The Return Of The Planner

Urban planning departments are experiencing a revival in cities across the nation. Governing Magazine profiles Andy Altman as a model of the 'new planner.'
May 6, 2004, 1pm PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"The significance of planning's comeback extends far beyond one city, or one metro area. Altman has emerged on the scene in Washington just as a new generation of big-city planners is enjoying a surge of political support. Planning is gaining stature in New York and Chicago, which find themselves managing population growth after years of fighting decline. Planning directors in those cities are in the enviable if contentious position of guiding neighborhoods through their first wave of gentrification and growth in decades... Modern-day public planners are a vulnerable breed, one that bears no resemblance to the power brokers of the mid-20th century, the ones such as New York's Robert Moses, who cultivated their own impregnable sources of revenue as well as their own bases of political power. Today, planners can succeed only with the support of the mayors they work for. They don't have the luxury of indulging in academic discussions about the future of cities; what they need to focus on is maneuvering their way through the touchy local politics that surround nearly every development issue."

Thanks to Laura Kranz

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Published on Thursday, May 6, 2004 in Governing
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