After reading replies to the Gehry thread and others, I have been considering the dichotomy between the planner as reactionary policeman of development; and the architect as egotistical, questionable genius with the “perfect” city plan. I would like to add the developer into the discussion, as it is he who actually initiates development projects.
Economics dictate development. The developer holds the cards. The typical developer’s main motive is not to create the best urban form, but to make a profit. The public planning professional is saddled with standard zoning regulations and the local political environment. The architect awaits his commission and hopes to make a statement. Who actually conceptualizes and initiates a well conceived urban form?
I suspect most of you have careers close to one of the three traditional camps – planner / public official, architect, or developer. But where are the careers in the center of this triangulation? The proactive planner, the developer building true communities, the architect designing complements to the community instead of individual “signature” projects? What job description integrates the financial backing of the development community, the knowledge of a planner, and a solid sense of design?
I believe that the urban places most of us advocate require thinking and action from the center of this triangle to come to fruition. How does one position himself to work from this prospective?