Public Process and the Perils of Dismissive Engagement

Steve Jobs said, "People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” So why do planners keep asking people what they'd like to see? Scott Doyon believes it's time to dig deeper.
January 25, 2013, 6am PST | Hazel Borys
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Like product designers, urban planners and designers shouldn't be order takers. They need to be more like psychotherapists, seeking the underlying motivations for the things people ask for. Scott Doyon explains:

“'What would you like to see here?'”

"And there it is. Perhaps the most inane question ever posed in the course of a public design process. And posed it is, constantly.

“'We’re doing a master plan for downtown. What would you like to see here?'”

"It’s crazy. In one sweeping question, practitioners not only set the stage for unmet expectations, they devalue the art and craft of urban design at the same time."

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Published on Thursday, January 24, 2013 in PlaceShakers
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