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Thread: Planning in different countries

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Planning in different countries

    How is planning different in different countries around the world. I figure with planning being a political, social, and site specific process different countries would have different ideas as to what their goal in planning is. Sometimes planning can be different even in the same country. For example there my be different concepts and ideas in a North East river town as it is in Arizona. I also wonder if it is difficult for someone to go to another country and create a successful plan in the middle of a completely different culture.

    What are your thoughts on this?
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

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    A big question….

    The RTPI (our professional body in the UK, the Royal Town Planning Institute) defines planning as:

    Planning, or Town and Country Planning to use its full name, is the system we have for managing changes to our environment. Through planning we can identify what changes we need to make: new homes, places to work, transport and community facilities etc; and where these should be located. These changes are called development. Planning seeks to ensure that we achieve a balance between our need for new development while conserving what we value about our environment such as green spaces, wildlife, historic buildings and places etc. Planning can make positive changes to our environment and communities. It can create places such as cities, towns and villages that we treasure; want to live in, work in, visit and enjoy. Planning is about our future. It aims to balance our current need for development against the needs of our children and future generations. This is called sustainable development. Our system of planning is an important part of our democracy. It can help deal with the different views between groups over development and provide opportunities for people to have their say about the future of their neighbourhoods, communities and areas.
    I'd imagine that this is probably a vision/description that would fit planning across the world. IMHO I don't believe the system in England and Wales is that complicated, and I'm sure a planner from practically anywhere else in the world would be able to get the hang of it fairly quickly and work in a planning environment here.

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    Cyburbian munibulldog's avatar
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    That is a very nice statement of what planning is. Thanks for posting it.

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    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by munibulldog
    That is a very nice statement of what planning is.
    Yes, it's a nice description of planning, but doesn't really describe the day-to-day tasks of planners. I would think legislative and cultural differences would be two key points of difference, but with some time to familiarise with these, it might not be too hard to adapt. It seems quite a few planners here spend some time working in the U.K, and vice versa.

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Do you think that there are particular aspects of planning, such as street and or parking requirements that would be typical in the US, might be omitted all together in some other places. Or even some uses that might be in the same building that might not even be in the same block around in the US?
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    Do you think that there are particular aspects of planning, such as street and or parking requirements that would be typical in the US, might be omitted all together in some other places. Or even some uses that might be in the same building that might not even be in the same block around in the US?
    I think these are likely accurate statements. Any differences in planning in different countries might be around a general acceptance of density, when compared to the US.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    I know that planning in different states can seem like planning in a different country, right PG!

    Does APA still sponsor the planner exchange between countries?

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    Thanks for the comments about the quote.

    I think the quote probably sums up fairly well the ethos behind planning for most of the world (I await to be corrected ).

    Clearly in different countries (or even in different states) there will be differing systems of planning, different legislation and statutes etc and also different political situations. However I'd like to think that being planners generally means that we would be able to adapt to working under different systems fairly quickly.

    Or maybe I'm just being too optimistic?!

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