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Self Taught Planner Or Gadfly?


This recent Planetizen posting begins with the claim that the article is a bit of an 'insult' to planners. I disagree.

Downtown Los Angeles needs all the help it can get. Just this week, yet another historic structure was demolished to make way for new development. As the LA 'Gadfly' in the LA Times story claims, the site will eventually be open space and the building could have been preserved and reused as part of a new civic park.

I believe we can all benefit by more individual efforts in support of better planning. With all the clamor about public involvement, we should relish every attempt citizens make to take responsibility for their cities.

Furthermore, as professionals, we can make our own decisions regarding the merit of such 'auxiliary' planning activities. We don't need misleading Planetizen headlines telling us what's good or bad.

As a Los Angeles resident, urban designer and transportation planner, I am disappointed, no 'a bit insulted' by the misinformation. Any planners who are insulted by citizen action need to rethink their positions and, above all, recommit themselves to good planning and our profession to at lest "do no harm." In other words, nix the insults and rise to the challenge thinking citizens and activists pose to all of us.

disclaimer: these are my own opinions and in no way represent my employer or any other organization.