Planning as Persuasive Storytelling about the Future: Negotiating an Electric Power Rate Settlement in Illinois

J. A. Throgmorton. 1992. Journal of Planning Education and Research 12:17-31.

This article suggests that good planning is persuasive storytelling about the future, and that planners are future-oriented storytellers who write persuasive texts that other people read (construct and interpret) in diverse and often conflicting ways. The paper explores the merits of this view by analyzing Commonwealth Edison Company’s hotly-contested effort to persuade the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) to approve and innovative rate increase for three large nuclear power plants. The analysis concludes that Edison failed to persuade the ICC and others because the company’s story had crucial weaknesses in plot, point of view, and character development.

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