The Buchanan Report And The Monderman Thesis

The statement is false. This is a tricky question! Although the Buchanan Report and the Monderman thesis do offer visions of how to manage traffic they also offer us two competing visions of social order. The Buchanan Report is underpinned by a social order which privileges the segregation of humans and motors through an array of measures in urban design and the regulation of the conduct of both drivers and pedestrians. This social order emphasises the value of a social environment delivering the conditions for individual mobility and car acquisition as a valued mark of success. The Monderman thesis stresses a social order where involvement and cooperation emerges from an individual capable of negotiating with others a shared use of public space. In this shared space approach, people are not segregated from traffic.

You’re right. Although Goffman’s view of the centrality of interaction is visible in Monderman’s approach to negotiating ‘shared space’, Chapter 7 argues that, as Foucault shows, social order tends to be specified by experts within particular historical discursive frameworks. Although both Buchanan and Monderman were important in their own right, their ideas were developed and taken up within particular contexts that ‘authorised’ their development (made their ideas seems appropriate and fitting to the needs of the time). Foucault claims that expert discourses, established by those with power and authority, are often disputed by competing expert discourses. Buchanan’s ideas have dominated for a long period. Monderman’s are perhaps gathering force and challenging those of centralised planning and direction. Foucault’s view of how the authority to order social life is bound up with scientific knowledge is demonstrated in the discourses and practices of both Buchanan and Monderman.

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