Planning as a rhizomic process of experimentation : Notes from Brazilian planning experience

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This paper presents a cartographic view of planning by taking the contemporary Brazilian planning experience as reference. It understands planning not as formal activity of public administrations, but as a multiple, relational and mixed social process for dealing with the contingencies of a dynamic and complex world. In this view, planning is not limited to the institutionalized activity of formal planners, but it also includes the action of informal networks of agents seeking to promote their own social life. Based on the philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari it understands planning as a ‘rhizomatic network’ of horizontal connections that evolves in several directions through the action of multiple and different actors working along (lines of flight) in order to deconstruct (deterritorialize) old social premises and re-territorialize them as a more democratic, inclusive and just society. This (rhizomic) kind of planning proceeds through a haphazard process with no hierarchical structure, central command or control. The paper suggests that in the Brazilian case, emerging experiments with planning as a creative, interactive and fluid process may prove essential for keeping both the process of social transformation and the ways planning is actualized and turned into a democratic, participatory and collaborative assemblage. The paper takes as empirical case several informal/formal planning experiences carried out by many and different agents, acting either inside or outside institutional boundaries.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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