Public Debate

August 27, 2013, 5am PDT
Elizabeth A. Harris looks at how architectural renderings are used to sway opinion on development projects. Such tools aren't unique to our digital age, but have a much longer pedigree.
The New York Times
Blog post
February 27, 2012, 5am PST

Last Thursday I debated the merits of smart growth with ‘Anti-planner’ Randal O'Toole at a community forum in Langley, a rapidly-growing suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia. A recording of the Debate and presenters' slide shows are available at www.southfraser.net/2012/02/smart-growth-debate-media.htmlAt the end more than three quarters of the audience voted for a pro-smart-growth resolution. This may reflect some selection bias – people concerned about sprawl may have been more likely to attend – but I believe that given accurate information most citizens will support smart growth due to its various savings and benefits.  

Smart growth sometimes faces organized opposition by critics. It is important that planners respond effectively and professionally. Here is my critique of O'Toole’s claims and some advice for planners who face similar critics. 

Todd Litman