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The Planners Network War Position Statement

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I just received this from a listserv this morning. Somehow I doubt that APA would come up with a similar statement. As an Urban Planner, do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

FYI

URBAN PLANNERS OPPOSE THE WAR IN IRAQ

We are urban planners and professionals in the fields of community preservation and development. We oppose the U.S. war in Iraq as a politically unacceptable means of resolving the problem of disarmament and dealing with the despotic regime in Iraq. The Bush administration has turned its back on the United Nations and proceeded despite overwhelming opposition throughout the world. The invasion of Iraq increases instability and heightens the dangers of terrorism throughout the world.

Urban planners and professionals in community development have special reasons for opposing this war.

1. Urban planners are dedicated to the preservation and development of cities. We cannot support a war that destroys the physical and social infrastructure of cities. Baghdad is a city of 4.5 million people and large numbers of civilians will die as the result of U.S. bombing.

2. Urban planning is concerned with human welfare and improvement in the quality of life. We cannot support a war that will bring widespread hunger, homelessness and extensive human suffering.

3. The earliest cities were founded in the valley of the Tigris and
Euphrates rivers, in what is now Iraq. The numerous ancient historic treasures in Iraq are threatened by the extensive U.S. bombing campaign.

4. Urban planning in America is based on principles of participation and equity. We cannot support a war that imposes the will of the mightiest nation in the world on a population that is helpless and at a foreign military force. U.S. occupation of Iraq will only expand inequalities and facilitate the plunder by the U.S. of Iraqi resources and labor.

5. Democratic urban planning is based on preserving and developing open and integrated cities with accessible public spaces. The U.S. is reinforcing the establishment of elite, walled enclaves in the Middle East, and on its own border. The U.S. supports, through its foreign aid, the construction of walls, very much like the Berlin Wall, that divide people based on ethnicity.

6. Since 9/11, urban planners are being called upon to consider security concerns in the urban development process. We do not believe there are any methods for building "defensible cities" simply by using physical design. Public security is best guaranteed by building cities and societies that minimize social inequality and maximize social interaction. We are concerned that the Bush administration's homeland security efforts are reinforcing inequalities, creating more fear and instability, and increasing social isolation.

We call on all professionals in the urban planning and community development fields to join the global protest against the U.S. war.

The Planners Network Steering Committee
Tom Angotti
Ann Forsyth
Fernando Marti
Richard Milgrom
Barbara Rahder
Ken Reardon
Gwen Urey
Ayse Yonder

Planners Network is an association of progressive urban planners.
http://www.plannersnetwork.org/org
 
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Pretty much the only statement I can wholeheartedly agree with is number 6.

But don't most wars, regardless of the politics behind it, destroy cities and infrastructure and generally make life really unpleasant for a lot of people? Isn't that the point of war to begin with? Why don't these people just say that as planners they don't support any war, period. Not just "a war". What do they think happened in WWI or II?

sigh.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
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5,984
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Planderella said:
URBAN PLANNERS OPPOSE THE WAR IN IRAQ

We are urban planners and professionals in the fields of community preservation and development. We oppose the U.S. war in Iraq as a politically unacceptable means of resolving the problem of disarmament and dealing with the despotic regime in Iraq. France thinks it is a bad idea and they are cool.
The Bush administration has turned its back on the United Nations and proceeded despite overwhelming opposition throughout the world. Never ever take a moral stand unless everyone agrees with you. The invasion of Iraq increases instability and heightens the dangers of terrorism throughout the world. The world didn't have terrorists before Bush stole the election.

Urban planners and professionals in community development have special reasons for opposing this war. We think we are special and you should listen to us.

1. Urban planners are dedicated to the preservation and development of cities. We cannot support a war that destroys the physical and social infrastructure of cities. We opposed WWII becasue of this factor (Sorry Jews) Baghdad is a city of 4.5 million people and large numbers of civilians will die as the result of U.S. bombing. Even though fewer Iraqi civilians will die after Saddam is removed we think this war is wrong.

