no doubt f i n d i t exceedingly c o s t l y i f not impossible to co n t i n u a l l y monitor a l l other planning agencies which might have some influence on i t s " p o l i c i e s . The guideline f o r dealing with other planning agency intentions can be b r i e f l y stated as follows: THE PLANNING AGENCY SHOULD ASSESS THE PERCEIVED COSTS AND BENEFITS OF COLLABORATING WITH OTHER PLANNING AGENCIES. 3.4.2 A Planning Agency"s Own Intentions Just as other planning agencies p o l i c y intentions tend to be i l l u s o r y , e s p e c i a l l y during a time of r a p i d development, an agency"s own intentions might not be r e a d i l y predictable. The NEBC experience described i n Chapter 2.3 above showed that r a p i d development bringing new planning problems, coupled with s t a f f 40 I) changes, r e s u l t i n the i n a b i l i t y of a planning agency to r e a l i s t i c a l l y forecast what i t s " own future intentions w i l l be. This i s not to say that a planning agency w i l l not project the e f f e c t s of t h e i r current i n t e n t i o n s ; the common use of planning horizons (eg. 10, 15 year plans) r e f l e c t s a- wil l i n g n e s s t o minimize c o n f l i c t i n g and redundant programs. Given the d i f f i c u l t y of p r o j e c t i n g a planning agency"s own intentions, i t would seem that a planning agency should consider using a f l e x i b l e approach. H o l l i n g i s p a r t i c u l a r l y emphatic on the need f o r f l e x i b l e p o l i c i e s : ...[a consequence] of c o r r e c t i n g an i n f l e x i b l e plan i s often increasing investment, increasing costs f o r main-t a i n i n g ' and c o n t r o l l i n g the system, and progressive foreclosure of future d e c i s i o n options. Retreat from erro r i s d i f f i c u l t f o r three reasons: because of the sca l e and consequences of possible " i r r e v e r s i b l e " p h y s i c a l changes; . because changes i n expections f o r future returns make t r a d i t i o n a l goals p o l i c i t i c a l l y or economically unacceptable; because reserves of c a p i t a l and f a i t h are l o s t , and the governed r i s e up against the the governors, f o r c i n g them to invest i n order to s a t i s y b a s i c c o n s t r a i n t s newly perceived. (1978, p.8) But as H o l l i n g (1978) also suggests, there are opportunity costs i n preserving a l l options. Because preserving a l l options v i r t u a l l y preclude any action, a planning agency needs to consider, before i t adopts a p a r t i c u l a r strategy, the costs.and b e n e f i t s of preserving options. The need f o r t h i s review.is' evident i n NEBC. P r i o r to the passing of.relaxed regulations i n 1980, the Regional D i s t r i c t " s r e s t r i c t i v e zoning i n the C h a r l i e Lake Watershed was based on 41 the b e l i e f that preserving the option to use the Lake as a C i t y water source out-weighed the b e n e f i t of permitting r e s i d e n t i a l development. (pers. comm. J . Mucci) The 1980 de c i s i o n to relax the zoning requirments i s an example of how a d e c i s i o n might close the option of using the Lake as a water source i n the future. The Regional D i s t r i c t and the C i t y of Fort St. John p o l i t i c i a n s recognized the f u t i l i t y of of even attempting to project future p o l i t i c a l i ntentions; the main concern, rather, was to di s c e r n which future options might be closed by current decisions, (pers. comm. J . Woolley, J . Mucci, E. Framst) To summarize, the planning agency faced with the prospect of uncertainty i n i t s own intentions should use the following g u i d e l i n e : A PLANNING AGENCY SHOULD CONSIDER THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF CLOSING ITS FUTURE OPTIONS. 3.5 Conditions of Public Value Uncertainty 3.5.1 The P a r t i a l View The experience i n NEBC showed that public values are d i f f i c u l t to i d e n t i f y . The d i f f i c u l t y was i l l u s t r a t e d i n Chapter 2 by the Regional D i s t r i c t ' s Settlement Plan programs which placed a high p r i o r i t y on i d e n t i f y i n g p u b l i c values. A c l o s e r inspection of the Regional D i s t r i c t Settlement Plan's ' v a l u e - i d e n t i f i c a t i o n ' program reveals that only a p a r t i a l view of public values i s obtainable. A number of fa c t o r s contribute to t h i s condition. For one, s o c i a l psychologists 42 suggest that i t is d i f f i c u l t to identify real as opposed to stated goals, (eg. Churchman 1968) The Regional District seemed to recognize this, returning to the communities with more r e a l i s t i c policy alternatives and more concrete analyses so that the participants could give a more specific or "real" response to Regional District settlement policy. A second reason explaining why public values are only partially identifiable i s that beliefs f i l t e r observations. How a decisionmaker, in a public participation program, views a set of public values f i r s t of a l l depends on beliefs. Brody (1981), for example, compares how natural resource use i s observed through Anglo-European and Fir s t Nation eyes. He argues, in part, that Native and White cultural differences are historical in origin, each perspective being shaped by experience over space and time. A third reason for a limited view i s that some sectors of society simply do not participate i n decisionmaking mechanisms, whether by formal public participation programs or by ad hoc "lobbying". P o l i t i c a l theorists have long been preoccupied with why certain sectors do not participate in planning decisions (eg. Davidoff. 1965). Two particularly relevant factors in NEBC, already noted in Chapter 2, include the newness of many residents who have not developed an interest in planning decisions and a sense of alienation among Fi r s t Nation people whose interests often are diametrically opposed to those of 43 resource developers. One might therefore suggest that a planning agency should actively seek a fu l l view of a l l community interests before acting. But this ignores the high cost of comprehensively monitoring rapid and subtle changes in local values. A fourth reason observed in NEBC was that there may be a reluctance by decisionmakers, at a certain point, to obtain a clearer view of public values. It was noted that an intensive value-identification exercise could produce more active demands by participants for a greater say in decisionmaking. This seemed to be the case in the Regional D i s tr i c t s Settlement Plan public participation program. (See, eg., pers. comm. J . Mucci in Chapter 2.) A limit to greater agency investment in that program was drawn when decisionmakers balanced two needs: the need for the agency to inform the public of planning issues so that there would be a constructive public feedback, and, the need for elected representatives to carry out their functions as effective elected representatives having real discretion. Stated simply, the limit was the view:held by decisionmakers that a public participation program may usurp some of the political power gained by the ballot box. How then should the inevitable limited view of public values figure in any strategy for dealing with uncertainty? It seems that a planning agency needs to recognize that planning programs can at best only have a limited or partial normative basis. This 44 r e a l i z a t i o n w i l l enable the agency to e i t h e r obtain more information ( i f i t can), or design programs i n such a way that w i l l not c o n f l i c t with values of the publics whose values might be missing. E x p l i c i t l y recognizing that only a p a r t i a l view of pu b l i c values i s a v a i l a b l e i s a necessary f i r s t step i n designing future p a r t i c i p a t i o n programs, measuring the effectiveness of the programs, and designing new p o l i c i e s . In summary, the f i n a l g u i d e l i n e i s : A PLANNING AGENCY FACED WITH UNCERTAINTY OVER PUBLIC VALUES SHOULD CARRY OUT AN INTROSPECTIVE REVIEW OF THE POTENTIAL AND LIMITS OF A PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PROGRAM AND DESIGN POLICIES THAT MINIMIZE CONFLICTS WITH THOSE PUBLIC VALUES WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN FULLY IDENTIFIED. 3.6 Synthesis The approach suggested i n t h i s Chapter i s not a blueprint of how to deal with a p a r t i c u l a r uncertain event. Rather, the procedure used here b u i l d s on the premise that a planning agency i s able to design appropriate s p e c i f i c s t r a t e g i e s i f the planning agency can f i r s t gain an understanding of the c o n d i t i o n s — o r generic q u a l i t i e s — o f uncertainty. Once the conditions of uncertainty are understood, an agency can then use i t s own c r e a t i v i t y to design a s p e c i f i c p o l i c y response to i t s unique l o c a l problems. Understanding conditions of uncertainty helps 45 the planning agency to make a number of trade-offs when designing a s p e c i f i c response. A strategy of dealing with uncertainty i s r e a l l y a compromise, where the planning agency compares the cost of reducing uncertainty with the costs of p e r s i s t i n g without any de l i b e r a t e strategy. This c e n t r a l trade-off can best be achieved i f the planning agency has a good understanding of uncertainty i t s e l f . This t r a d e - o f f — a n d the need to understand conditions of u n c e r t a i n t y — c a n be seen i n each of the four NEBC un c e r t a i n t i e s . NEBC planning agencies f a c i n g the uncertainty of export markets were s e n s i t i v e to the c o s t l y boom-bust repercussions that d i s t a n t decisions can mean f o r the region's welfare. The NEBC planning experience suggests that a planning agency i n a boom-bust environment should evaluate two s t r a t e g i e s : a passive p o s i t i o n r e q u i r i n g l i t t l e p u b l i c investment which incurs the r i s k of being b u f f e t t e d by the export u n c e r t a i n t i e s , or, an aggressive program designed to s t a b i l i z e those export forces c r e a t i n g s o c i a l costs but which w i l l incur higher investment costs. When dealing with export uncertainty, a planning agency might also consider adopting a " r i s k " strategy. I f p r o b a b i l i t i e s are known, a planning agency might adopt a strategy of eit h e r maximizing p o t e n t i a l benefits or minimzing losses. Before adopting a r i s k strategy, however, a planning agency needs to determine whether the uncertain export market event has and w i l l continue to demonstrate r e g u l a r i t y so that p r o b a b i l i t i e s can be 46 assigned to i t . If probabilities are not assignable, the planning agency should not rely on risk theory. At the same time, this exercise must be constantly reviewed to avoid mis-characterizing the real nature of the uncertainty. NEBC planning agencies were often called upon to use scientific theories to attempt to deal with uncertainty in natural systems. Again, i t is not enough to suggest that a planning agency simply needs to apply scientific theory. Rather, a planning agency must be wary about the application of any scientific theory which assumes that events follow regular patterns: a planning agency needs to carefully determine whether the local events are indeed "regular" and lend themselves to the application of general scientific theory. A planning agency should adopt an approach whereby the depths of natural systems uncertainty are classified and at the same time crit ical ly review the subjectivity inherrent in this classification. It is also important for a planning agency to consider the "non-scientific" basis of scientific theory. Many non-scientific factors dictate what comprises "accepted" scientific theory; yet, as pointed out by Kuhn (1970) and Popper (1965), these factors may produce less-than-reliable theories. A planning agency therefore should assess whether a theory's application could have a high cost i f i t produces unexpected results. If the theory could have misleading effects and attendant high costs, the planning agency needs to consider adopting a specific 47 strategy which would attempt to check the underlying non-s c i e n t i f i c basis of the applied theories. As f o r a t h i r d major source of uncertainty i n NEBC— uncertainty about other planning i n t e n t i o n s — a c e n t r a l task i s assessing how f a r a planning agency should collaborate with others. Although the need to col l a b o r a t e i s obvious, i t i s often l e s s c l e a r what the extent of c o l l a b o r a t i o n should be, e s p e c i a l l y i n a complex and constantly changing planning environment such as NEBC. The planning agency therefore needs to analyze the possible l i m i t s of c o l l a b o r a t i o n and the benefits of that c o l l a b o r a t i o n . As part of t h i s analysis, a planning agency cannot merely assume that i t s l i m i t s to c o l l a b o r a t i o n are f i x e d and that b e n e f i t s to c o l l a b o r a t i o n apply equally to a l l agencies i n a l l s i t u a t i o n s . In addition, t h i s analysis should be subject to a c t i v e review because of the subjective basis i n d e f i n i n g the benef i t s of c o l l a b o r a t i o n . Another condition of uncertainty i n NEBC i s that a planning agency does not know i t s own future i n t e n t i o n s . A planning agency does not need to, nor can i t , keep a l l options open. The proposed approach i s that the agency should focus on and assess the costs and benefits of keeping the options open. The fourth and f i n a l source of uncertainty considered i n t h i s thesis concerns public values. Because values w i l l never be f u l l y known, the planning agency needs to determine d e l i b e r a t e l y what the implications are of not knowing i t s publics" values. 