The role of attitudes and perceptions in regional planning - a ... THE ROLE OF ATTITUDES AND PERCEPTIONS

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  • THE ROLE OF ATTITUDES AND PERCEPTIONS

    IN REGIONAL PLANNING - A CASE STUDY

    Francis Walsh

    B.A., University College, Dublin, 1969

    A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT

    OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF

    MASTER OF ARTS

    in the

    Department of Geography

    OFRANCIS WALSH, 1973

    SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY

    All rights reserved. This thesis may not be reproduced in whole or in part, by photo- copy or other means, without permission of the author.

  • APPROVAL

    Name :

    Degree:

    Title of Thesis:

    External Members of Thesis and Oral Examining Committee:

    Simon Fraser University Examining Committee:

    Francis Walsh

    Master of Arts

    The Role of Attitudes and Perceptions in Regional Planning - A Case Study

    Dr. W.J. Smyth, St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland.

    Dr. P.N. O'Farrell, University of Wales Institute of Science & Technology, Cardiff, Wales.

    Chairman: L.J. Evenden

    I

    G.P.F. Steed Senior Supervisor

    M.E. Eliot Hurst

    J. Munro ~xternal Examiner

    Associate Professor Department of Economics and Commerce

    Simon Fraser University

  • ABSTRACT

    D e c i s i o r i - m a k i n g i n I r i s h p u b l i c p l a n n i n g h a s

    n o r m a l l y b e e n c a r r i e d o u t w i t h l i t t l e o r no p o p u l a r

    i n v o l v e m e n t i n t h e p r o c e s s . The n e e d f o r much g r e a t e r

    p a r t i c i p a t i o n b y t h o s e whom p l a n n i n g i s d e s i g n e d t o

    b e n e f i t , d e r i v e s f r o m , among o t h e r t h i n g s , t h e

    r e s u l t a n t s a v i n g s i n p u b l i c f u n d s made p o s s i b l e b y

    t h e e x p e c t e d r e d u c t i o n i n t h e number a n d s i z e o f

    p l a n n i n g m i s t a k e s . I t i s c o n t e n d e d t h a t p u b l i c

    p l a n n e r s h a v e a n e r r o n e o u s e s t i m a t i o n o f t h e p e r c e p t i v e

    a b i l i t i e s , a t t i t u d e s , a n d v a l u e s o f t h e g e n e r a l p u b l i c ,

    a n d h e n c e t h e i r p l a n s , b e i n g b a s e d o n f a l s e p r e m i s e s ,

    a r e l i a b l e t o l e a d t o g r e a t w a s t a g e o f b o t h t i m e a n d

    money.

    T h i s c o n t e n t i o n i s b o r n e o u t b y s u r v e y s d o n e

    among s c h o o l - l e a v e r s a n d members o f t h e g e n e r a l work-

    f o r c e i n t h e S o u t h e a s t P l a n n i n g R e g i o n o f t h e R e p u b l i c

    o f I r e l a n d . T h e s e s u r v e y s d i s c l o s e d a v e r y l o w l e v e l

    o f a w a r e n e s s o f t h e g o v e r n m e n t ' s r e g i o n a l p l a n n i n g

    a c t i v i t i e s . They a l s o showed t h a t t h o s e i n h a b i t a n t s

    o f t h e r e g i o n l i v i n g o u t s i d e W a t e r f o r d C i t y , d e s i g n a t e d

    by t h e g o v e r n m e n t a s g r o w t h c e n t r e f o r t h e r e g i o n ,

    knew v e r y l i t t l e a b o u t t h a t c i t y , a n d i n v a r i a b l y h a d

    a n e g a t i v e a t t i t u d e t o w a r d s i t . I n f a c t , t h e v e r y

  • v i a b i l i t y o f a S o u t h e a s t P l a n n i n g R e g i o n , w i t h

    W a t e r f o r d C i t y a s i t s f o c u s , i s c a l l e d i n t o q u e s t i o n .

    The s u r v e y s p r o v i d e d much p o t e n t i a l l y u s e f u l

    i n f o r m a t i o n f o r r e g i o n a l p l a n n e r s . They p o i n t e d up

    t h e a l m o s t a l l - p e r v a d i n g i n f l u e n c e w h i c h D u b l i n , t h e

    n a t i o n a l c a p i t a l , h a s on t h e m i n d s o f t h e c o u n t r y ' s

    y o u t h . They i n d i c a t e d how d i f f e r e n c e s o f a g e , s e x ,

    a n d l e v e l s o f e d u c a t i o n , a w a r e n e s s , a n d k n o w l e d g e

    a r e l i k e l y t o i n f l u e n c e r e s p o n s e s t o r e g i o n a l

    p l a n n i n g m e a s u r e s .

