Local Government and Strategic Choice : An Operational Research Approach to the Processes of Public
First published in 1969, this book is concerned with the processes of policy-making in local government. The authors address themselves to the basic challenge of planning in a democracy and consider issues such as how those elected to exercise choice on our behalf can preserve and expand their capacity to choose discriminatingly, when the sheer complexity of the issues facing them tends all the time to make them increasingly dependent on the skills and judgements of their professional advisers. This question is explored in relation to the many different, yet interdependent, aspects of the planning process which impinge on any local community – with particular reference to the planning of housing, transport, education, and shopping, of land use and local government finance.
The book is the outcome of a four-year program of research during which a mixed team of operational research and social scientists was given a unique opportunity to observe the ways in which decisions were made and plans formulated in one particular city- Coventry. It covers both political and professional aspects of local government in 1960s Great Britain and has had important implications for urban governments throughout the world.