2. Urban planning is concerned with human welfare and improvement in the quality of life. We cannot support a war that will bring widespread hunger, homelessness and extensive human suffering. Damn your American aid and relief sitting on ships in the Persian Gulf waiting to be distributed to the poor. Damn you for hoping to remove the kindly dictator Saddamwho in no way causes human suffering to his people.

3. The earliest cities were founded in the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, in what is now Iraq. The numerous ancient historic treasures in Iraq are threatened by the extensive U.S. bombing campaign. We know American military planners hate history and have no exposure to it in their educations. Thus they will go after historic buildings and archology sites

4. Urban planning in America is based on principles of participation and equity. We cannot support a war that imposes the will of the mightiest nation in the world on a population that is helpless and at a foreign military force. U.S. occupation of Iraq will only expand inequalities and facilitate the plunder by the U.S. of Iraqi resources and labor. Helpless, Yes the Iraqis are so helpless. Plunder, yes Bush and his illegitimate oil business pals are in it to line their pockets. I hear Dick Cheney's daughters are each getting their own oil well. Bush's girls are getting a refinery. Bringing a non-totalitarian regime to Iraq can only serve to exacerbate inequality in Iraq. Things are so equal now.

5. Democratic urban planning is based on preserving and developing open and integrated cities with accessible public spaces. The U.S. is reinforcing the establishment of elite, walled enclaves in the Middle East, and on its own border. The U.S. supports, through its foreign aid, the construction of walls, very much like the Berlin Wall, that divide people based on ethnicity. Yes, America builds walls and wants to bring our gift of Sprawl to the peoples of Iraq. This is obviously written by someone who has never been to the Middle east. Walled Arab home sties go back about 4000 years that I know off. Thus the US is imposing its Arab cultural bias on the Arabs!

6. Since 9/11, urban planners are being called upon to consider security concerns in the urban development process. We do not believe there are any methods for building "defensible cities" simply by using physical design. Public security is best guaranteed by building cities and societies that minimize social inequality and maximize social interaction. We are concerned that the Bush administration's homeland security efforts are reinforcing inequalities, creating more fear and instability, and increasing social isolation. We threw this in just to have some more crappy things to say about Bush 2. It has nothing to do with the war, but it makes us feel good.

We call on all professionals in the urban planning and community development fields to join the global protest against the U.S. war. There is safety in numbers

The Planners Network Steering Committee
Tom Angotti
Ann Forsyth
Fernando Marti
Richard Milgrom
Barbara Rahder
Ken Reardon
Gwen Urey
Ayse Yonder
A collection of spineless individuals who need to spend a week embeded for some perspective

Planners Network is an association of progressive urban planners. Progressive = hearing your own voice more than you should
http://www.plannersnetwork.org/org
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
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2,550
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I am actually surprised that the APA didn't come out with a position statement on the war, afterall they did issue a statement on Trent Lott .

Some things that they don't mention:

They mention that many Iraqis will die as a result of the war, yet they don't mention how many have been killed by the actions of Saddam's regime.

There is already widespread hunger, homelessness and extensive human suffering. It will take a while, but this war will change that.


..and I am someone who opposed the war!
 

NHPlanner

Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator
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Moderator
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9,885
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I knew you wouldn't leave this thread untouched Guap!

I can't stand this type of "progressive" organization that has to take an opinion on everything. It's rediculous to believe that a bunch or COLLEGE PROFESSORS (really, check out who the Planners Network really is...profs and students primarily) have any influence on the foreign policy of the administration. Of course this group is opposed....those in college will protest anything if they get to hear their own voices and get press....
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,773
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58
Urban planners are dedicated to the preservation and development of cities. We cannot support a war that destroys the physical and social infrastructure of cities. Baghdad is a city of 4.5 million people and large numbers of civilians will die as the result of U.S. bombing.
Sorry, but wars do that. By opposing the Iraq War because of urban destruction, you're saying that you're opposed to ANY war. Would PN have been opposed to World War II because it the damage it would cause to German cities?

