Does the New Orleans Experience Reveal the "Trouble with Planning"?
In Kristina Ford's new book The Trouble with City Planning: What New Orleans Can Teach Us she recounts her time as the Director of Planning in New Orleans, and the stages of abortive planning the city went through following Hurricane Katrina, from New Urbanist idealism to fatalism. Reviewer Joe Berridge, Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners finds that she doesn't really identify what the "trouble" is exactly:
"'What exactly she sees as 'the trouble' is a bit elusive however. Sometimes there is not enough community consultation, sometimes too much. Political direction is essential, but planners need to be insulated from political interference. Planners' professional training is an asset, because it brings objectivity to an urban issue, but it is riddled with un-admitted assumptions. All true, but the great skill of good city planning is to live with all these contradictory notions and still know what to do."