Urban plans and urban planning itself have lost sight of their basic character as a tool and useful practical knowledge. Overwhelmed by an excess of theorisation, ideology and unmet expectations, planning applied to cities has lost what according to the author constitutes its rational role in a gap, as wide as ever, between saying and doing. From this radical criticism of the contemporary situation, the author, looking back at the common sense of ‘the origins of urban planning’, sets out to trace the outlines of a useful and practical plan. The redefinition proposed is based on three points: what the objectives of the plan should be, what investigations are needed to accompany it, what its constituent features should be for a plan that is actually useful and efficient.
Keywords: Urban plan; effectiveness of the plan; urban planning