48 4. THE THREE THEORIES: PRINCIPLES OF DEALING WITH UNCERTAINTY 4.1 Planning Procedural Theory: Main C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s Planning l i t e r a t u r e frequently assesses the state of procedural theory, (eg. Hudson 1979, Friedmann and Hudson 1974, Bolan 1974) These surveys suggest that a planning procedure consists of a s e r i e s of steps which somehow l i n k knowledge and organized action. Four steps' i n p a r t i c u l a r seem to a t t r a c t attention i n the surveys. One important s t e p — g o a l formation—provides the planning process with a purpose, a d i r e c t i o n ; without goals, l a i s s e z f a i r e would be acceptable. A second step i s analysis of the environment and "possible impacts that planning programs may have i n the environment. A t h i r d step i s implementation of action programs designed to meet goals. Another important step i s feedback which determines.how past actions have been e f f e c t i v e i n reaching goals. According to many t h e o r i s t s , the Rational-Comprehensive (RC) procedural theory i s most practised today and has been c a l l e d the paradigm of planning theory. (eg. • Hudson 1979; Friedmann and Hudson, 1974). I t s guidelines on goals, analysis, action, and feedback uniformly urge a planning agency to be r a t i o n a l and comprehensive. (Banfield, 1959) The RC theory makes several key assumptions: the planning agency i s able to comprehensively predict probable future . environmental systems and program e f f e c t s , o b j e c t i v e l y i d e n t i f y s o c i a l values and goals, use 49 r a t i o n a l judgement to s e l e c t the most b e n e f i c i a l a l t e r n a t i v e , and i d e n t i f y a f u l l range of. planning program impacts. These assumptions are attacked by the d i s j o i n t e d incrementalist theory (DI),. RC"s a n t i t h e s i s , also known as " s a t i s f i c i n g " and "muddling through". I t s foundation i s also r a t i o n a l i s m but of a different.sort.. Lindblom (1959), the father of t h i s t r a d i t i o n , suggested that r a t i o n a l d e c i s i o n can only be made by short-run adjustments (at the margin) and not by ' the ST long-range planning implied by RC; the complex nature of the immediate and long -range futures do not permit r a t i o n a l and comprehensive a p p l i c a t i o n s . In the l a s t decade or so, there has been widespread c r i t i c i s m of the RC and DI- theories.- Some theories emerged with d i s t i n c t "humanist"1 themes and an emphasis on how to deal with turbulent and uncertain environments. One such popular theory was S o c i a l Learning (SL). Friedmann and Hudson sum up i t s main concerns as follows: The d i r e c t object of t h i s planning was the innovative adaptation of s o c i a l organizations to a constantly s h i f t i n g environment., but i t s ultimate purpose was to support and enhance man"s own development as a person i n the course of the transforming action i t s e l f . (1976, p. 7) Friedrnann"s c r i t i q u e of RC has several aspects, each c e n t r a l l y concerned with the.need f o r a planning procedure that deals c o n s t r u c t i v e l y with a complex, uncertain environment: Central a l l o c a t i v e planning [RC], we may conclude, has not l i v e d up to i t s i n i t i a l promises. The de s i r e to be 50 comprehensive has produced the i l l u s i o n of an omnipotent i n t e l l i g e n c e ; the method o f system-wide balances has l e d to an overemphasis on s t a b i l i t y ; q u a n t i t i a t i v e madeling has encouraged the neglect of the actual conditions governing p o l i c y and program implementation; and. the claim to f u n c t i o n a l r a t i o n a l i t y has made planners i n s e n s i t i v e to the value implications of t h e i r work. (1973, p.59) Another t h e o r e t i c a l response to the d e f i c i e n c i e s of RC i s r a d i c a l planning. Hudson (1979.) f e e l s that advocacy planning grew as a reac t i o n to the concept of a s i n g l e public i n t e r e s t assumed i n master plans. I t s main response to RC was the demand f o r " p l u r a l i s t i c " plans which would be more s e n s i t i v e to the many side e f f e c t s of a p o l i c y d e c i s i o n . Radical planning"s strong i n t e r e s t i n e x p l i c i t l y r a i s i n g s o c i a l and economic j u s t i c e issues also stems from i t s c r i t i c i s m of RC. As Hudson points out, there are two versions of t h i s theory: one emphasizes personal growth, cooperation, and freedom from c o n t r o l by anonymous forces and the other has i t s basis in„ the theory of the state which emphasizes c l a s s structures and economic r e l a t i o n s h i p s influences of cu l t u r e and media, and s o c i a l movements. (1979., p.390) This thesis i s r e s t r i c t e d to the RC, DI, and SL theories, arguably the most prominent models found i n the planning procedural l i t e r a t u r e . The remainder of the chapter (parts 4.2 to 4.5) i d e n t i f i e s each theory"s p r i n c i p l e s f o r dealing with uncertainty. These p r i n c i p l e s are ult i m a t e l y evaluated i n Chapter 5.0, where, the c r i t e r i a developed above i n Chapter 3.0 51 are applied. Primary s o u r c e s — r a t h e r than c r i t i q u e s or commentaries—were r e l i e d on i n i d e n t i f y i n g the t h e o r e t i c a l p r i n c i p l e s . One important source i s Faludi's A Reader i n Planning Theory (1973), a compilation of seminal a r t i c l e s on planning theory. Most of the RG and DI p r i n c i p l e s are drawn from Faludi's c o l l e c t i o n . (For convenience, passages from these a r t i c l e s are c i t e d under F a l u d i (1973); f u l l c i t a t i o n s f o r each a r t i c l e r e l i e d on i n Faludi (1973) are given i n the Bibliography.) The SL p r i n c i p l e s were drawn p r i m a r i l y from Friedmann (1973), Schon.(1971), and Michael (1974) . 4.2 The Rational Comprehensive Theory 4.2.1 RC Goals P r i n c i p l e s To the RC planner, d e f i n i n g community goals i s an i n t e g r a l part of any democratic planning process. The planner's r o l e , i t seems, i s to stimulate public d i s c u s s i o n on goals, even i f t h i s involves making preliminary goals proposals. Goal statements are required i n l a t e r analysis where the planner's r o l e i s to i l l u m i n a t e the advantages and disadvantages of a l t e r n a t i v e goals f o r the b e n e f i t . of the p o l i t i c i a n who s e l e c t s from among c o n f l i c t i n g goals. RC t h e o r i s t s recognize the complexity of public goals, goals which must be conceived as unstable, always changing. (Faludi 1973, p. 194) Altschuler suggests that i d e n t i f y i n g community 52 goals, however, el u s i v e they may be , i s best achieved i f the goals are measured by importance and "welded" i n t o a hierarchy of community goals. (Faludi 1973, p. 197) Ambiguity about goals can also be reduced i f planners use appropriate discussants: He [the planner] cannot be s a t i s f i e d to consult a narrow constituency. Presumably he should understand important goals of each society"s members. If he must deal i n pra c t i c e with groups rather than i n d i v i d u a l s , he should not l i m i t himelf to c o n s t e l l a t i o n s of i n t e r e s t that maintain permanent formal organizations. (Faludi 1973, p. 197) Ba n f i e l d cautions that i n t h i s stage of the planning process•, the planner needs to detect two types of goals, a c t i v e and contextual: The active elements are those features of the future s i t u a t i o n which are a c t i v e l y sought; the contextual are those which, while not a c t i v e l y . sought, nevertheless cannnot be s a c r i f i c e d without l o s s The planner?s task i s to i d e n t i f y a n d ' c l a r i f y the contextual as well as the acti v e components of the ends. (Faludi 1973, p. 141) As a check against i d e n t i f y i n g i l l u s o r y or non-existant goals, A l t s c h u l e r suggests that planners" goal statements are not v a l i d expressions of community values unless community decisionmakers r a t i f y them a f t e r thorough d e l i b e r a t i o n . (Faludi 1973, p. 197) In summary, RC"s p r i n c i p l e s of dealing with uncertainty r e l a t i n g to goals can be summarized as follows: 1. Use appropriate discussants: the planner a c t i v e l y stimulates p u b l i c d i s c u s s i o n with appropriate discussants. 53 2. Promote in-depth discussion: a d e l i b e r a t e and serious d i s c u s s i o n i s required to i d e n t i f y goals. 3. E s t a b l i s h a goals hierarchy: based on public discussion, the planner creates alternate h i e r a r c h i e s of goals showing c o n f l i c t i n g goals. 