Urban Fold

Planning Fatigue Plagues San Diego Outreach Efforts

After participating in at least 27 planning processes over the last 15 years, residents of City Heights can be forgiven for wanting to actually see something built. Plentiful funds for planning, but meager funds for building, are causing frustration.

“If I had one wish, it would be to put a stay on any more studies,” said Samantha Ollinger, executive director of BikeSD and a City Heights resident. After years of participating in study after study with few physical results to show for it, Ollinger's impatience is understandable.

"Ollinger and others in the neighborhood have a case of 'planning fatigue,' a phenomenon documented in places like Detroit and New Orleans, where residents are growing weary of an onslaught of post-recession and post-hurricane workshops and surveys," reports Megan Burks. "Sometimes they’re conducted by municipalities and have real funding attached. But often they’re organized by what some call 'clipboard brigades,' volunteer groups trying to galvanize the community."

“There’s this idea that something is better than nothing, but sometimes it’s worse than nothing,” Ollinger said. “Because it gives the impression that something is being done.”

Full Story: A Case of ‘Planning Fatigue’ in City Heights

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