ISSN: 2717-4417

Document Type : Research Paper



It is not new to think about justice and the ways one can make cities more just.  In all schools of thought, from left to right, planners and politicians have considered themselves the champions of justice.  However, up to the 1980s, it was the socialists who considered justice as their central focus and not the liberals.  Since the beginning of the 21st Century, several non-socialist philosophers have begun to talk about justice within the framework of liberal planning.  Thus, it can be argued that one new school of thought has come to forth as the Just City approach.  Justice, as the fundamental value of action in planning, moves some theorists such as Susan Fainstein to write on this subject.  Since Just City is not one “theory”, we first attempt to identify the most influential theories within “Just City” spectrum.  One question that is answered here is which pathways are taken by planning theories to deal with the issue of Justice. Justice and injustice are generic concepts within any kind of social relations.  To define “Just City Planning”, we look at different arenas of justice.  Here, we explain and compare socialist views (Harvey), communicative planning (Innes), commons planning (Marcuse), discursive planning (Fischer), to “Just City”.  The core of each theory is explained and compared.  The borderlines for each theory are identified and overlaps are discussed. The concept of “social” as pertains to “social justice” is viewed here as a generic concept which deals with relations between two or more persons. Therefore, the nature of “Just Planning” is discussed here in relation to concepts such as “political justice”, “judicial justice”, “economic justice”, “cultural justice”, and “spatial-physical justice”.  The criteria used to make the differentiation between these concepts are “scale” and “outcome”.   The “means” and “ends” for each pave the way for using the said criteria.  For example, the means for political justice are orientation and macro-level strategies for decision making in order to achieve ends such as an increase in citizen satisfaction and their support in elections.  The “outcomes” are presented in a number of graphs which show the tangible and nontangible results in micro- and macro-scales.   On the x-axis, the “result” from tangible to non-tangible is shown.  On the y-axis, the scale from micro to macro is presented.  For each of the concepts, it is asked where the Just City Planning stands within the said graphs. Considering the spatial and economic dimensions of urban planning, it is argued that Just City Planning overlaps with cultural justice, economic justice, and spatial justice.  It is argued here that the “Just Planning” phenomenon has more parallels to spatial justice and less with economic and cultural justice. Planners are involved with preparing urban development plans and presenting strategies and policies for urban management and not necessarily constructing buildings.     It is, however, influenced by political and judicial justice to some extent.  The relationship between Just City Planning and political and judicial justice is best explained through the workings of spatial justice, and to some extent, economic and cultural justice. 


Main Subjects

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