4.2.2 RC Analysis P r i n c i p l e s RC planning agencies comprehensively analyze environmental systems and how alternative, action programs behave within these systems. Planning methods textbooks describe many a n a l y t i c a l techniques designed to develop a systems view and r e l a t e ends to means with qu a n t i t a t i v e methods such as environmental impact statements, models based on p r o b a b i l i t y theory, and judgemental approaches. (Hudson 1979) As Bolan points out, planners should pay p a r t i c u l a r attention to the past i n order to give a systematic analysis of the future: ...techniques ranging from simple s t r a i g h t - l i n e extrapolation to s o p h i s t i c a t e d e f f o r t s at p r e d i c t i v e modelling.;.strive f o r reducing uncertainty and increasing e x p l i c i t r e c o g n i t i o n of dynamics of complex r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Completing the array are more advanced (but l e s s widely used) approaches embodied i n systems theory, d e c i s i o n theory, and game theory. The past i s f u l l y appreciated i n imagining the future i n t h i s s o c i a l framework. Not only i s i t assumed that the complexity of the world can be discovered ( i n q u a n t i t a t i v e terms) but also that these complexities can be observed to follow some stable law or p r i n c i p l e of behaviour that w i l l continue to p r e v a i l . (1974, p. 23) To i l l u s t r a t e the b e n e f i t s of a r a t i o n a l analysis, Meyerson suggests that a planing agency's c e n t r a l i n t e l l i g e n c e function" 54 should improve the e f f i c i e n t functioning of the marketplace: Currently, b u i l d e r s , investors, business and i n d u s t r i a l firms have such vast unknown f a c t o r s with which to deal that the r i s k s involved e i t h e r operate as brakes on a c t i v i t y or i n f l a t e the- costs of production or financ i n g . The c i t y planning agency i n most communities i s the l o c a l unity of . government best equipped to provide market analysis function. (Faludi 1973, p. 132) The planner also analyzes how a l t e r n a t i v e p o l i c i e s w i l l a f f e c t the planning environment. "Comprehensiveness" does not mean that a l l a l t e r n a t i v e s be analyzed. B a n f i e l d suggests that only those options which f a l l i n t o the planner"s "opportunity area" need to be examined: His opportunity area c o n s i s s t s of the course of action " r e a l l y " open to him;-, i . e . , those which he i s not precluded from taking by some l i m i t i n g c ondition. I t may be, of course, that he has no opportunity area at. a l l — t h a t there i s 'absolutely no way by which the ends should may be achieved^or that the opportunity areas i s a very r e s t r i c t e d one. (Faludi 1973, p. 141) Working within an opportunity area, the planner seeks out unintended as well as intended consequences of a l t e r n a t i v e p o l i c i e s . Again, r a t i o n a l i t y .and comprehensiveness h i g h l i g h t the planner"s approach: If the plan i s to r a t i o n a l , a l l consequences—not merely those intended by the planner—must be taken i n t o account. To a large extent, then, good planning i s a search f o r unintended consequences which might follow from the attainment of the act i v e or contextual ends. (Faludi 1973, p. 142) The analysis p r i n c i p l e s can be summed up as: 1. Apply systems analysis:. • apply systems analysis techniques to develop a systematic view of the planning environment and the 55 impacts of alternative planning programs. 2. Consider "opportunity area" options: comprehensiveness in selecting alternatives i s achieved when the planner considers his opportunity area. 3. Project impacts of feasible alternative impacts: project a l l feasible alternatives in a systems context and highlight intended and unintended consequences of planning actions. 4.2.3 RC Action Principles The RC plan i s an explicit blueprint by which actions required to deal with uncertainties are clearly stated. A plan should consist of explicit " c r i t i c a l tasks". Banfield (in Faludi 1973), for instance, says that these " c r i t i c a l tasks" serve as the premises for more detailed programs or operations. The plan, in other words, provides an if-then logical framework of dealing with uncertainty, where explicit statements of "tasks and assumptions document current thinking and provide a basis for review. Both mid- and long-range plans are required. A mid-range action plan links measures dealing with current problems to long range community goals. . Meyerson provides an examples of how a mid-range plan (or development plan) works: 56 The development p l a n . . . w i l l , i n d i c a t e the s p e c i f i c changes i n land use programmed f o r each year the rate of new growth, the public f a c i l i t i e s to be b u i l t , the structures to be removed, the p r i v a t e investment required, incentives to encourage pri v a t e behaviour r e q u i s i t e to the plan. The development plan would have to be acted upon each year and made an o f f i c i a l act f o r the subsequent year, •much as a c a p i t a l budget i s put i n t o law. Revised'yearly, i t would become the c e n t r a l guide to land use c o n t r o l , to p u b l i c budgetting and to appropriate private actions to achieve d i r e c t e d community improvement. (Faludi 1973., p. 135) P r i n c i p l e s guiding action are summed as follows: 1. State tasks and assumptions e x p l i c i t l y : plans are a c l e a r view of major tasks; t h e i r sequence, and underlying assumptions, providing a l o g i c a l framework of.current agency thinking. 2. Use mid and long-range action plans: mid-range action plans l i n k long-term plans and current problems and measures. 4.2.4 RC Feedback P r i n c i p l e s The RC planning agency analyzes consequences of i t s actions i n p a r t i c u l a r and the environment i n general to provide a basis of knowledge to be used l a t e r i n action programs. Feedback promotes an up-to-the-minute understanding of how l o c a l systems work. Meyerson"s r a t i o n a l e f o r a "pulse-taking" function i l l u s t r a t e s the value ,of•monitoring the environment: I therefore recommend that' the planning agency submit a quarterly or other p e r i o d i c report to the l o c a l c h i e f executive a l e r t i n g the community danger signs. Which neighbourhoods are showing b l i g h t f a c t o r s at an increased pace? Are c e r t a i n t r a n s i t routes l o s i n g most of t h e i r passengers? Are there signs, that certain: i n d u s t r i e s are about to e i t h e r come i n or leave the area? The planning .agency should thus perpetually scan the community f o r i n d i c a t i o n s of maladjustment. (Faludi 57 1973, p. 133) The same review function i s also needed to measure intended and unintended e f f e c t s of action programs. The feedback p r i n c i p l e s therefore are: 1. Monitor changes i n planning environment. 2. Monitor intended and unintended program e f f e c t s . 4.3 D i s j o i n t e d Incrementalism 4.3.1 DI Goals P r i n c i p l e s Uncertainty about- goals i s reduced by an on-going process of negotiation by relevant a u t h o r i t i e s . Relevant a u t h o r i t i e s are those who have some a u t h o r i t a t i v e power to stop future action. (Lindblom 1959) The DI school does not address the question of who should be granted power, but ind i c a t e s that power could be exercised from within and outside .formal s t r u c t u r e s . In E t z i o n i " s summary of DI, reducing uncertainty about goals r e a l l y means a u t h o r i t i e s coming to an agreement on values: Influenced by the fr e e competition model of economics, incrementalists r e j e c t the notion that p o l i c i e s can be guided i n terms of c e n t r a l i n s t i t u t i o n s of a society expressing the c o l l e c t i v e "good". P o l i c i e s , rather, are the outcome of a give-and-take among numerous s o c i e t a l ©partisans©. (Faludi 1973, p. 220) According to DI, goals and action evolve at the same time. Goals respond to e f f e c t s that programs have on current problems. Because goals cannot be c l a r i f i e d i n advance of action programs, i t i s f u t i l e to use long-term goals. 58 I t i s also not us e f u l to state short-term goals i n abstract terms, f o r goal meanings change with circumstances. A "discovered" goal may be highly valued i n one circumstance but may have no value i n - a d i f f e r e n t s i t u a t i o n . Lindblom gives the following example, where goals evolve with circumstances: I f , f o r example, an andminsitrator values highly both the dispatch with which his agency can carry through i t s projects and good public r e l a t i o n s , i t matters l i t t l e which of the two possibly c o n f l i c t i n g values he favors i n some abstract or.general sense. P o l i c y questions a r i s e i n forms which put to administrators such a question as: given the degree to which we are or are not already achieving the values of dispatch and the values of good public r e l a t i o n s , i s i t worth s a c r i f i c i n g a l i t t l e speed f o r a happier c l i e n t e l e so that we can get on with our work? The answer to such a question varies with circumstances. (Faludi 1973, pp. 156-7) Another reason f o r r e s t r i c t i n g g o a l - d e f i n i t i o n to the short-run i s that many goals are not knowable: Administrators cannot escape these c o n f l i c t s by ascertaining the majority"s preference, f o r preferences have not been r e g i s t e r e d on most issues; indeed, there often are no preferences i n the absence of public dis c u s s i o n s u f f i c i e n t - to b r i n g an issue to the attention of the electorate.. Furthermore, there i s a question of whether i n t e n s i t y of f e e l i n g should be. considered as well as the number of persons p r e f e r r i n g each a l t e r n a t i v e . (Faludi 1973, p. 156) Dl"s cautious approach i n discern i n g goals could be summed up as follows: 1. Negotiate appropriate goals with relevant a u t h o r i t i e s . 2. Determine goals only i n concert.with action. 59 4.3.2 DI Analysis P r i n c i p l e s Unlike RC, rigorous systems analysis has l i t t l e value i n the DI model. Lindblom explains why: An administrator a s s i s t i n g in- the formulation of a g r i c u l t u r a l economic p o l i c y cannot i n the f i r s t place be competent.on a l l possible p o l i c i e s . He cannot even comprehend one p o l i c y e n t i r e l y . In planning a s o i l bank program, he cannot s u c c e s s f u l l y a n t i c i p a t e the impact of higher or lower farm income on,, say, u r b a n i z a t i o n — t h e possible consequent loosening of family t i e s , possilbe consequent loosening of family t i e s , possible consequent eventual need f o r r e v i s i o n s i n s o c i a l s e c u r i t y and fur t h e r implications f o r tax problems a r i s i n g out of new f e d e r a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s f o r s o c i a l s e c u r i t y and municipal r e s p o n s i b l i t i e s f o r urban s e r v i c e s . Nor, to follow another l i n e of repercussions, can he -work through the s o i l bank program's e f f e c t s on p r i c e s f o r implications f o r f o r e i g n r e l a t i o n s , i n c l u d i n g those a r i s i n g out of economic r i v a l r y between the United States and the USSR. (Faludi 1973, p. 160) DI recognizes, however, that i t s s t y l e of decisionmaking i s not appropriate f o r "large" decisions. Braybrooke and Lindblom (1963) c i t e as an example of a large d e c i s i o n the d e c i s i o n of the confederate state to secede from the union and Lincoln"s opposition: such decisions are not " c l e a r l y understood" beforehand. (1963, p. 68) How i s a planning agency to determine research p r i o r i t i e s ? According to Lindblom, research p r i o r i t i e s w i l l emerge from the i n t e n s i v e negotiations conducted by the a u t h o r i t i e s . The r e s u l t w i l l normally be r e l a t i v e l y small incremental changes. Lindblom draws t h i s g u ideline from the experience of American p o l i t i c s : The two major p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s agree on fundamentals; they o f f e r a l t e r n a t i v e p o l i c i e s to the voters only on r e l a t i v e l y small points of d i f f e r e n c e . Both p a r t i e s 60 favour f u l l employment, but they define i t somewhat d i f f e r e n t l y ; both favor the development of water-power resources, but i n s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t ways... (Faludi 1973, pp. 161-2) Simplifying or r e s t r i c t i n g analysis of a l t e r n a t i v e s , however, i s not to be confused,with inadequate research: Since the p o l i c i e s ignored by the administrator are p o l i t i c a l l y impossible and so i r r e l e v a n t , the s i m p l i f i c a t i o n of analysis achieved by concentrating on p o l i c i e s that d i f f e r only incrementally i s not a capricious kind of s i m p l i f i c a t i o n . In addition, i t can be argued that, given the l i m i t s of knowledge within which policy-makers are confined, s i m p l i f y i n g by l i m i t i n g the focus, to small v a r i a t i o n s from present p o l i c y makes the most of a v a i l a b l e knowledge. (Faludi 1973, p. 162) The two analysis p r i n c i p l e s are: 1. Relevant analysis should..be d i r e c t e d to the margin: analysis i s r e s t r i c t e d to a l t e r n a t i v e s a f f e c t i n g only the immediate environment. 2. Relevance of research and analysis should be a function of negotiation: as f o r goal d e f i n i t i o n and action programs, the most e f f e c t i v e research strategy i s one which i s agreed to by responsible p a r t i e s . 