Primary Interest Categories in Local Planning Policy

  • Roy Fabian Bar-Ilan University
Keywords: Primary Interest Categorization, Private and Public Interest, Motivating Interest, Planning Policy, Rational Choice, Urban Governance, Local Public Good, Non-Use Value


Interests are considered to be fundamental motives for individual and communal desired modes of action. As such they provide causality-based explanations for a variety of social behaviors. Despite the common distinction differentiating self interest from public interest, most rational analysis considers self interest to be a superior explanation for a driving motive for both individuals as well as communities. Surveying various disciplines' depiction of interests, I show that researchers’ over reliance on quantifiable data leads to distorted interpretations of human conduct. I argue that urban planning policies can improve understanding of public interest by considering primary interest categorizations in addition to the commonly used dichotomy of private versus public interest.


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