Im guessing your probably aware that my state (Queensland) has undertaken a change in its planning legislation in recent years. The blurb supporting the change was to move from a proscriptive planning system to one that was focussed upon performance (outcomes). Essentially that means the dumping of the theory behind zones - only allowed to undertake the prescribed use and level as dictated by the zone (it didnt matter how you undertook development for the the use - ie a residential zone allowed a single dwelling unit, up to two stories, set back six metres and allowing vehicle parking on site of 2.5 cars per dwelling unit.)
Under the performance based system no use was prohibited as long as you could demonstrate that it achieved the planning outcomes for the area (this is a very simplified description - outcomes are couched in acceptable solutions, performance criteria, development codes etc).
The new system seems to be generating (in my opinion at least) a polarisation of planning personalities ie those planners focussed upon the detail of codes and performance criteria and those planners focussed upon the impacts and outcomes of develoment.
The question I have is
Is there anyone else who thinks that there are two distinct cadres within planning practice.
This issue has been bugging me more as I have recently moved from consultancy to local government.
I have heard and attended many lectures on planning types and understand the advocacy role of planners, the development role and the protectionist roles and how those roles interact, are not discrete etc. But it seems to me (at least in Queensland) that there are now distinct types of planner - those who work for the "big picture" or try to achieve a larger vision or outcome and those who focus on regulatory detail and what cannot be done.
Also to my great surprise, it is not neccessarily the outcome focussed planners who reside in consultancy.
I suppose its the old "glass half full" analogy.