4.3.3 DI Action P r i n c i p l e s As p a r t i c i p a t i n g a u t h o r i t i e s l e a r n from past experience, action programs are developed. Recent experience helps organizations adopt safe routes. In LindblonTs view, negotiation w i l l define a middle road which avoids actions which are r i s k y or 61 which would preclude future options (1959). The p r i n c i p l e of action i s to adopt the safe route, and the best way of s e l e c t i n g t h i s route i s through negotiation. 4.3.4 DI Feedback P r i n c i p l e s With continuous feedback i n i n t e g r a t i n g goals and means, unc e r t a i n t i e s can be i d e n t i f i e d and handled qu i c k l y . E t z i o n i describes DI^s i n t e r g a t i o n of goals and means through feedback: The problem confronting the decision-maker i s co n t i n u a l l y redefined: Incrementalism allows f o r countless end-means and means-ends adjustments which, i n e f f e c t , makes the problem more manageable. Thus, there i s no one dec i s i o n or " r i g h t " s o l u t i o n but a "never ending s e r i e s of attacks" on the issues at hand through s e r i a l analyses and evaluation. (Faludi 1973, p. 219) The guiding p r i n c i p l e regarding feedback i s that a planning agency should f a c i l i t a t e e f f i c i e n t goal-action i n t e r a c t i o n by continuous feedback of relevant information parameters. 4.4 S o c i a l Learning Theory 4.. 4.1 SL Goals P r i n c i p l e s An important d i s t i n g u i s h i n g feature of SL i s i t s p r e s c r i p t i o n f o r a unique s t y l e of dialogue between the planner and the c l i e n t . In Friedmann"s d i a l e c t i c a l mutual learning, the planner gains " l o c a l knowledge" from the c l i e n t and the c l i e n t 62 gains "expertise" from the planner. This exchange i s a way of not only c l a r i f y i n g but formulating goals: In mutual learning,, planner and c l i e n t each l e a r n from the o t h e r — t h e planner from the c l i e n t " s personal knowledge, the c l i e n t from the planner"s t e c h n i c a l expertise. In t h i s process., the knowledge of both undergoes a major change. A common image of the s i t u a t i o n evolves through dialogue-; a new understanding of the p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r change is.discovered. . And i n accord with t h i s new knowledge, the c l i e n t w i l l be predisposed to act. (1973, p. 185) The. s o c i a l learning p r i n c i p l e regarding goals i s that a d i a l e c t i c a l exchange of the planner"s "expertise" and the c l i e n t " s " l o c a l knowledge" i s needed to i d e n t i f y goals. 4.4.2 SL Analysis P r i n c i p l e s A primary assumption of SL.is that the planning environment i s f o r the most part uncertain • or turbulent. Schon"s book, Beyond the Stable State (1971), examines several industry and government planning organizations, and argues that rates of s o c i a l change and systemic interdependence are increasing. Schon makes the point that planning, cannot r e s o r t to "enduring, s o c i a l knowledge" when he wrote: Whereas the r a t i o n a l experimental mode of knowledge requires that knowledge derived from experiment apply to the next comparable instance, the l o s s of the stable state means that i t won."t be the same next time.- (1971, p. 201) Bolan (1974), Dunn (1971), and Hampden-Turner (1971) make the same point, focussing p r i m a r i l y on the l i m i t a t i o n s of 63 science i n understanding i n c r e a s i n g l y "fresh" s i t u a t i o n s . In recognition of the p r e v a i l i n g turbulence and uncertainty i n society, man must learn to understand i n c r e a s i n g l y complex s i t u a t i o n s . Schon reasons that re-applying findings of one s i t u a t i o n to another within an unstable environment cannot provide v a l i d or r e l i a b l e estimates of the future: I t i s of the.essence of experiment, whether i n the physic a l or s o c i a l sciences > to allow some f a c t o r s to vary while others remain constant. But i n s i t u a t i o n s of public learning, i t i s almost never possible to hold some variables constant while' manipulating others. Any intervention a f f e c t s more than one variable;- no move has only i t s intended consequences. I t i s not f e a s i b l e to hold a l l values of these variables constant except one which i s given f i r s t one value and then another i n the "same s i t u a t i o n s . " For t h i s s i t u a t i o n i s c r i t i c a l l y ;affected by the f i r s t a ction. (1971, p. 214) Schon"s main conclusion, therefore i s that i t i s i n v a l i d to use a general theory"s " p r o b a b i l i t y value" or i t s "probable application"' i n another s i t u a t i o n . As a b u i l d i n g block i n analysis, SL argues f o r what Schon c a l l s " l o c a l theory building"': No theory drawn from, past experience may be taken as l i t e r a l l y applicable, to t h i s s i t u a t i o n , nor w i l l a theory based on the experience of t h i s s i t u a t i o n prove l i t e r a l l y applicable to the next s i t u a t i o n . But theories drawn from other s i t u a t i o n s may provide perspectives or "projective models" f o r t h i s s i t u a t i o n , which help to shape i t and permit action within i t . However t h i s process of e x i s t e n t i a l theory-building must grow out of the experience of the here-and-now of t h i s s i t u a t i o n , must be nourished by and tested against i t . (1971, p. 231) 64 This view of l o c a l theory building., however, does not preclude the use of s c i e n t i f i c method;' rather, s c i e n t i f i c method should be applied only i n •"stable" s i t u a t i o n s . S t a b i l i t y , according to Schon occurs: Where the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the system variables i s commonly highly deterministic,, and where the concern i s more often-addressed to the- e f f e c t upon the behaviour of . a system component:of change i n an exogenous parameter— u s u a l l y under highly c o n t r o l l e d conditions. (1971, p. 135) In summary, the s o c i a l learning p r i n c i p l e s guiding analysis are: 1. D i f f e r e n t i a t e predictable vs. unpredictable events: p a r t i c u l a r attention should be given to d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g predictable and non^predictable events; p r o b i l i t i e s should be assigned only to d e t e r m i n i s t i c v a r i a b l e s . 2. Encourage l o c a l theory b u i l d i n g : planning agencies should have a strong l o c a l theory b u i l d i n g function to t e s t analogous theories and shed l i g h t on l o c a l problems. 4.4.3 SL Action P r i n c i p l e s Planning agencies simply cannot conceive of a l l possible contingencies as they a r i s e ; Friend and Jessop j u s t i f y the need f o r f l e x i b i l i t y as follows: Although firm commmitments may from time to time be required i n p a r t i c u l r sectors of a complex d e c i s i o n f i e l d , i t may also become p a r t i c u l a r l y important to r e t a i n an element of f l e x i b i l i t y i n other sectors i n the expectation that, by the time commitment i n these 65 sectors becomes i n e v i t a b l e , the state o f knowledge of the environment may be very d i f f e r e n t and • the whole context of d e c i s i o n may have changed. (1969, p. 112) I t i s commonly thought by, SL wri t e r s that f l e x i b i l i t y can be achieved, by using decentralized organizational structures. T y p i c a l l y , as a planning "centre" (say a c e n t r a l i z e d planning agency) i s established,, a number of f a i l u r e s set i n . Some sources of f a i l u r e i d e n t i f i e d by Friend and Jessop"s case study on c i t y planning (1969) include: a), the need f o r a r a p i d response from a-central.decision-making-body may overtax the f i n a n c i a l , i n t e l l e c t u a l , and human resources of the centre; b) demands on leadership and. management may overwhelm.the system as the primary, centre takes on i n c r e a s i n g l y more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y ; c) there may be l i t t l e motivation or incentive to d i f f u s e information from, the peripheries to the centre, and v i c e versa; d) re g i o n a l d i v e r s i t y and the r i g i d i t y of centre (does the centrally-imposed message take account of regional d i f f e r e n c e s ? ) . " F l a t " structures, in.contrast, permit l o c a l knowledge to have an influence i n decision-making. Schon argues that learning i n an uncertain turbulent environment cannot occur e f f i c i e n t l y i n c e n t r a l i z e d h i e r a r c h i e s : The opportunity f o r learning i s p r i m a r i l y discovered i n systems at the periphery, • not i n the nexus of o f f i c i a l p o l i c i e s at the centre. Central"s r o l e i s to detect s i g n i f i c a n t s h i f t s ..at the periphery, to pay e x p l i c i t a t tention to the emergence of ideas i n good currency, and derive items of p o l i c y by induction. Central then comes to function as the f a c i l i t a t o r of society"s learning rather than as society"s t r a i n e r . (1971, p. 177) 66 S i m i l a r l y , Friedmann (1973) argues that extensive use of small-scale organizations, would be able to process "planner" and " c l i e n t " information more e f f i c i e n t l y . Both p a r t i c i p a n t s would be located i n decentralized structures, where, the assumption i s , they have greater a c c e s s i b i l i t y to change, thereby allowing them to process information e f f i c i e n t l y i n the mutual learning process described above. In summary, the action p r i n c i p l e s can be stated as: 1. Use f l e x i b l e p o l i c i e s ; p o l i c i e s should-keep options open, be based on a regional context, and promote heterogeneity. 2. Use decentralized structures: decentralized structures can process l o c a l knowledge: e f f i c i e n t l y , enabling decision-makers to deal with current problems. 4.4.4 SL Feedback P r i n c i p l e s According to the S o c i a l Learning school, monitoring the planning environment s o c i a l p o l i c y e f f e c t s within that environment are prerequisites f o r dealing with uncertainty. Friedmann"s monitoring of the environment comprises two r e l a t e d - t a s k s — s e n s i n g and evaluation: To sense means to detect, observe, and c o r r e c t l y report on changes i n the states of the relevant environment; to evaluate means to i n t e r p r e t the s i g n i f i c a n c e of what i s found f o r the purpose of c o r r e c t i n g and r e d i r e c t i n g action. The two a c t i v i t i e s are c l o s e l y r e l a t e d ; evaluation not only requires the presence of a device 67 for environmetal sensing,, but also provides the necessary motivation to engage in certain types of sensing—the repertoire of possible actions determine what is to be sensed., establishes criteria of significance, and helps establish the "grain" and frequency of the sensing operation. (1973, p. 214) That is , planning - agencies should recognize the need for short-term incremental political decisions, but at the same time the need for providing information in the decisionmaking process about the general direction taken by cumulative policies. Furthermore, ongoing review provides information needed for expanding and testing "local theories" (discussed above). In summary, the SL feedback principle is that a planning agency should monitor effects of/short-term policies in light of their cumulative long-term implications. 4.5 Synthesis A comparison of the three models reveals several fundamentally different assumptions about how to deal with uncertainty. The three theories differ most when identifying long-term goals, analyzing environmental systems, and organizing action programs.: There seems, however, to be a general consensus on the importance and role of monitoring for feedback, and the need to engage in an intensive effort to discern short-term goals. Although a l l three models recognize the importance of determining goals., some significant differences in style emerge. 