The United Nation’s New Urban Agenda has created a playbook for planning advocates. It opens possibilities for building inclusive, integrated urban planning in countries where planning has been top-down and limited in scope.
Lots of planning is discretionary. Cities and developers negotiate what builders will do for cities in exchange for the right to build, creating an incentive for bad rules, eroding the public's faith in zoning, and enabling political corruption.
The Ohio Department of Transportation wants to add lanes to Interstate 77 outside Akron to reduce congestion. Some local officials think the project will connect the region to the East Coast; others think the money would be better spent locally.