Goes for communicative planning Print
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Thursday, 02 February 2006 12:39

- In the future, we will adapt communicative planning as a method to implement the principles of the planning circle, says representatives from the Norwegian Network of Healthy Cities. 

 Nine municipalities and two county councils recently gathered in Oslo to plan how to follow up HEPRO (Health and social well-being in the Baltic Sea Region) in Norway. They emphasized the need of a systematic approach in the public health work, and they decided to use the method "communicativ planning" to implement the principles of the planning circle.

- The development of society has ensured that although being modernized, Norway is at the same turning into a society more focused on the individual than the community. In the future, we fear an increase in egoistic and self-promoting behaviour. We do not want to take part in such a development. We want to live in a society of socially aware individuals, and will therefore take the necessary actions to make it possible for inhabitants to get involved in their local environment. Communicative planning is a useful tool for this purpose, says Richard Brattli (the picture), in charge of the Norwegian Healthy Cities Network.

Brattli himself grew up in a society where the inhabitants played an influential role. He knows what value local influence has.

- In societies where the inhabitants take responsibility and personally affect their neighbourhood, such an involvement has shown to have a positive effect. The inhabitants feel a sense of unity, and take pride in themselves and their surrroundings. Thus, contributing to make them capable to handle the challenges they face. We believe that personal involvement can contribute to strengthen public health, says Brattli.

 Brattli has also seen how lack of involvement can lead to negative consequences, as local societies lose faith in themselves.

- The inhabitants become passive, and some people may leave the area. In addition, social and health related problems increase. We believe that we can fight these consequences, through preventive implementations, but also when they occur. Communicative planning is one of many tools that we want to apprehend to strengthen local democracies. It enables us to meet the inhabitants personally and make them aware about the role they can play in society. In order to successfully communicate this message, we must be able to form and make visible the values that define the society we want to live in. Together, we must look into the future, in order to identify which challenges we shall face, and the options we will have. Thus, we intend to create a platform that we can build future implementations on, says Brattli.

Communicative planning can best be described as a method where planning is primarily based on communicative rationality. The method assumes that we live in a complicated world, where no force, government or authority is able to plan how our society shall develop. In such a world, there are always a number of actors that want to be influential. Communicative planning is a method where thorough solutions are reached through dialogue and negotiation. All persons can take part in the development, and no authority is regarded as more powerful than the others. We are all equally important. Such a planning process becomes complicated though, once there are actors with different values, interests and objectives.