The role of a planner as collaborative facilitator has come under renewed criticism, from both planning theory and planning practice. This paper explores how placing values of equity and justice at the centre of planning practice offers practitioners a valuable voice in the debate over urban outcomes. It draws on Nussbaum's capabilities approach to provide a situationally flexible, yet universally grounded, version of the planning profession to judging better or worse outcomes. Case study research from an area-based regeneration initiative in England is used to illustrate how changing planners' views of their aims could provide more socially just outcomes. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.