"There Aren't Nearly Enough People Here."

That was David Motzenbecker's thought as he began a public meeting of the Minneapolis Planning Department, which inspired him to re-think how the city engages the public.

Motzenbecker president of the Minneapolis Planning Commission, thinks the current system of getting input from citizen on city planning is flawed:

"...experts ruminate on an idea; which is then crafted into a plan or policy; this policy is then drafted and given to the "public" for their "input". But that input is limited-it is received for only short period of time, and is seen as data to be reviewed for relevance by the expert. This basically means that the decision rests with a public official, who weighs the experts' plans and then reviews public opposition before making his or her own decision. Do you see anything wrong with this model?"

Motzenbecker proposes some solutions, drawing on his background as a landscape architect and using a "commons-based" approach, as proposed by the nonprofit On The Commons.

Full Story: An Infusion of Commons Thinking Can Transform the Future of Our Communities


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