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the essence of culture change

I’ve just come across this paragraph in Charles Landry’s excellent book The Art of City Making. Published in 2006, it is as fresh and relevant today as it was then:

“Planning is about to be different from what it used to be – it is set to be a more holistic process. Soon the idea of planning as merely land-use planning will probably feel defunct, as will the reliance on technical code-based work. We are likely to incorporate new insights, such as psychological and cultural literacy, and new people will be brought in and consulted. We are moving from simply asking to actively involving. This paradigm shift in the worlds of planning will take time to unfold in its fullness. It will not happen in a smooth, soothing, business-as-usual way. There will be arguments and resistance, battles of will and occasional rage as well as pleasant surprise. Obstacles will appear, although some in the longer run could be seen as opportunities. The shift from ‘participation in planning’ where you merely consult to ‘participatory planning’ where you involve will get us beyond the knee-jerk consultation processes so common and yet unempowering. The planning professions should see this moment as an opportunity for them.”

from Charles Landry, “The Art of City Making”, Earthscan/Comedia, 2006 (pages 235-236)

I couldn’t have put it better myself.

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