Why Planning is Like the Judicial System, and Why it Shouldn't Be

<p>Planning has become too much like a court case, with two sides and one winner. According to columnist Christopher Hume, this adversarial nature must be changed.</p>
May 7, 2008, 10am PDT | Nate Berg
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"City planning in Ontario has come to resemble nothing so much as the judicial system."

"Both are treated as if they're games in which there must be a winner and a loser."

"But both are too complex for such a simplistic approach. And in both, the chances for mistakes are enormous."

"And although changing cultures as ingrained as planning and the law will require generations, it is something that must be done."

"Just as Crown attorneys and defence lawyers call their own friendly expert witnesses in an attempt to win the case at any cost, so developers and opponents hire their experts to bolster their argument, no matter how wrong."

"What follows can be self-serving if not outright false, but the process allows and encourages such behaviour."

"It also favours the rich and powerful over the poor and weak."

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Published on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 in The Toronto Star
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