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Thread: Community planning, lack of mentorship, etc

  1. #1

    Community planning, lack of mentorship, etc

    My Detroit friends out there in cyburbia, listen up! (now I know you all will know who I am, but these days, anonymity is the LEAST of my concerns...)

    First, I really love the fact that we have a forum dedicated to venting: the true pastime of a properly focused planner. It's like dreaming with an attitude...

    My general experience with community-based planning and neigborhood strategic planning has been biased in that I am in an intrinsically political environment (aren't we all, but Detroit is far from any norm, I believe). In light of this poor disclaimer, what is the attitude out there about community-oriented planning -- dare I say, advocacy planning? Is idealism a far gone conclusion in our urban society? Is "sustainable community development" a laughable concept, one for the study of planning ne'er do wells? I want to know, because it seems as though planning is developer, money, and politic driven, and not only that, but when a community is actually well informed and cooperative (GASP! Does that really happen?) the planning entity or process that is suppose to assist them is nowhere near the help it should or could be because it has been emasculated by the city council (or quasi-public other).
    Thoughts and rotten tomatoes????

    Secondly, where are the mentors out there? I'm drowning in a sea of incompetency and lack of general understanding about when to know when enough abuse is enough, or when to just chuck up and bear it. And what about those of us who are doing quite well with our undergrad planning degrees and yet need to consider when to pass Go and collect the AICP and the Master's or (gasp!!!) Doctorate?

    Lastly, I've never been to the West Coast -- just how much fun is it? Can I tag along in someone's duffel???

  2. #2
    Cyburbian pandersen's avatar
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    Community Planning, Lack of Mentorship, etc.

    Is planning really "poetry in motion"? I am a planner working in, around, over,under and any other way possible in the Detroit area.

    Great to read your remarks, I was beginning to think I was alone in my opinions related to the incompetency, political hardball and emasculation of the development process in the City!

    I not sure Detroit will ever become a "World Class City" as the administration has forgotten how to plan, if it ever knew in the first place. Also, the system seems to have set the"bar" far too low in terms of accepting any and all forms of development in the city with little if any regard for the long term consequences. Selling land for next to nothing to store front churches that pay no taxes is one of my personal pet peeves.

    Enough venting for now! Continue to fight the good fight and keep your eyes peeled for more rewarding employment and professional development activities.

    Sorry I don't know of anyone heading to the west coast.

  3. #3

    Community Planning, Lack of Mentorship, etc.

    Is planning really "poetry in motion"?

    That depends on who and what day you ask. Ideally, planning is, and that's not only my vision but how I describe myself.

    I am a planner working in, around, over,under and any other way possible in the Detroit area.

    That's either very admirable or extremely masochistic. How long have you been here, and in what arenas?

    Great to read your remarks, I was beginning to think I was alone in my opinions related to the incompetency, political hardball and emasculation of the development process in the City!

    No, you know anyone with two brain cells to rub together who has also been burned enough comes to that general understanding sooner or later. Then they decide if they want to be part of the problem or the solution (which has yet to be found by the gatekeepers here).

    I not sure Detroit will ever become a "World Class City" as the administration has forgotten how to plan, if it ever knew in the first place.

    Charles Blessing did, June Thomas does (to a point), and beyond that, I know of less than a handful of people who truly do --- okay, I'm being harsh -- maybe two handfuls of people in not-so-great circumstances/positions to exercise the practicality of their knowledge.

    Also, the system seems to have set the"bar" far too low in terms of accepting any and all forms of development in the city with little if any regard for the long term consequences.

    (Excuse the religious pun given what's below...) AMEN!!!! It's so tragic...

    Selling land for next to nothing to store front churches that pay no taxes is one of my personal pet peeves.

    Okay, here are mine: Rite Aid and all things pharmecutical, Super KMart, bye-bye Hudson's, beauty salons within a .1 mile radius, McDonalds and all things fast food, beeper stores, etc, etc --- raze them all. And still no one would want to invest here. Tragedy --- such potential. Detroit is a world class city only in the hearts of those of us in planning who truly see the diamond she is in all the dung around her...

    Enough venting for now!

    Okay, but I can't promise anything...

    Continue to fight the good fight and keep your eyes peeled for more rewarding employment and professional development activities.

    I'm looking to go the professorship track, so I may be longer than I planned. I'm working on Detroit's Census, so I'll probably be here to 2001. There's some reward to that, but it's really hard...by the way, fill out your Census form when you get it (if you're still here)...

    Sorry I don't know of anyone heading to the west coast.

    Too bad. Been anywhere of interest?

  4. #4

    Community Planning, Lack of Mentorship, etc.

    I am astonished to hear that Detroit still exists, much less that people are still trying to plan for its future. Word on the coast is that Motor City shut down years ago, and the capital facilities were snapped up by Canadian salvage dealers at a knock-down price. Well, ya can't believe everything you hear, can you?

    "Advocacy Planning"--what an idea! Of course, it's been practiced for years by planners who work for developers, but city planners aren't supposed to do such nasty things. Imagine what might happen if there were planners who advocated decent housing, public transportation, neighborhood preservation, etc.. It would get in the way of "economic development."

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