Besides, the US/UK/AU military has a policy of keeping infrastructure as intact as possible, to ease the burden of rebuilding Iraq. If anything, this war will cause LESS damage to urban environments than any other conflict fought in the past. Damage to areas near targeted sites is mostly limited to chipped plaster and blown-out windows. We're not carpet-bombing Iraq; PN appears to be crying because new "presidential palaces" are biting the dust.

Urban planning is concerned with human welfare and improvement in the quality of life. We cannot support a war that will bring widespread hunger, homelessness and extensive human suffering.
Again, wars in general bring hunger, homelessness, and so on. Given the concern over trying to supply humanitarian aid to the cities of Southern Iraq, the coalition is doing everything in its power to prevent a large scale human trajedy. If it had been successful, I doubt Iraq would have considered providing humanitarian aid to any country it attempted to conquer.

The earliest cities were founded in the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, in what is now Iraq. The numerous ancient historic treasures in Iraq are threatened by the extensive U.S. bombing campaign.
Archaeological shields! Archaeological shields! I guess if Iraq was a country that didn't encompass the Fertile Crescent, it would be okay to bomb it, then. Given that logic, it would be okay to attack North American cities, because they aren't steeped in ancient history.

Urban planning in America is based on principles of participation and equity. We cannot support a war that imposes the will of the mightiest nation in the world on a population that is helpless and at a foreign military force. U.S. occupation of Iraq will only expand inequalities and facilitate the plunder by the U.S. of Iraqi resources and labor.
Plunder? I didn't hear anything about going in and stealing art, antiquities, valuables, and so on. Did we "plunder" any other country we were ever at war with? This just seems like an eloquent way of phrasing the tired "no blood for oil!" cliche.

Also, if you're against a war that involves "imposing the will of the mightiest nation," I guess that excludes ALL war fought by the US, no matter what the cause. Hell, Cuba could be lobbing nukes at the US, and PN would theoretically be opposed; we're the "mightiest nation in the world," after all.

Democratic urban planning is based on preserving and developing open and integrated cities with accessible public spaces. The U.S. is reinforcing the establishment of elite, walled enclaves in the Middle East, and on its own border
Huh? I don't get this one at all. After the victory, will the US be sending in teams of homebuilders to construct gated subdivisions? "Desert Estates at Baghdad Heights: A Del Webb Community" ... that's a new one.

Since 9/11, urban planners are being called upon to consider security concerns in the urban development process. We do not believe there are any methods for building "defensible cities" simply by using physical design.
I'll agree with 'em on this.

Planners Network is a self-proclaimed "progressive" organization. "Progressive" is a self-imposed code word used by leftists that believe that everything the United States has ever stood for is wrong.. I'm a liberal, and one who leans far to the left, but this smacks of knee-jerk "progressive" politics; no matter how just the war, it'll be wrong because the US is involved. If we weren't involved, though, we'd be "isolationist" and not caring about anything that happens beyond our own boundaries. Can't win.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
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Dan - OMG!

I'll Fed-Ex your Nazi armband and thigh-high black Jackboots right over. Wait 'till President Heston and Rush hear the news.

Are we rubbing off on each other?
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
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Moderator
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5,401
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Re: Re: The Planners Network War Position Statement

Dan said:



Besides, the US/UK/AU military has a policy of keeping infrastructure as intact as possible, to ease the burden of rebuilding Iraq. If anything, this war will cause LESS damage to urban environments than any other conflict fought in the past. Damage to areas near targeted sites is mostly limited to chipped plaster and blown-out windows. We're not carpet-bombing Iraq; PN appears to be crying because new "presidential palaces" are biting the dust.



Did you see the video this morning of the vehicle that was blown up under a bridge? That was some nice shootin. just raised a little dust on top of the bridge. Kind of looked like they bounced the bomb under the vehicle at a low angle.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
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I've actually heard the argument - "Almost 50% of the Iraqi population are children, therefore this is a war against CHILDREN!"

"Progressive" is one of the most abused words in the English language.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
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30
Seabishop observed
"Progressive" is one of the most abused words in the English language.
Imagine living in a country that has a political party called the Progessive Conservatives. How do you explain that one?