68 RC"s assumption that planners.can and need to i d e n t i f y long-term goals i s at odds with the DI view that i t i s naive and unproductive to attempt to i d e n t i f y long-term goals. The DI theory says that goals can only be i d e n t i f i e d by t e s t i n g values i n r e a l (short-run) s i t u a t i o n s and even then,• there w i l l be ambiguities. SL"s c r i t i q u e of RC"s g o a l - i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i s that RC"s "goal discussion" exercises, while intensive, does not go f a r enough; a planning agency needs to undertake "planner/client" dialogue i n order to forge new p o l i c y d i r e c t i o n s . The SL d i a l o g i c a l s t y l e also c r i t i c i z e s Dl"s negotiating f o r a f o r t h e i r missing ingredient of planner/client dialogue. SL also c r i t i c i z e s Dl"s assumption that long-term goals cannot be defined. Assumptions about the a b i l i t y to p r edict the environment and a planning agency"s impacts on t h i s environment also vary considerably. RC"s b e l i e f that system analysis w i l l generally contribute to an improved understanding of a planning environment contrast with Dl"s view that future outcomes of countless decisions preclude any conceptual basis f o r determining what could occur. Although cautious about long-term projections, SL sees a need to consider long-term e f f e c t s of programs, e s p e c i a l l y those a r i s i n g from cumulative short-run d e c i s i o n s . SL analysis also i s d i s t i n c t i n i t s requirement to d i s t i n g u i s h predictable and non-predictable events, a d i s t i n c t i o n which does not receive any s i g n i f i c a n t attention i n RC (which makes heavy use of a 69 p r o b a b i l i t y theory) or DI. RC"s e x p l i c i t mid- and long-term action plans contrast sharply with Dl"s muddling through., I t i s only by muddling through that a planning agency can adapt gradually to uncertain s i t u a t i o n s and follow;safe routes. . SL goes one step f u r t h e r and recognizes the need to preserve long-term options. SL c r i t i c i s m s of RC also centre of how c e n t r a l i s t organizations i n h i b i t a planning agency's learning c a p a b i l i t i e s ; f o r instance, demands on leadership and management may overwhelms the system as the primarly centre takes on r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , or, the c o n t r o l doctrine may not take account of regional deversity which increases with the s i z e of the system. (Schon 1971) A l l three theories agree that feedback of past actions, evaluated i n l i g h t of agency goals., and action i s c r i t i c a l to the success of the planning e f f o r t . < While both RC and SL propose a "mixed scanning" type of monitoring to account f o r short- and long-term effects,. SL- stresses a d i a l o g i c a l or tra n s a c t i o n a l analysis of the feedback whereas RC does not prescribe how the feedback should be treated seems t o suggest that feedback, i n a raw form, i s adequate as a basis f o r r e d i r e c t i n g programs. SL and RC disagree with Dl"s short-run monitoring time horizon (because of the need to measure the long-term cumulative e f f e c t s of short-term decisions) and Dl"s .use of pos s i b l y "narrow" forums used i n deciding on monitoring p r i o r i t i e s . 70 5. EVALUATION OF THE THREE PLANNING THEORIES 5.1 Dealing with Export Markets 5.1.1 Guideline For Determining Depths of Export Market  Uncertainty i A planning agency's d e l i b e r a t e and i n t r o s p e c t i v e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f the form and frequency of uncertain events i n i n t e r n a t i o n a l resource markets provides, i t was argued i n Chapter 3"s analysis of:-- NEBC planning, an informed basis from which appropriate s t r a t e g i e s could be designed. I f an export market event occurs r e g u l a r l y enough, p r o b a b i l i t i e s could be assigned to the event and this-estimate could,be the basis f o r adopting one of a number of r i s k s t r a t e g i e s ; no r i s k strategy, however, i s appropriate where ' the • form or frequency of the event i s . not known. In addition, when c l a s s i f y i n g "depths" of uncertainty, a planning' agency needs to: c r i t i c a l l y assess i t s own b e l i e f s that export market events occur r e g u l a r l y or that t h e i r form i s well understood. RC (described more, f u l l y i n Ch. 4) only p a r t i a l l y s a t i s f i e s the NEBC gu i d e l i n e . I t s strength l i e s i n i t s s t r e s s on e x p l i c i t analysis of uncertain events which, i f used., w i l l tend to show c l e a r l y the possible changes that might occur i n the region and the e f f e c t s of planning programs i n dealing with these u n c e r t a i n t i e s . For instance,; systematically projecting the e f f e c t s of the Alaska Highway P i p e l i n e Project or increased o i l and gas exploration w i l l no doubt demonstrate to decisionmakers 71 the pervasiveness of uncertainty and a l e r t decisionmakers to possibly undesirable impacts. The RC theory,, however, seems to be d e f i c i e n t i n two respects. F i r s t , i t f a i l s to suggest how to use the des c r i p t i o n s of the uncertain environment.'. • Descriptions of the e f f e c t s of uncertain export events do not go f a r enough, even i f they a l e r t agencies to the possibly high s o c i a l costs p r e c i p i t a t e d by the uncertain events. The NEBC gui d e l i n e proposes that a planning agency go beyond mere d e s c r i p t i o n and categorize events by- form and frequency. The knowledge produced by t h i s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n would provide a more informed basis f o r deciding whether a r i s k strategy i s appropriate. A second d e f i c i e n c y of RC i s that although the e x p l i c i t analysis might reveal the pervasiveness of uncertainty, i t does not contemplate how the analysis might be tested. What i s needed f o r NEBC—and RC does.not/suggest t h i s — i s a procedure which d e l i b e r a t e l y reviews the subjective basis of a planning agency's understanding of uncertainty. . I t seems that RC has excessive f a i t h i n experts" analysis. Dl's c e n t r a l premise i s that because of the overwhelming uncertainty found i n a planning environment, the planner's analysis cannot be comprehensive:; a planning agency's organizational and human resources.simply do not allow i t to consider a l l possible uncertainties-: As r e a l i s t i c as t h i s view might seem i n a complex NEBC s e t t i n g , i t f a i l s (as d i d RC) to 72 give any meaningful suggestions on how a planning agency should use i t s ne c e s s a r i l y l i m i t e d " d i s j o i n t e d " and "incremental" knowlege i n responding- to.export market uncertainty. I t should be noted-, however, that DI recognizes the need to engage a c r i t i c a l review of agency b e l i e f s when conducting i t s analyses. This suggestion has merit i n NEBC, where i t was seen that a c t i v e and thorough review tends to provide a c l e a r e r view of export market uncertainties.. Unfortunately, t h i s strength i s o f f s e t by the theory"s .silence on which s o c i e t a l groups should p a r t i c i p a t e i n reviewing b e l i e f s . In NEBC, there was a strong need f o r an agency to employ a wide-based review of export market uncertainty (eg. see Chapter 3.2).. When organizing t h i s review, agencies had to decide which groups would be i n v i t e d to p a r t i c i p a t e and under which conditions.. Decisions over p a r t i c i p a t i o n , of course^, predetermine the r e s u l t of the review. DI neglects the . p o l i t i c a l f a c t o r s i n f l u e n c i n g these decisions, somehow assuming that relevant groups w i l l p a r t i c i p a t e i n the review. The theory therefore i s of l i t t l e p r a c t i c a l use to p r a c t i t i o n e r s who are faced with the need to incorporate views from a host of competing i n t e r e s t groups. The SL p r i n c i p l e that planning agencies d i f f e r e n t i a t e p r e dictable versus unpredictable u n c e r t a i n t i e s c l o s e l y approximates the NEBC guideline that planning agencies c l a s s i f y depths of uncertainty. • SL agrees with DI that the planning process should be designed to c r i t i c i z e current b e l i e f s but goes 73 one step further when i t urges planning agencies to conceptualize d i f f e r e n t types of uncertain • events, where each type has conceptually d i f f e r e n t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s r e q u i r i n g unique p o l i c y treatment. The SL p r i n c i p l e of d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g predictable and unpredictable events reveals a d i f f i c u l t y when aligned with i t s p r i n c i p l e urging small-scale structures. To r e c a l l , Friedmann (1973) and Schon (1971,-) ;argue that s o c i a l learning, can best be achieved by decentralized structures which generally would allow a more d i r e c t understanding of and a quicker adaptation to change.. (See Chapter 4.) But the NEBC experience suggests the opposite: centralized' agency structures, i t appears, can best c a l l on diverse p a r t i c i p a n t s and integrate t h e i r views on depths of uncertainty. Reviewing-the p r e d i c t a b i l i t y of export .markets should i d e a l l y be done with a wide base of p a r t i c i p a t i o n . The Peace R i v e r - L i a r d Regional D i s t r i c t recognized the need f o r a wide base i n i t s Settlement Plan programs and the Impact 78 conference (discussed i n Chapter 2). < How a decentralized and fragmented structure could bring together a wide range of pu b l i c i n t e r e s t s without a c e n t r a l " i n t e g r a t i v e " structure i s not explained by SL. In summary, therefore, RC and DI d i s p l a y opposing views on whether an agency i s able to comprehensively analyse i t s uncertain environment., but both f a i l equally as p r a c t i c a l guides. DI has the value of urging a c t i v e review, but s u f f e r s from i t s 74 s i l e n c e on participation.- SL does give a p r a c t i c a l guide on what infromation could be obtained, but t h i s seems to be i r r e c o n c i l a b l e with i t s p r i n c i p l e urging small-scale structures. 5.1.2 Guideline.for Determining Locations of Export Uncertainty A NEBC guideline proposed i n Chapter 3 suggests that a planning agency needs to probe the extent to which i t might be able to influence the export market". I t appeared i n NEBC that although market unc e r t a i n t i e s are generally thought to be outside of an agency's realm of influence, they can i n c e r t a i n cases be " s t a b i l i z e d " by aggressive regional planning p o l i c y . That i s , agencies have some:if not considerable d i s c r e t i o n i n exerting influence over export market forces^. By d e l i b e r a t e l y considering the- extent of i t s possible influence, a planning agency i s able to compare the cost.of adopting an a c t i v e program of extending i t s influence i n the export market with the cost incurred by using a "passive" program.. Such -an analysis, i t seemed, would c o n s t r u c t i v e l y demonstrate the p o l i c y a l t e r n a t i v e s which could be used i n mitig a t i n g the chronic boom-bust syndromes caused by export market uncertainty. RC theory recognizes that a planning agency needs to r e s t r i c t i t s analysis to the "opportunity area" open t o I t . This p r i n c i p l e makes good sense, e s p e c i a l l y where, as i n NEBC, uncertainty i s pervasive and the planning agency needs to set a 75 r e a l i s t i c scope for i t s analysis and actions. Unfortunately, RC pays l i t t l e attention to the procedure to be used in identifying the limits of the opportunity area; RC seems to imply that the opportunity area i s fixed or at least does not suggest how to define this area. In contrast,, the NEBC experience reveals that many planning agencies have considerable discretion when determining what i t s opportunities•are. Dl"s active review and concern for seeking out a "safe middle ground" w i l l no doubt reveal how far a planning agency can extend i t s potential influence. DI, more than RC, seems to recognize that the. location of external boundaries i s an impermanent one,, one that can be negotiated by participants in the planning process. Dl"s limitation, however, i s that i t i s silent on ensuring that appropriate participants (eg. public interest groups, other agencies) negotiate the extent of the influence area. Dl"s recognition of agency discretion, therefore, improves on RG,,;but suffers from ambiguity on how the agency should organize participation. SL does not e x p l i c i t l y urge a planning agency to probe the limits of i t s possible influence.. Its" two principles of "differentiating uncertainty, by predictability" and "mutual learning" might but not necessarily alert planners of the need to probe the limits of - its. influence;- (See Chapter 4 for a description of these principles-.) This silence may not be a serious gap in the theory.. Arguably, a planning agency, which 76 attempts to c l a s s i f y uncertainty depth w i l l be impressed by the need to c l a s s i f y i f and whether' i t should take an active or passive response t o export market uncertainty. Perhaps a more s i g n i f i c a n t weakness of SL concerns i t s p r i n c i p l e urging the use. of decentralized structures. In theory, both c e n t r a l i z e d and decentralized planning agencies can probe t h e i r respective influence areas:. In the NEBC experience, however, i t appears that a c e n t r a l i z e d planning structure i s more conducive to determining i f . ••and how export market forces should be influenced. Chapter 3.2.2 above described how a c e n t r a l agency could better.: i d e n t i f y and react to the s y n e r g i s t i c e f f e c t s of many uncertain resource projects and t h e i r region-wide s o c i a l , economic, and environmental costs. 