Don't Leave City Planning to the Planners
Why non-experts should have last say in changing neighbourhoods.
Who should have the last say in our cities' planning decisions, the planner experts or the non-expert citizens who must live with the results?If I wanted to make the case for the role of the non-expert, I could say just two words and then stop: Jane and Jacobs. The great urbanist author was the ultimate skeptic and analyst, a non-professional, an observer, and we have been celebrating her centenary and legacy in recent weeks. In the pre-architecture courses I took at UBC around 1970, all the professors were modernists and so told us to read the mega-project loving Le Corbusier and study Brasilia for ideas about the future. Reyner Banham with his love of Los Angeles was similarly fashionable, partly for the novelty of endorsing something as outrageous as a car-captive lifestyle in an architecturally kitschy landscape.
It's Jane Jacobs' Centenary, and Her Urban Dreams Live On
Happy 100th birthday to the urbanist writer. A look at her influence today.Vancouver equivalent in Kitsilano in the early 1970s."
There have been many celebrations of Jacobs this year, what would have been the year of her 100th birthday. Many have mused how her criteria of livable cities -- pedestrian-friendliness, mixed-uses, constant evolutions -- are still relevant today.