Date of Award

1980

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Community Planning (MCP)

Department

Community Planning and Area Development

First Advisor

John J. Kupa

Abstract

The contempory planning function is an attempt to design and implement a systematic decision-making process. Typically involving a definition of purpose, establishment of goals and objectives, presentation of alternative solutions and the selection/recommendation of a viable proposal to realize the stated goal. A structured analysis of this process can enable the improved design and establishment of performance standards allowing the development of a review process for alternative plans.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate a select planning issue and its process in the City of East Providence; specifically, the municipal process of evaluating alternative plans. This study will also attempt to identify associated process shortcomings, methodological constraints and present recommendations enabling improved process application.

Increasing municipal resource constraints, coupled with active community participation efforts are almost certain to create conflicts in values regarding the decision-making process. If the recommended plan is to be accepted, conflicts between groups must be addressed, as well as the development of an accurate, documentable and defensible evaluation methodology.

With an increasing array of decision-making participants and a growing scarcity of public resources, public administrators must provide an accurate policy review procedures. This type of effort will ensure the delivery of acceptable and factual solutions to community demands and interests. It is imperative that public administrators comprehend the dynamics of the political process, where key variables can be identified and whose end results can be predicted (i.e. certain inputs produce given outputs). This understanding shall result in a more systematic, intelligent and reasonable decision-making -process.

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