1 Such -a broad view, i t seems, i s unavailable to decentralized agencies not having the be n e f i t of a high h i e r a r c h i a l viewpoint (eg. see pers. comm. A. Hadland i n Ch.3.2.2). I f such a broad view could be a v a i l a b l e by decen t r a l i z e d planning agencies, SL does not i d e n t i f y the mechanisms by which t h i s could be achieved. 5.2 Uncertainty About Natural Systems 5.2.1 Guideline f o r Determining Depths of Natural System  Uncertainty As was the case f o r planning agencies f a c i n g uncertain export markets, a planning agency should also c l a s s i f y the 77 "depths" of natural system uncertainty. The C h a r l i e Lake and Hasler F l a t s issues i n NEBC revealed that the exercise of c l a s s i f y i n g depths allows a planning agency to more f u l l y understand the nature of i t s uncertainty and serves as an e s s e n t i a l f i r s t step, i n developing appropriate 'strategies. (See di s c u s s i o n i n Chapter 3.3.1) As already discussed i n the export uncertainty case (Ch. 5.1), each theory "has. some d e f i c i e n c i e s i n terms of c l a s s i f y i n g depths. Neither RC or Dl"s d i s t i n c t i v e s t y l e s of analysis went so f a r as to suggest the need f o r a planning agency to d i s c e r n depths of uncertainty, or the-need to review i t s b e l i e f s about the uncertainty. And, while SL"s strength l i e s i n d i r e c t i n g the planning agency to d i s t i n g u i s h predictable and non-predictable events, i t unfortunately does not consider how a widespread consideration and i n t e g r a t i o n of b e l i e f s might be achieved by i t s fragmented planning •.structure.. . SL"s mutual learning does envision intensive p a r t i c i p a t i o n as a p r e r e q u i s i t e f o r e f f e c t i v e review of depths of uncertainty but t h i s s t y l e i s considered only i n the context of small organizations with d i f f u s e d power. 5.2.2 Guideline f o r Dealing with the Non-Scientific Basis of  Theory The second procedural guide f o r a planning agency faced with natural systems uncertainty i s that i t needs to discover the non-s c i e n t i f i c basis of theories applied to resolve l o c a l 78 environmental problems:: Chapter 3 i d e n t i f i e s f a c t o r s drawn from Popper (1965) and Kuhn.'(1970) which could make s c i e n t i f i c theory l e s s than r e l i a b l e . I t was argued that there i s a need to engage some rather subtle and d i f f i c u l t analyses of the n o n - s c i e n t i f i c basis of those theories which,, i f wrong-, could produce high environmental costs. . None of the planning theories e x p l i c i t l y address the need to deal with the n o n - s c i e n t i f i c basis of theories which an agency might apply. SL and DI come close, at l e a s t i n s t y l e i f not i n substance. I f an. agency applied the SL p r i n c i p l e that planning agencies develop " l o c a l theories" i n order to avoid the p i t f a l l s of applying general theories, such an attempt at theory-building might but not ne c e s s a r i l y lead i t to consider n o n - s c i e n t i f i c f a c t o r s ( i . e . , not only s c i e n t i f i c c r i t e r i a ) ' . In f a c t , NEBC experience (eg. Hasler F l a t s and C h a r l i e Lake issues discussed i n Ch. 3 above) showed that even those s c i e n t i f i c assessments which attempted to emulate, the SL p r i n c i p l e of developing l o c a l theories d i d not in v e s t i g a t e i n t o whether n o n - s c i e n t i f i c f a c t o r s — a separate source of uncertainty—might e x i s t . Ignored are questions such as: Is theory X acceptable by eco l o g i s t s only because t h i s i s generally acceptable i n the s c i e n t i f i c community? What c u l t u r a l , economic, o r even p o l i t i c a l f a c t o r s l e d to the adoption of that p a r t i c u l a r theory? The point i s that non-s c i e n t i f i c f a c t o r s have been overlooked by both theory and actual NEBC p r a c t i c e , but needs to be considered to obtain a 79 comprehensive view of uncertainty. Dl"s p r i n c i p l e of "negotiating f o r a " , l i k e SL, envisions a process of constantly i n q u i r i n g i n t o -.the l i m i t s of s c i e n t i f i c theory: ; i t s " mistrust of applying general, theories to unique fr e s h new planning s i t u a t i o n s leads to " l o c a l theory-building". Also l i k e SL, DI i s ex c l u s i v e l y concerned with the s c i e n t i f i c basis of the theories. What the NEBC gui d e l i n e urges, on the other hand, i s a d i s t i n c t l y d i f f e r e n t inquiry, one which goes beyond an examination of only " s c i e n t i f i c " f a c t o r s . Moreover, both SL. and DL, as already noted, may s u f f e r from p a r t i c i p a t i o n l i m i t s : SL because the- small-scale structures might preclude the-widespread input needed to properly assess the n o n - s c i e n t i f i c basis of theory >. and DI because of i t s s i l e n c e on who should p a r t i c i p a t e . RC says l i t t l e about i f or how an agency should organize i t s e l f to consider the n o n - s c i e n t i f i c aspects of s c i e n t i f i c theory. This s i l e n c e i s p a r t i c u l a r l y problematic, given RC"s emphasis on the need: to apply general theories (as part of systems analysis, described i n Ch. 4 above). 5.3 Uncertainty over Planning Agency Intentions 5.3.1 Guideline f o r Dealing with Other Agencies" Unknown  Intentions The NEBC experience, as discussed i n Chapter -3.4 above, suggests that planning agencies search out the extent to which i t 80 needs to col l a b o r a t e with the many other planning agencies making up the planning environment-. This guideline i s s i m i l a r to the one suggesting that a planning.agency needs to determine how f a r i t can and should influence export market fo r c e s . As was the case f o r the export markets., no one theory gives planning -agencies s u f f i c i e n t l y c l e a r guidance. RC's e x p l i c i t analysis w i l l show how an agency's p o l i c i e s w i l l be more comprehensive and r a t i o n a l i f prepared and implemented i n concert with other agencies,•-. but the theory seems t o presume (or at l e a s t i s s i l e n t on the matter') that' analysts w i l l somehow define an appropriate l i m i t of a planning agency's influence. As was shown, above i n Chapter 3.3 above, however,-defining the l i m i t s to c o l l a b o r a t i o n i s a subjective matter, and a planning agency needs to c a r e f u l l y assess how- f a r i t believes i t can influence other agencies and whether,, i n l i g h t , of possible s o c i a l costs,' the planning agency should go to that l i m i t . RC's systems analysis f a i l s to deal with such s u b j e c t i v i t y and consequently, i f applied, would only give a planning agency a l i m i t e d knowledge base from which i t could design consultation programs.- That i s , RC does not recognize that the costs and ben e f i t s of inter-agency consultation should be a main task of dealing with uncertainty. The comments under "export uncertainty' i n Chapter 5.1.2 f o r SL and DI also hold true, i.e.;, the > p a r t i c i p a t i o n ' l i m i t s of the SL small-scale structures and DI negotiating forums, while having s t y l e s conducive to discovering p o t e n t i a l areas of 81 influence, might s u f f e r i f l i m i t e d p a r t i c i p a t i o n precludes a wide p a r t i c i p a t i o n . 5.3.2 Guideline f o r Dealing with An Agency's Own Unknown  Intentions The NEBC experience suggests that future agency intentions w i l l tend to change: dramatically and consequently, an agency should attempt to c l a r i f y which options might be foreclosed by i t s own actions,-.- Knowing that i t s future- intentions are uncertain and bound to change:, a planning agency should undertake the admittedly d i f f i c u l t task of e x p l i c i t l y envisioning a wide range of possible future agency intentions and the e f f e c t s of current p o l i c y commitments., Such, an i n t r o s p e c t i v e step i s not intended to forecast future intentions, but w i l l reveal the costs and b e n e f i t s of current decisions i n the face of uncertainty. RC unfortunately i s s i l e n t on- how a planning agency should contend with the unavoidable f a c t -that i t cannot accurately project i t s future intentions and what implications t h i s has f o r future p o l i c y . ^ DI i s an improvement over RC,. at l e a s t recognizing that a planning agency cannot project i t s own in t e n t i o n s . This i s a r e a l i s t i c view but, by i t s e l f , i s of l i t t l e consolation f o r a planning agency. DI, l i k e RC, stops short of suggesting how the 82 i n a b i l i t y to project future intentions should compel an e x p l i c i t i n q u i r y i n t o the implications of current decisions f o r future options. SL xs p r i n c i p l e of f l e x i b i l i t y i s on a l l fours with t h i s g u i d e l i n e . With SL,. a planning agency i s d i r e c t e d to be c e n t r a l l y concerned with discovering the implications (as d i f f i c u l t as t h i s might be), of d i f f e r e n t options i n the face of uncertainty. (See f o r example Part 4.4 above.) 5.4 Uncertainty Over Public Values 5.4.-1 Guideline f o r Dealing With A P a r t i a l View of Public Values The planning, experience i n NEBC discussed i n Chapter 3 showed that regardless of . the type, of v a l u e - i d e n t i f i c a t i o n e f f o r t , only a p a r t i a l view w i l l be obtainable. A l i e n a t i o n from and u n f a m i l i a r i t y with l o c a l p l a n n i n g - i n s t i t u t i o n s were found to be two prominent reasons why c e r t a i n s o c i e t a l groups do not p a r t i c i p a t e i n NEBC planning programs'.; I t was also found that i n t e n s i v e public p a r t i c i p a t i o n .programs w i l l not achieve a complete view, as goals might be i n s t a t e d — n o t r e a l — t e r m s and i d e n t i f i e d public values become qu i c k l y outdated i n times of r a p i d s o c i a l change. At best, a b l u r r y snapshot of public values i s p o s s i b l e . RC seems to be s i l e n t on how a planning agency should contend with these i n e v i t a b l e gaps i n knowledge.. In f a c t , i t 83 even seems to ignore th i s : key condition of uncertainty altogether when i t assumes that values can be welded i n t o a hierarchy (eg. see A l t s c h u l e r i n Ghapter 4.2).