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Environmental Values

Urban Planning and Multiple Preference Schedules: On R.M. Hare's 'Contrasting Methods in Environmental Planning'

Roger Paden

Environmental Values 8(1999): 55-73. doi: 10.3197/096327199129341716

This essay present a critical analysis of Hare's article 'Contrasting Methods in Environmental Planning'. It argues that Hare has drawn an important distinction between two 'methods' used in both urban and environmental planning, and that Hare is correct in the conclusion of his argument that one of these methods, 'the trial-design method', is superior to the other, 'the means-end method'. However, this paper presents a new argument in support of that conclusion. This new argument is important for two reasons. First, it points to the existence of at least two different kinds of preference schedule. Second, it supports a type of decision making procedure to be used in 'multiple-client situations' different from the one envisioned by Hare. This procedure, oddly enough, resembles the procedures outlined by both Habermas and Rawls. However, it can be defended on recognisably utilitarian grounds.

KEYWORDS: Hare, Rawls, Habermas, urban planning, design, preference schedules, utilitarianism

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