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

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.

"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."

Full Story: Let's find a better way to plan a city

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.

Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
$40-50
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95