The Failure of the Public Process, San Francisco-Style

David Prowler, a former San Francisco planning commissioner, says that the public process of the city fails to engage the people of the community.

Prowler says that people don't participate in the planning process because it is irrelevant to their daily lives, inertia, confusion, language and cultural barriers, and isolation.

Prowler writes, "It's hard not to notice at community meetings and public hearings that the crowd doesn't look much like San Francisco. Look around on the bus, in the streets, at clubs and at the grocery store. Are these the people engaged in the discourse about the future of our city?

There's a good chance you don't go to community meetings or hearings either. I don't blame you. But people do want to be heard and, believe it or not, we'd have a better city if they were."

Thanks to David Prowler

Full Story: Form Foils Function: How our process prevents real planning — and what we can do about it

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