Housing and Planning quote of the week: The ideological mystique of planning…

9 09 2013

“Despite an ideological mystique which stresses a liberal point of view and selfless service to a broad public interest, planning practice actually is cautious and conservative. Most planners, I began to think, were ordinary bureaucrats seeking a secure career, some status, and regular increases in salary. They rarely took unpopular public positions since these might prejudice their chances to achieve these modest objectives. The average planner came out of a middle-class background and was not likely to be upset with social conditions or matter bearing on who-gets-what issues in society to the point where substantial, radical change would seem a legitimate objective. Many planners absorbed the values and philosophy of business which has helped their status, income, and security… The activities of traditional planning agencies may succeed in slightly altering the physical environment, but they are largely irrelevant to the needs of the people in cities such as Cleveland where the problems are largely economic, social, and political. As a profession planning has been too timid. This criticism is pointed less toward the rank-and-file staff of most agencies than at their directors. They are the individuals confronted with the challenge and opportunity to create an activist role for their organizations…”

~ Norman Krumholz, former Cleveland Planning Director, in “A Retrospective View of Equity Planning”

Equity Planning


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