The Problems of the Public Process

NIMBYism is obstructing the urban planning process, according to architect and New Urbanist Andres Duany. He suggests changing the public participation process to unclog the system.
January 11, 2011, 12pm PST | Nate Berg
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In this interview from Architect, Diana Lind talks with Duany about the problems associated with public participation and how they can negatively affect the planning process.

"Diana Lind: Is there a better way to get public participation in the design process without a project falling prey to local interests?

Andres Duany: Conventional public participation makes the mistake of privileging the neighbors, the people who live within a half-mile of the given proposal. So it becomes extremely difficult to, say, locate a school or an infill project. While democracy doesn't need a great number of voters to function well, it does require a full cross-section to participate. That is the source of its collective intelligence. You can't confuse neighbors with the community as a whole.

We propose using the jury pool or the phone book to invite a random group, which is then understood to be apart from the self-interested neighbors, just as the developer or the school board are acknowledged as vested interests. The neighbors must be seen as vested interests as well."

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Published on Monday, January 3, 2011 in Architect
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