-., RC encourages an intensive g o a l -i d e n t i f i c a t i o n process, but t h i s by i t s e l f i s inadequate i n g i v i n g a planning agency a strategy which needs to be devised i n the absence of complete information. DI f a r e s somewhat1 better. I t s " i n t e n s i v e review, c o n s i s t i n g of continuous i n t e r a c t i o n of goals and actions would re v e a l r e a l , not only stated goals, ! thus reducing some of the uncertainty regarding public values:.. The review procedure envisioned by DI, however, suffers-, from the theory's ^ ambiguity over who should p a r t i c i p a t e . SL"s mutual learning i s s p e c i f i c a l l y designed to reveal r e a l — n o t j u s t s t a t e d — g o a l s and recognizes the NEBC s i t u a t i o n where only some public values are i d e n t i f i a b l e . The d i a l o g i c a l s t y l e of SL"s "mutual learning" makes good sense, as i t would tend to reduce uncertainty.: The Regional D i s t r i c t p ublic p a r t i c i p a t i o n programs; revealed that i t e r a t i v e and intensive consultation tend to unearth r e a l p u b l i c values. Standing by i t s e l f , - however, the mutual learning p r i n c i p l e i s somewhat- naive.. I t does not recognize that the dynamics of p o l i t i c s w i l l only encourage mutual learning to a c e r t a i n extent. Mutual learning,' as was found i n NEBC, can be threatening to decisionmakers whose power: i s obtained by the b a l l o t box i f p u b l i c p a r t i c i p a t i o n leads to more aggressive demands f o r p o l i c y -84 making (eg. see pers.. comm. J . Mucci, i n Chapter 3 ) . Mutual lear n i n g does not deal with t h i s e f f e c t . An important issue i s r a i s e d by the SL suggestion that mutual learning can best be achieved i n small organizations. While supportive of the need f o r mutual learning as a means of discovering public values, the:.NEBC experience also demonstrated the need f o r c e n t r a l i z e d structures. For example, the thesis urges that understanding conditions of export market uncertainty requires a broad-based review, arguably best achieved by a c e n t r a l organization. Whether mutual lea r n i n g could better be achieved by a c e n t r a l i z e d or decentralized structure remains unanswered. Further research would be required to determine i f the Regional D i s t r i c t ' s p u b l i c p a r t i c i p a t i o n program, f o r instance, could, be improved i f the D i s t r i c t was more decentralized. In f a c t , SL i s supported by persuasive s o c i a l psychology research concluding that mutual learning can best be achieved by decentralized planning agencies. A tentative conclusion, therefore, i s that while c e n t r a l i z e d agencies may be de s i r a b l e f o r dealing with some types of uncertainty (eg. export u n c e r t a i n t i e s ) , there may be a c o n f l i c t i n g need to use small-s c a l e d e c e n t r a l i z e d structures f o r other types of uncertainty (eg. p u b l i c value uncertainty). Generally, no one theory deals with the d i f f i c u l t question of how to optimally i d e n t i f y p u b l i c values, given the non-p a r t i c i p a t i o n of c e r t a i n sectors, the blu r r e d values of those 85 groups which do participate, and the political reluctance to allow public participation, to go too far. The NEBC experience suggests that these challenges need to be addressed by a planning agency when attempting, to reduce the uncertainty over, public values. 86 6 . SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 6.1 Strengths and Weaknesses of the Three Theories This thesis proposes seven ^procedural guidelines f o r planning .agencies dealing with uncertainty. The guidelines are derived from successes, f a i l u r e s , and issues which were evident, i n the regional planning experience of NEBC. The guidelines challenge planning agencies to be c e n t r a l l y concerned with understanding conditions of uncertainty as a s t a r t i n g point i n designing s p e c i f i c p o l i c y ..responses to uncertainty. Terms such as "depths of uncertainty", "locations of uncertainty" and the " n o n - s c i e n t i f i c basis of uncertainty" were used to characterize conditions of uncertainty; Seven guidelines are proposed, each corresponding to a condition of uncertainty.. The seven "NEBC" guidelines are used as standards i n an evaluation of three planning procedural theories which contain normative p r i n c i p l e s of dealing with uncertainty. The three subject theories are the Rational Comprehensive '(RC)v the'-Disjointed Incrementalism (DI), and S o c i a l Learning (SL) theories. RC"s main strength, when evaluated i n the context of NEBC, l i e s i n i t s emphasis on c l a r i t y . The c l e a r systematic l o g i c urged by RC would be p a r t i c u l a r l y u s e f u l i n d e l i n e a t i n g the pervasiveness of uncertainty over export markets and l o c a l natural systems. The planning agency would no doubt be more informed about which and how export market u n c e r t a i n t i e s could impact the region and thereby allow decisionmakers to more 87 r a t i o n a l l y set p r i o r i t i e s over which negative impacts should be mitigated. RC unfortunately does not suggest how to use i t s c l e a r analyses. RC does not go as f a r as the NEBC guideline which suggests that a planning agency needs to characterize the un c e r t a i n t i e s by form and frequency ( i . e . , "depth")-. Consciously c l a s s i f y i n g uncertainty by depth enables the agency to determine more c l e a r l y whether probability-based r i s k s t r a t e g i e s should be employed as policy:. I t was observed that RC" s systems analysis applied to NEBC export '-market and natural systems un c e r t a i n t i e s would be improved'if the depths of uncertainty were c l a s s i f i e d . ? . A second weakness:of RC i s that i t overlooks the need f o r a planning agency to consider the extent t o which i t could and should a f f e c t export markets or col l a b o r a t e with other agencies. RC assumes that the l i m i t s of agency a c t i v i t y , established by planners, are nec e s s a r i l y c o r r e c t . The NEBC experience, however, suggests that these l i m i t s are s u b j e c t i v e l y determined, and importantly, have c o s t l y implications.' Agency assumptions, whether p o l i t i c a l or te c h n i c a l i n nature, need to be' c r i t i c a l l y reviewed. A t h i r d major weakness weakness of RC—common to a l l t h e o r i e s — i s that i t ignores the n o n - s c i e n t i f i c o r i g i n s of the s c i e n t i f i c theories. RC does not seem to recognize that s c i e n t i f i c theory i s shaped-not only by s c i e n t i f i c but also by 88 subtle s o c i a l , economic, and c u l t u r a l • f a c t o r s , and that the non-s c i e n t i f i c f a c t o r s may produce r e s u l t s not expected from a theory generally thought to be " s c i e n t i f i c a l l y sound". F i n a l l y , RC also f a i l s as an adequate guide i n a NEBC s e t t i n g because of' i t s s i l e n c e on how a planning agency should consider uncertainty about i t s own future i n t e n t i o n s . DI was evaluated more favourably.; I t s main strength i s that i t takes a " r e a l i s t i c " view. I t says a planning agency cannot possibly be as r a t i o n a l and comprehensive as - RC claims. DI would.predispose the planning agency to act on the premises— well-founded, i n NEBC--that ..an agency cannot project i t s own intentions, know a l l possible export u n c e r t a i n t i e s , or a l l natural systems uncertainties.^ With the constant . c r i t i c a l review, " r e a l i s t i c " analyses: and " r e a l i s i t i c " p o l i c i e s would be achieved. Dl"s cynicism that general s c i e n t i f i c theories can be r e a d i l y applied to planning environments was also well-founded i n the C h a r l i e Lake and Hasler F l a t s Issues, where some s c i e n t i s t s p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the act i v e review of the a p p l i c a t i o n of general s c i e n t i f i c theories argued along DI l i n e s that theories developed elsewhere would be inappropriate because l o c a l v a r i a b l e s were not well-known. These d i s s e n t i n g views proved valuable f o r decisionmakers who looked to the s c i e n t i f i c community to see i f there was some minimal amount of c e r t a i n t y that could be r e l i e d on when designing p o l i c i e s t o minimize environmental costs. 89 As f o r the u n c e r t a i n t y over p u b l i c values, Dl's emphasis on the need f o r ongoing d e l i b e r a t i o n and.negotiation w i l l also tend to reveal the r e a l as opposed to the stated goals of p a r t i c i p a n t s and therefore give decisionmakers a more accurate view of public values. DI shares one of RC's weaknesses. Like RC, DI j u s t i f i e s i t s p a r t i c u l a r s t y l e of analysis y e t ' f a l l s short of a c t u a l l y guiding a planning agency on how to use the knowledge gained from the analysis to design, p o l i c y . . How does a:planning agency a c t u a l l y use the short-term analyses espoused by DI i n the design of p o l i c y ? This question i s not adequately answered when one attempts to apply. DI i n a NEBC setting'. I t seems that planning theory must be more useful.. S p e c i f i c a l l y , the thesis proposes that one constructive guideline would be that an agency should consider the depth of uncertainty which i n t u r n adduces knowledge which would serve as a more informative base from which to design s p e c i f i c strategies.. A s i g n i f i c a n t weakness pec u l i a r to DI i s i t s f a i l u r e to discuss f u l l y i t s concept of "negotiating f o r a " . The ,DI assumption that relevant p a r t i c i p a n t s w i l l be present i n these f o r a needs to be elaborated.. This assumption i s questionable i n a NEBC context where i t was found that many s o c i e t a l groups with legitimate p u b l i c .interests tend not to p a r t i c i p a t e i n regional planning f o r a . NEBO's r a p i d development i n f a c t tended to a l i e n a t e groups (eg. native people);,; yet i n other settings the 90 same types of groups ar.e seen as leg i t i m a t e p a r t i c i p a n t s . That legitimate i n t e r e s t s w i l l n e c e s s a r i l y be represented i n DI"s f o r a was simply not borne out by the NEBC experience ( i n s p i t e of agency e f f o r t s to engage f u l l - f l e d g e d planning f o r a such as the Settlement Plan p a r t i c i p a t i o n programs'). DI needs to pay p a r t i c u l a r attention to how the myriad i n t e r e s t s of a r a p i d l y changing and complex region should be brought to bear i n regional planning decisionmaking. And, l i k e a l l three theories, DI does not deal with the non-s c i e n t i f i c b a s i s of s c i e n t i f i c theory. This source. of u n p r e d i c t a b i l i t y w i l l be p a r t i c u l a r l y evident i f a planning agency attempts - to to • resolve environmental problems where experts, are t y p i c a l l y asked to apply s c i e n t i f i c theory to help i n reducing uncertainty. SL shares Dl"s point of departure with i t s view that uncertainty pervades the planning environment. One us e f u l p r i n c i p l e i s that a planning agency needs to d i s t i n g u i s h predictable and non-predictable events.' This p r i n c i p l e , . as was evident i n the NEBC context, i s us e f u l p a r t i c u l a r l y when the planning agency i s faced with uncertainty about exports and natural systems. C l a s s i f y i n g the "depths" of uncertainty gives the planning agency a more informed view on whether p r o b a i b l i t y -based r i s k ; s t r a t e g i e s should be adopted. SL"s p r i n c i p l e o f . f l e x i b i l i t y was also highly rated i n the evaluation. This p r i n c i p l e gives a c l e a r guide to a planning 91 agency faced with uncertainty..about i t s own inte n t i o n s . SL's mutual learning would also be of b e n e f i t . I f applied, i t would