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Advocacy planning represents a departure from scientific, objective, or rational planning, which was the dominant paradigm of the post–World War II era. It is premised upon the inclusion of the different interests involved in the planning process itself.

Advocacy planning was defined and promoted by planner and lawyer Paul Davidoff. The concept was first widely disseminated to other professional planners in Davidoff's 1965 article in the Journal of the American Institute of Planners, “Advocacy and Pluralism in Planning.” Davidoff sought to provide an answer to a critical question that arose in urban planning in the late 1950s and early 1960s: “Who speaks for the poor, the disenfranchised, and the minorities?” He introduced the question “Who is the client?” into professional usage as well as “Who is ...

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