And the Planners Network sounds like a bunch of self important people with too much time on their hands, oh yeah, they are university profs and students.
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
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I am not in favor of the war. But it is a personal rather than a professional opinion. If I were adamantly against the war, I would let my feelings be known; but I would never drag the profession into it. It is not the proper setting. This is bull ca-ca.
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
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Mike I agree, I am no fan of this war but my profession has zero to do with it and wish groups such as this would stay out of it

but hey maybe thats my conservitive side showing

*will someone catch Guap he just fainted reading that last line*

PG
 

Queen B

Cyburbian
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I believe that as Americans we have the right to voice our opinions about whatever we chose but I don't believe that a the few people listed should make statements like that on behalf of "Urban Planners" as a whole.
I really don't jump into the political areana often but how dumb do you have to be to see that war is destructive, duh. And that good "planning" really has absolutely nothing to do with that.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
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I also believe that groups that represent a profession should not issue blanket political statements like that. Since I had never heard of this group until this morning, it is not a big deal. If the APA came up with a position for or against the war, I would have a big problem with it.

This Planners Network is trying to paint all planners as this unified group of people who support their "progressive" cause and share the same political views and opinions on the war in Iraq. This is about as ridiculous as saying that all lawyers or doctors should hold the same beliefs.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
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10,080
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Planderella said:
We cannot support a war that destroys the physical and social infrastructure of cities.
We prefer to accomplish this goal through progressive means such as Urban Renewal.

Urban planning is concerned with human welfare and improvement in the quality of life. We cannot support a war that will bring widespread hunger, homelessness and extensive human suffering.
The local quality of life is enhanced by a corrupt dictator and his henchment who steal the nation's wealth and torture its citizens. We prefer to see widespread hunger, homelessness and extensive human suffering as a result of tyranny as opposed to a war that will eventually result in greater freedom and common citizen's access to the nation's resources.

Democratic urban planning is based on preserving and developing open and integrated cities with accessible public spaces.
Bombing will open up many areas currently prohibited to most Iraqis, as well as create new open spaces. ;)
 

BKM

Cyburbian
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Guap, I have a new wallpaper :)

Despite my concerns about the war, this kind of pompous essay illustrates what is wrong with so-called "progressives." I bet these academics rank themselves at least 8 or 9 on the intelligence test :)

Dan: I'm less willing to dismiss the "blood-for-oil" connection than you (at least as one factor), but I still agree.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
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EG that must have been the most satisfying piss ever. Although the Planners Network would surely decry your pollution of Iraq's natural resources with your "run-off."

Its hard to believe that such a vain tyrant would ever approve of a mural that makes him look so dumb. That painter must have been executed after that one.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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17,773
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58
Seabishop said:
Its hard to believe that such a vain tyrant would ever approve of a mural that makes him look so dumb. That painter must have been executed after that one.
If that's the case, than most of Iraq would be dead because they use these gawd-awful postage stamps.









 

el Guapo

Capitalist
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5,984
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29
The first GI that got there with a can of spray paint. I saw his name all over Southern Iraq. A combat tagger if you will.
 

prudence

Cyburbian
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688
Points
20
Tranplanner said:
Holy Crap - if they ever make "Saddam - The Musical", they've got their leading man!
I don't think Bob will sport a beret...I am certain "No Headwear" is a condition in ALL his contracts. I mean, look at that hair!!!
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
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That is some sweet old guy hair. I bet it generates a lot of tail for him.

(This post is for a sweet little lady in upstate NY. You know who you are babe. Rowrrrrrr.....) ;)
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
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APA

As far the the APA thing goes, I have trouble following leaders, even good ones. I don't even know the people who wrote this and I don't particularlly want to know them. They're welcome to their opinion and I have mine.

I think the present war will negative repercussions for the US far into the future. Sadam and his like should go, no doubt. I think war is an indication of failed diplomacy and policy. The coalition should have chased Sadam out in '91. But even that war should and could have been avoided.
 
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