    The p r i n c i p a l r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s d e r i v i n g f r o m t h e

    r e s e a r c h a r e t h a t : ( a ) a c o n c e r t e d p u b l i c e d u c a t i o n

    a n d p u b l i c i t y c a m p a i g n i s r e q u i r e d i f W a t e r f o r d C i t y

    i s t o s u c c e e d a s a g r o w t h c e n t r e ; ( b ) p r o v i s i o n o f

    a d e q u a t e a m e n i t i e s a n d f a c i l i t i e s i n W a t e r f o r d w i l l

    b e n e c e s s a r y i n o r d e r t o e n s u r e t h a t t h o s e a t t r a c t e d

    t h e r e w i l l s u b s e q u e n t l y r e m a i n ; a n d ( c ) a much more

    a c t i v e a p p r o a c h t o s t emming t h e g r o w t h a n d i n f l u e n c e

    o f D u b l i n w i l l b e r e q u i r e d i f r e g i o n a l p l a n n i n g i n

    I r e l a n d i s t o b e m e a n i n g f u l .

  • "The primary p o i n t whioh a22 p lanning must needs keep i n mind i s t h a t i t is oonoerned w i t h t h e d e s t i n y o f peop2e ."

    Je remiah Newman (New Dimensions i n Regional PZanning: A Case S tudy o f I r e l a n d ; DubZin: An Forus F o r b a r t h a , p . 1 2 5 )

  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

    F o u r p e r s o n s i n p a r t i c u l a r s t a n d o u t , t o whom I am .

    g r e a t l y i n d e b t e d , a n d w i t h o u t whom t h i s t h e s i s would h a v e

    b e e n w e l l - n i g h i m p o s s i b l e : D r . Guy P . F . S t e e d , who s c a r c e l y

    knew w h a t h e was l e t t i n g h i m s e l f i n f o r when h e u n d e r t o o k

    t o a c t a s my C h a i r m a n a n d S e n i o r S u p e r v i s o r , b u t who

    n e v e r t h e l e s s a p p l i e d h i m s e l f a s s i d u o u s l y t o t h e t a s k o f

    k e e p i n g a wayward a n d f r u s t r a t i n g s t u d e n t o n a n e v e n k e e l

    a n d a s t r a i g h t c o u r s e ; f o r h i s c o n s t a n t a n d c o n s c i e n t i o u s

    e f f o r t s on my b e h a l f I am e t e r n a l l y g r a t e f u l .

    Seamus F i t z g e r a l d , a n d h i s s i s t e r M a r i e , who s o

    k i n d l y g a v e g e n e r o u s l y o f t h e i r t i m e t o a s s i s t me on my

    s u r v e y s . S i d W i t i u k , who v e r y k i n d l y c o n s t r u c t e d a

    c o m p u t e r programme f o r my d a t a , a n d l o o k e d a f t e r t h i s

    r a t h e r t e c h n i c a l e n d o f t h e o p e r a t i o n f o r me.

    A t h o u s a n d o t h e r a c k n o w l e d g e m e n t s n e e d t o b e made:

    To M i c h a e l E l i o t H u r s t and Tim O ' R i o r d a n , who d e i g n e d t o s i t

    on my s u p e r v i s o r y c o m m i t t e e , and who s o k i n d l y a n d f r e e l y

    p r o v i d e d a d v i c e , h e l p , a n d c r i t i c i s m .

    To J o c k Munro, who s o k i n d l y a g r e e d t o a c t a s E x t e r n a l

    E x a m i n e r o f my t h e s i s .

    To Mary O I D o n o v a n , A i d a n B a r r o n , F e l i x S h i e l d s a n d Tom

    B u r k e , who a l s o g a v e me a h e l p i n g h a n d d u r i n g my s u r v e y s .

    To t h e v a r i o u s s c h o o l s u p e r i o r s a n d p r i n c i p a l s , a n d t h e

    v a r i o u s w i e l d e r s o f a u t h o r i t y o v e r e m p l o y e e s , who

    accommodated my q u e s t f o r k n o w l e d g e .

    ( v i >

  • To my parents, especially, for putting up with me during

    my research semester.

    To the other members of my family, and friends, who did

    likewise.

    To Paddy Duffy, a great friend and source of solace and

    advice.

    To Bernard Curtin, who was unfortunate enough to be my

    room-mate, but who nevertheless always made himself

    available for providing discussion, advice, and criticism,

    a receptacle for the venting of my pent-up frustrations,

    and above all, friendship.

    Especial gratitude is extended to Barbara Shankland, who

    not only did a marvellous typing job on a difficult

    thesis, but also provided help and friendship of an

    incomparable order. Words cannot fully express my eternal

    debt to Barbara, a true friend. To Angela Hamilton, whose

    supreme knowledge of the bureaucracy was no small help in

    guiding this thesis through a maze of red tape, my

    sincere thanks.

    To the Simon Fraser University President's Research Grant

    Committee, without whose financial assistance, this study

    would have been impossible.

    To the staff, academic and secretarial, and graduate

    students in the Department of Geography at Simon Fraser

    University who provided such a stimulating working milieu.

  • To all those not mentioned here, who helped in any way

    towards the formation of this thesis.

    And finally, to the 815 persons, mos