An Integrated Process for Better Urban Planning Outcomes

Urban Planning has become increasingly complex with the rise of big data, inflating costs, diverging politics, and the advent of new technologies. To work with all these elements requires an inclusive approach to produce a useful outcome.

After spending hundreds of hours working with community groups, holding countless meetings, and creating designs for a new project, it is absolutely crushing to find that project either completely rejected or modified so much that it can't function.

Author Mitchell Sutika-Sipus argues that this common experience can be remedied by building flexibility into our planning proposals, using what he calls the "Integrated Planning Process." He describes this process as a way to map and align different variables to "reveal to stakeholders and participants what is essential, what is not, impose more clarity, and save time by providing alternatives for individual components."

Borrowing from the field of Product Design, Sutika-Sipus argues that the Integrated Process, while imperfect, can result in "flexible proposals designed to contend with external demands," creating "a more robust outcome." He continues, "[i]f a development scheme consists of the insights of stakeholders, but has the ability to fluidly accommodate the organization structure of government and implementing partners, the final result will be more value-laden for the target population and for the neighborhood."

Thanks to Mattew Wolfe

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