Advice on Responding To Tea Party Members Critical of Smart Growth

The year 2011 may be remembered by some as the year planners began fielding objections about smart growth from Tea Party supporters. Nathan Norris offers his four-step process for responding.

The debate in 2011 surrounding planning as it relates to Tea Party members and UN Agenda 21, an 18-year-old UN plan which encourages countries to consider the environmental impacts of human development, has been emotionally-charged.

Discounting or vilifying Tea Party Activists is not the answer, writes Nathan Norris. Instead, Norris recommends understanding this demographic and offers a four-step process to communicate.

"These concerns are no small issue. Rather, they're a formidable distraction capable of sinking years of work and wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars. In an era of diminishing resources, they're something most communities simply can't afford."

"It's a very real challenge, but not an insurmountable one. For planners looking to make progress despite the hurdles of today's political reality, here's a four-step process for successfully navigating the waters."

"Step One: Stop Belittling Objectors. Step Two: Listen. Step Three: Identify. Step Four: Engage."

Thanks to Hazel Borys

Full Story: Playing Tea Party: Planning and Agenda 21

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