How Can Planners Control the Outcome of Their Efforts?

Charles Marohn examines the role that chance plays in the successes and failures of our planning efforts and comes to the conclusion that traditional development patterns are a tried and true antidote to our lack of control.

As much as we'd like to believe that we can will a project to success based on our own brilliance and dedication, the success and failures of our planning efforts are largely out of our control, says Charles Marohn. 

"What would a different approach look like, one that didn't rely so much on either sheer genius (real or imagined) or on dumb luck?" he asks. "It just so happens that the traditional development pattern is such an approach and, as you will see, it has the breathtaking genius always found in a natural ecosystem that has evolved over thousands and thousands of years."

Marohn utilizes the analysis of Joe Minicozzi on the financial productivity of different development patterns to demonstrate his thesis. 

"America is full of brilliant people, many of them devoted to improving our cities and the lives of those that live in them. The most brilliant innovations in building cities, however, won't come from the current generation of politicians, professionals and advocates," concludes Marohn. "That brilliance is already embodied in the traditional development pattern, a fool proof approach to building places that was developed the hard way: slowly and incrementally over time."

Full Story: The Fool Proof City

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