reduce the agency's'uncertainty about p u b l i c values and tend to f a l s i f y b e l i e f s about how i t conceptualizes uncertainty over the export market and natural systems. Mutual learning,- however, i s not a panacea. For instance, i t was found l a c k i n g because i t ' does not consider the possible p o l i t i c a l reluctance to use i t to i t s f u l l p o t e n t i a l , or how i t could be used to encourage p a r t i c i p a t i o n by groups which normally would not p a r t i c i p a t e . (Mutual learning presumes a w i l l i n g c l i e n t and a w i l l i n g planner.) Perhaps the - most s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f i c u l t y with SL i s that there appears to be an inconsistency between mutual learning's need f o r small decentralized structures and the need found i n NEBC f o r c e n t r a l i z e d : planning structures to integrate wide ranging interests.; The Integration of wide i n t e r e s t s i s e s p e c i a l l y important when the- planning agency i s attempting to evaluate how f a r (.and at what cost) i t needs to collaborate so as to avoid p o l i c y d u p l i c a t i o n or con t r a d i c t i o n , or, the extent to which i t should attempt to s t a b i l i z e those export market forces which i n s t i g a t e c o s t l y boom-bust c y c l e s . These planning e f f o r t s , i t was found i n NEBC.,. can best'be c a r r i e d out with a c e n t r a l i z e d structure which synthesizes a ..wide v a r i e t y of views before a d e c i s i o n i s made. SL i s also d e f i c i e n t i n that i t gives no guidelines on how a 92 planning agency should consider adopting an act i v e or passive approach when dealing :with export market f o r c e s . ft f i n a l problem .with SL:, l i k e the other theories, i s that i t f a i l s to deal with the n o n - s c i e n t i f i c basis of theory. 6.2 Challenges for 1 Future Academic Research The evaluation conducted i n t h i s thesis revealed s i g n i f i c a n t t h e o r e t i c a l weaknesses . which suggest an agenda f o r further research. Even SL, which arguably had the best o v e r a l l assessment*, suffered from several key l i m i t a t i o n s that need to be overcome i f i t i s . t o be of assistance to planning. agencies i n a NEBC-type s e t t i n g . The solution' to improved theory, i t seems, does not l i e i n mixing or combining the strengths of the three theories. Such a consolidation, i t i s argued., i s premature. The main focus of academic research,should deal with independant improvements to the three theories. As these theories are r e f i n e d , t h e i r e n t i r e complexion may i n f a c t change.' This w i l l l i k e l y occur with SL. Chapter 5 noted the d i f f i c u l t y of r e c o n c i l i n g the SL p r i n c i p l e s of mutual lea r n i n g and d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n i n a NEBC context. A t h e o r e t i c a l r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of these two p r i n c i p l e s may well determine whether, i f at a l l , mutual learning can.be used. I f a refinement of SL leads to l i m i t i n g the extent of mutual learning, i t could change the very nature of SL i t s e l f . 9 3 The evaluation also noted p o l i t i c i a n s " reluctance to use mutual learning to i t s f u l l p o t e n t i a l . While a f u l l analysis of t h i s f i n d i n g f a l l s outside the scope of the t h e s i s , i t has important implications.. I t r a i s e s the question of whether the SL s t y l e of dealing with uncertainty w i l l generate a wide range of fears and c o n f l i c t s within the agency which would then i n h i b i t the agency's willingness to deal with uncertainty at a l l . S o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s such as March and Simon (1963) have noted that ' a climate of uncertainty tends to create i n t r a - and inter-personal and inter-group c o n f l i c t s . • SL's headlong rush i n t o embracing. uncertainty therefore may create more d i f f i c u l t i e s and c o n f l i c t s than i t i s worth.-. This danger- deserves fur t h e r attention i n an empirical setting;. Such theory b u i l d i n g would do well to t e s t Bolan's c y n i c a l view of SL: Six: great behavioral changes are envisioned [by Michael's SL]: learning to l i v e with uncertainty, learning to embrace error, learning to seek and accept r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , learning to commit action to long-range anticipations-, learning to l i v e with r o l e s t r e s s , and learning to be open to • changes i n commitments and-directions.. I t i s doubtful that t e l e v i s i o n ' s new s i x -m i l l i o n - d o l l a r man could do- a l l of these things-. Since the- o r i g i n a l s i n and since man f i r s t learned of the i n e v i t a b i l i t y of h i s death,; he has been well described by Thomas Hobbes as- a human beast alone i n the dark and a f r a i d . To give up the pursuit of s e c u r i t y and i d e n t i t y and to not fear the unknown i s to ask quite a l o t . A more compelling task would seem to be to devise a way of planning- which accepts these basic needs as given. (Bolan 1974, p. 30) Another example of how the fundamental nature of a theory could be changed with further research i s found i n the DI concept of "negotiating f o r a ' . This concept, as was seen i n the 94 evaluation, was c r i t i c i z e d f o r it's f a i l u r e to address whether a l l relevant i n t e r e s t s are accounted f o r i n the f o r a . As t h i s question i s addressed,, t h e o r i s t s may i n f a c t f i n d that as was found i n NEBC, the theory needs to focus on how i n t e n s i v e review of b e l i e f s can be achieved by a l t e r n a t i v e types of p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Another major gap—common to a l l three theories—concerns the task of analyzing the n o n - s c i e n t i f i c basis of s c i e n t i f i c knowledge. This planning step has been ignored, perhaps r e f l e c t i n g planners" backgrounds i n the sciences where, as Kuhn (1970) argues, . l i t t l e a ttention i s given to the n o n - s c i e n t i f i c base of the theory,^ Planning theory,, i t seems, awaits a synthesis of s c i e n t i f i c and- '.non-scientific knowledge. This conclusion echoes Bolan"s '.argument f o r - a broadening of planning"s methodological base: •: This has two basic dimensions,. The f i r s t i s the necessity to explore f u l l y the language of planning. This i s the means by which our images of the future are conveyed to our associates in- the s o c i a l world. These images convey values, symbols, and meanings at many l e v e l s of understanding. 1 Understanding future worlds .is even more contingent on the values, symbols, and meanings thrust forward i n the name of planned change. Often these meanings are not what the planner intends. Second, our methodology, of s o c i a l knowledge needs to be s u b s t a n t i a l l y broadened. We have to expand beyond the simple one-way causal models borrowed from the physical sciences, which tend to view the s o c i a l world as some large machine;. Our methodologies must become s p e c i f i c a l l y aware of the d i a l e c t i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s among man, nature,, and the s o c i a l world. (1974, pp. 20-31) 95 6.3 Implications f o r Practice Although the three theories have s i g n i f i c a n t l i m i t a t i o n s , a planning agency can s t i l l b e n e f i t from using the. strengths i d e n t i f i e d i n the evaluation. These strengths are summarized i n 6.1 above and w i l l not be repeated here. Many p r a c t i t i o n e r s would l i k e l y agree that no one procedural theory can serve as a bl u e p r i n t f o r action. Many practioners would . also be quick to point•out that agencies r e l y l a r g e l y on t h e i r c o l l e c t i v e i n t u i t i o n s , 1 formed by past experience, when responding to uncertainty. This t h e s i s indeed showed that "dealing with uncertainty" i s s t i l l to a large degree a c r e a t i v e response by a planning agency to unique l o c a l conditions. The the s i s b u i l d s on these views ;and suggests how an -agency might c o n s t r u c t i v e l y use an inductive approach. The guidelines of the thesis have a common theme: :a planning agency should have a pr e d i s p o s i t i o n to understanding conditions of uncertainty when designing s p e c i f i c s t r a t e g i e s of dealing with uncertainty. I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t that S L — whose c e n t r a l premise i s that uncertainty i s the main, c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of- the planning environment-- revealed more strengths than the other two theories i n the evaluation. "Knowledge of uncertainty" may be a.new subject f o r many planners. Planning.education and t r a i n i n g pays l i t t l e : a t t e n t i o n 96 to such "esoteric" tasks as c l a s s i f y i n g depths and locations of uncertainty, probing the extent of c o l l a b o r a t i o n , and unearthing the n o n - s c i e n t i f i c basis of s c i e n t i f i c theory. I t might be argued that planning i s by d e f i n i t i o n concerned with future unpredictable events., and i t i s t r i t e to say that planners should have a p r e d i s p o s i t i o n to uncertainty.. This view i s of course true. The point of t h i s t h e s i s , however, i s that planning p r a c t i c e and theory must move beyond a s i m p l i s t i c or pedestrian view of uncertainty and develop the i n t e l l e c t u a l t o ols to understand unique conditions or the inherent nature of uncertainty. To other practioners, that the. three subject theories—major influences i n planning theory today.—were found to have serious shortcomings may prove disconcerting. "Are there no foundations which theory can o f f e r ? " , -a practioner might ask-. . As a response, t h i s t hesis suggests that planning, can best be achieved i f i t re-examines what i s : meant by planning"s most basic, c h a r a c t e r i s t i c — l i n k i n g knowledge and action. "Knowledge", whatever i t s p h i l o s o p h i c a l treatment, can be thought of as an "acquaintance with ascertained truths,, f a c t s , or p r i n c i p l e s " (Oxford 1933, p.7460%, acquired from the d e r i v a t i o n and t e s t i n g of those truths, f a c t s , and p r i n c i p l e s ; r i g i d l y applying t h e o r e t i c a l p r i n c i p l e s should not be substituted f o r the process of obtaining knowledge. Perhaps t h i s improved expertise i n understanding uncertainty 97 w i l l be the basis f o r enhancing the c r e d i b i l i t y of the planning profession. I f one accepts that planning i s 1 a p o l i t i c a l process of a l l o c a t i n g welfare (eg., see Klosterman 1978 ), i t follows that the planner who designs and assesses p o l i c y without a good understanding of the planning environment may be p o l i t i c a l l y dispensable. Could i t be that planners" c o l l e c t i v e poor understanding of the conditions of the planning environment i s one reason why planning has r e c e n t l y been treated as a dispensable luxury i n B r i t i s h Columbia? Surely,- i t i s o v e r l y - s i m p l i s t i c to a t t r i b u t e the large-scale, cuts i n planning departments to the view that planning becomes dispensable i f i t runs counter to p o l i t i c s . D i s t i n c t l y "planning",and " p o l i t i c a l " views w i l l always c o n f l i c t , given d i f f e r e n t mandates .and i n t e r e s t s . But a pragmatic decisionmaker w i l l , i t i s argued,, r a r e l y dispense with planning views which enable him/her to perform better p o l i t i c a l l y . The p l a n n e r / p o l i t i c a n r e l a t i o n s h i p has been the subject of much study (eg. see. Klostermann 1978). This thesis contributes to t h i s debate by suggesting that perhaps planners should be l e s s preoccupied with designing d i s t r i b u t i o n a l (or " p o l i t i c a l " ) p o l i c i e s and more with.improving the knowledge basis of those p o l i c i e s . 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